Audiology Data Show Trends For more than 20 years, audiologists have provided information to ASHA on topics of interest through the Association’s Omnibus Survey. In 2003 the survey was sent to a sample of 7,500 constituents in the United States with proportionate representation by area of certification. Of those surveyed, 58%-or 4,387-responded. According to ... ASHA News
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ASHA News  |   March 01, 2004
Audiology Data Show Trends
Author Notes
  • Jeanette Janota, is ASHA’s senior research associate and statistician. Contact her by e-mail at jjanota@asha.org.
    Jeanette Janota, is ASHA’s senior research associate and statistician. Contact her by e-mail at jjanota@asha.org.×
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / School-Based Settings / ASHA News
ASHA News   |   March 01, 2004
Audiology Data Show Trends
The ASHA Leader, March 2004, Vol. 9, 1-24. doi:10.1044/leader.AN.09062004.1
The ASHA Leader, March 2004, Vol. 9, 1-24. doi:10.1044/leader.AN.09062004.1
For more than 20 years, audiologists have provided information to ASHA on topics of interest through the Association’s Omnibus Survey. In 2003 the survey was sent to a sample of 7,500 constituents in the United States with proportionate representation by area of certification. Of those surveyed, 58%-or 4,387-responded.
According to year-end member counts for 2003, which are calculated separately from the omnibus survey, the number of ASHA-certified audiologists stands at 12,816. The demographic data, updated twice a year and gathered from the annual dues invoice, shows that 17% of certified audiologists work in an educational facility (schools or universities), 72% in health care (48% in nonresidential health care settings, 23% in hospital settings, and 2% in residential health care facilities), with the rest in other types of facilities.
Nearly 81% are employed as clinical service providers, with the remainder working in other roles including as teachers, researchers, and administrators.
According to the omnibus survey, certified audiologists in the 2003 sample who worked as clinical service providers in health care facilities responded to a question about the amount of time they spent in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Including only those who spent at least some time in a NICU, the average (mean) amount of direct time was 15% and the average indirect time was 11%.
Audiologic Rehabilitation
The proportion of clinical service providers who provided audiologic rehabilitation (AR) for patients varied by type of facility: 56% in the schools, 64% in hospitals, and 77% in nonresidential health care facilities. Audiologists delivering school services were least likely of the three groups to charge separately for AR services (13%).
Assistive listening devices were the most commonly provided AR services in schools (97%), while post-fitting adjustments were the most commonly provided services in hospitals (95%) and in nonresidential health care facilities (96%). Cerumen management was infrequent in schools (8%) as was speechreading in hospitals (6%) and in nonresidential health care facilities (9%).
School Services
The Omnibus Survey included a list of 12 activities, from conducting in-service training to supervision. Audiologists who work in the schools were asked how many hours they spent on each activity in a typical week. The largest amount of time was spent in diagnostic evaluations, scoring, and analysis (11 hours). Direct intervention was the second most time-consuming activity (9 hours), followed by record keeping, paperwork, and report writing (6 hours).
School-based audiologists were also asked the number of weekly hours they spent in each of six models of service delivery. More hours were spent on traditional pull-out service than any other model (11 hours). The least amount of time was spent in a resource room environment (less than 1 hour).
Productivity Requirement
Among certified audiologists who work in the schools with at least one individual in their caseload, the mean number of clients they served in a typical month was 92; the median was 50. (To calculate the mean, add the total of all the values and divide by the number of items. To determine the median, arrange the values in order, from lowest to highest, and select the one in the middle position. Medians are more stable and less susceptible to extreme values than are means.)
When asked about productivity requirements, audiologists were more likely to report productivity in terms of required hours per day than in required percentages. The median value across settings was seven hours (in an eight-hour day). For those few people who reported a percent productivity requirement, the mean was 78% and the median was 73% in hospitals. In nonresidential health care facilities, the mean was 84% and the median was 90%.
Visit the Member Counts page on ASHA’s Web site for current information about the function, facility, age, gender, and other demographic information about audiologists.
More on Surveys
Survey Is Valuable Career Tool

ASHA’s Omnibus reports present valid, reliable data that you, as an audiologist, can use to compare your work environment with others in the United States. This is helpful in identifying types of facilities where you might like to work and can help you plan your career. It’s useful, too, for developing private practice business plans and for recruiting students into the professions.

The “2003 Omnibus Survey: Practice Trends in Audiology” report can be found on ASHA’s Web site. In addition to material included in this article, the report addresses volunteerism, usefulness of tools for culturally and linguistically diverse populations, knowledge of second language acquisition, and use of the Internet and Web.

Looking Ahead: the 2004 Surveys

ASHA’s Omnibus Survey has been the source of practice trend data for the Association for more than two decades, but that is changing. Beginning this year, the questions typically asked in the omnibus process will be combined with questions from other surveys, resulting in specialized surveys focused by profession and facility. A series of four such surveys will rotate, two each year in the spring and fall. Surveys will be mailed this fall to audiologists and will gather data on salaries, productivity, and other topics of interest to audiologists.

As an audiologist, you are the most vital link in gathering data. The reports are compiled from data that members provide, so the most important thing you can do is to complete ASHA surveys if you receive one. Answers reported on surveys are confidential. For more information about ASHA research, visit www.asha.org or contact Sarah Slater by e-mail at sslater@asha.org or through the Action Center at 800-498-2071, ext. 4149.

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March 2004
Volume 9, Issue 6