During the first year, students receive clinical training as part of their normal course load. For instance, they will take part in laboratory exercises in: AUD 6010 (Admittance), AUD 6410 (Basic Evaluation), AUD 6411 (Clinical Laboratory 1), AUD 6412 (Clinical Laboratory 2), AUD 6430 (Principles of Amplification), and AUD 7990 (Directed Study). In all of these except AUD 7990, students learn techniques and procedures required to perform Audiologic Tests. In AUD 7990, students are assigned to a participating Audiology Clinic within the Detroit-Metro area for observation and orientation. It is at this location that students begin to receive training with direct patient contact. At the discretion of supervisors, students begin to provide some basic services to patients seen in the clinic. This activity which occurs during the Spring-Summer semester is part of a 12-hour per week placement.
During the second year, students are assigned to a participating training site for 20 hours per week. At this time, students begin to provide basic and intermediary clinical services to patients that are judged by their supervisors to be within the skill level of the student. In addition to providing basic levels of service such as routine audiometry, admittance, and some hearing aid service, students are observing and assisting staff in more advanced services such as electrophysiology, hearing aid dispensing, electronystagmagraphy, and patients requiring more difficult management steps.
In the third year, students are placed in clinical settings that require them to provide service to a wide variety of patients. All ages are represented, as are all levels of challenge and difficulty. The clinical activity involves the complete gamut of service that the audiologist can be expected to encounter when they are practicing as independent health care providers. It should be emphasized that students are still working under direct and constant supervision. There is a change that occurs during this year. Prior to the third year, students function as more of a clinical technician. During the third year, however, they become more responsible for case management, including rehabilitation strategies, referrals to other health care providers, and decision-making that define the professional audiologist.
The fourth year is a full-time clinical placement. Ideally, this setting is one where students encounter all of the clinical situations and circumstances that can be anticipated during their professional careers. Students are provided with a level of supervision that is appropriate to the clinical situation. Although this is an academic experience, it is best viewed as a transition from training to independent practice in Audiology.