All audiology students spend at least two semesters working a day or more a week in the department’s on-site hearing clinic. They are also assigned to any combination of a number of off-campus affiliated clinics in Tucson for rotations during the first three years of their program. Students then spend all or most of their 4th year assigned to one or more externship sites in Tucson or around the country.
Opportunities for Off-Campus Rotations (1st Three Years of Au.D. Program)
- Arizona Hearing Specialists: The oldest private audiology practice in Tucson, AHS has multiple thriving offices and serves a variety of patients – typically adults who have acquired a hearing loss later in life. Students assigned to this placement have found the experience to be an outstanding opportunity to learn and hone hearing aid dispensing skills.
- Carlson Ear Nose & Throat: Students are regularly assigned to this diverse ENT practice for rotations and externships. They master a variety of skills, including audiologic and vestibular assessment, hearing aid dispensing, and cochlear implant assessment and mapping.
- Carondelet St. Joseph’s Hospital Audiology: Students assigned to St. Joseph’s Hospital work with children and adults in a variety of capacities: Electrophysiologic evaluations of newborns who fail the newborn hearing screening, evaluation and management of children in the Tucson Unified School District, evaluation and management of inpatients in rehabilitation, vestibular/balance assessment of patients seen through their Multidisciplinary Balance Center, and evaluation and management of outpatient adults and children.
- Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital Audiology: Students assigned to the Audiology clinic at St. Mary’s Hospital provide evaluation and management services for inpatient and outpatient adults and children. Additionally, many of the Tucson Unified School District students receive their hearing services through St. Mary’s Hospital.
- Children’s Clinic for Rehabilitative Services (CCRS): This large, multi-specialty clinic includes a substantial audiology practice through which the majority of preschool and many school-aged children in Tucson receive services and hearing aids. Students assigned to CCRS develop strong skills in pediatric behavioral assessment and hearing aid dispensing.
- Center for Hearing Impaired Children (CHIC): All infants, toddlers and young children in Southern Arizona newly identified with permanent hearing loss are referred to CHIC for continued evaluation, audiological and hearing aid services, family intervention, and early childhood education. The community and our students are very lucky to have such a strong, centralized program available.
- Ocotillo Elementary School: Dr. Linda Norrix, Associate Clinical Professor, is contracted to provide evaluative and monitoring services for the preschool students in the Sunnyside School District. She and our audiology students also evaluate the hearing of the young children seen through their Child-Find program.
- Oro Valley Audiology/Tanque Verde Audiology: These busy affiliated private practices regularly take our students both for rotations and externships. They provide evaluation, amplification, and vestibular assessment services to a wide variety of children and adults.
- Southern Arizona VA Healthcare System (VA Hospital, Tucson, AZ): Part of the largest healthcare system in the United States. Nowhere will the student have more opportunity to evaluate and treat adults with hearing loss, tinnitus and balance disorders. You will never see/fit more hearing aids than you do at the VA. The motivated student will gain experience in the following: diagnosing hearing loss – both organic and functional, ABR, VNG, rotational chair testing, hearing aid selection and fitting, hearing assistive technology selection and dispensing, aural rehabilitation, tinnitus management, treating patients with co morbid conditions like PTSD and TBI, and the privilege to serve those who have served in our nation’s military.
- Tucson Ear Nose & Throat (TENT): This is the largest and most varied ENT practice in our community. Students assigned to this fast-paced audiology clinic are involved in a full range of audiological services, including evaluation and hearing instrument dispensing, electrophysiology, vestibular assessment, and cochlear implant evaluation and mapping.
- Tucson Medical Center Audiology (TMC): Although both adults and children are seen at TMC, this is primarily a pediatric center. Students assigned to TMC obtain extensive experience in newborn and pediatric ABR (sedated and unsedated) and behavioral evaluation of children’s hearing.
Our fourth year students have completed externships in a variety of locations in Tucson and around the country. We work closely with students during their third year to identify, evaluate, and facilitate the planning of the externship that completes their clinical preparation. Some of the locations that have accepted our students for externships include:
- Boy’s Town National Research Hospital, Omaha, Nebraska
- Carlson ENT, Tucson, AZ
- Callier Center for Communication Disorders, Dallas, TX
- Colorado Hearing & Balance, Colorado Springs, CO
- Colorado West Otolaryngologists, Grand Junction, CO
- Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY
- Dixie Hearing & Balance, St. George, UT
- Kansas City VA Medical Center, Kansas City, MO
- Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL
- Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, AZ
- Oro Valley Audiology, Tucson, AZ
- Oschner Health Center, New Orleans, LA
- Phoenix Indian Medical Center
- VA Medical Center, Kansas City, MO
- VA Medical Center, Portland, OR
- VA Medical Center, Washington, DC
Community Outreach Opportunities
Hearing Aid Bank
New hearing aids can cost anywhere from $800 to $3,000 per ear, putting them far out of reach for some Pima County families. As a result, the SLHS Hearing Clinic has teamed up with the Tucson Hearing Society , the Community Outreach Program for the Deaf (COPD) and United Way of Greater Tucson to provide reconditioned hearing aids at a drastically reduced cost to those who might not otherwise be able to afford them. Used hearing aids are donated from throughout the community. These devices are evaluated, refurbished and catalogued by the audiologists and students at the U of A Hearing Clinic. Hearing impaired people who qualify for the program are then seen in the clinic for evaluation, appropriate hearing aids are selected from the Bank and impressions are made of their ears for custom fitting. The recased hearing instruments are then fit and adjusted using the latest computerized evaluation equipment. The patients cost is minimal and most follow up services are provided at no charge.
Donating Hearing Aids: The quality of the program depends on the donation of hearing aids. ANY HEARING AID can be used: Older devices are used for parts; custom made instruments can be remade to fit another person’s ear. If you have hearing aids to donate, contact Barbara McDevitt at COPD, 792-1906. You can also contact the SLHS Hearing Clinic directly at 621-7070.
Obtaining Services: If you yourself or someone you know might benefit from hearing aids but cannot afford them, contact Barbara McDevitt at COPD, 792-1906, to qualify. A brief financial summary is required to insure that services are provided to those most in need.
Community Health Fairs
Each year, the SLHS Hearing Clinic participates in annual health fair events. These include the Tucson Festival of Hope and the Healthy Aging Expo. The Festival of Hope is a large scale, multidimensional fair providing health care and screenings, health information and referral service, food, clothing and groceries to Tucson ‘s homeless adults and children.
St. Andrew’s Children’s Clinic
On the first Thursday of every month (except July), St. Andrews Church in Nogales, Arizona, is converted to a multispecialty clinic designed to serve Mexican children who are medically indigent. Professional and other services are provided by more than 200 volunteers and approximately 200 children are seen each month. Services include pediatrics, orthotics, neurology, nutrition, physical and occupational therapy, vision and other specialties. Speech, language and hearing services have been provided by SLHS alumni for approximately 30 years. SLHS faculty and students join with private community volunteers to provide audiological services. Free diagnostic services are provided in a mobile test facility that is equipped with two sound suites. Hearing aids, earmolds and followup services are provided at little or no cost to the children.
SLHS Audiology faculty and students work with personnel from the Sistema de Desarrollo Integral de la Familia (DIF), Manos que Hablan (Hands that talk), and ARSOBO (Arizona-Sonora Border Projects) to serve adults and others who do not qualify for services from St. Andrew’s Clinic. Volunteers from the Tucson community and the U of A cross the border with clinic equipment into Nogales, Sonora, several times per year. Diagnostic services are provided and referrals are made to health care providers in Mexico when appropriate. Hearing aid candidates are provided with used, reconditioned instruments at little or no cost to the clients.