Customer Story

Auditdata Helps South Devon College Train the Next Generation of Audiologists

University Centre South Devon (UCSD), part of South Devon College offers hearing aid audiology as a foundation degree and higher-level apprenticeship in Hearing Aid Audiology. UCSD uses Auditdata's software and hardware to train audiology students and prepare them for careers in hearing clinics. Participants in this program learn valuable information about audiology, including practical hands-on lessons using Auditdata’s software and equipment.

Auditdata sat down with Antonio Giulio Specchia, Program Lead & Coordinator/Hearing Aid Audiology at UCSD, to talk about how they’re using Auditdata's solutions to teach their students about delivering top-quality hearing care. 

South Devon And Auditdata Primus

Using Auditdata’s intuitive, user-friendly solutions in the classroom

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UCSD uses a blended learning delivery for their audiology courses. Students attend live lectures, then tune into online, pre-recorded lectures presented by teaching staff.

Practical skill sessions are in person on campus, where students learn how to administer hearing exams, work with teaching staff and peers who are posing as patients, and get hands-on experience with Pure Tone Audiometry, Real Ear Measurements, masking, tympanometry, fitting and hearing aid testing, and other essential audiology skills.   

The UCSD audiology team depends on Auditdata’s solutions – including Primus Pro, Primus Ice, HIT box, Entomed Tympanometer, and Auditbase – in their audiology courses. 

"One of the main reasons that we use Primus is that it’s very intuitive and easy for students to use and learn. They only have a short period of time in the program with us, so they need to get the most out of it."

Antonio (1)

Antonio Giulio Specchia

Program Lead & Coordinator/Hearing Aid Audiology

Antonio explained that they simulate real hearing exams in the class. During the mock hearing appointments, students use Auditdata's hearing instruments and fitting software while being evaluated by teaching staff on their ability to identify landmarks, make proper diagnoses, and provide appropriate advice to their "patients. This hands-on experience allows students to get a real feel for Auditdata's solutions and their capabilities. As a result, some students choose to continue using Auditdata's solutions after their education.

The students are instructed to download information on Auditdata’s solutions from the Auditdata website to familiarize themselves with the software prior to the first class. Then, the teaching staff usually spend about two hours on a short tutorial reviewing Auditdata’s solutions in class, which Antonio said is long enough because the software is very easy to understand and navigate.

Teaching the whole patient process

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UCSD's teaching staff teaches the students how to use the Auditbase Hospital Clinic Management System as well as the Primus equipment.

“Since we’re delivering a practical unit, we need to show the students how smoothly everything works,” Antonio explained.  “So, when we first started working with the Auditdata software, we grabbed a bunch of colleagues and tested to be sure everything was working properly, which it was. Then, we set everything up so it’s successful for our students.”

The teaching staff shows their students the clinical workflows within Auditdata’s software, so they understand how to follow this guide when they work in the clinics.

"We don’t practice the entire customer journey with our students. That’s what they do with their employers, as part of their training, we teach them how to work with the individual modules within the Auditdata software. We show them the whole process from history taking, forms, using equipment like the otoscope, and progressing into the series of tests, like REM."

Antonio (1)

Antonio Giulio Specchia

Program Lead & Coordinator/Hearing Aid Audiology

Industry trends are driving future plans

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One industry trend – which is significantly impacting the UK – is that clinics are having a hard time recruiting audiologists. The UCSD program aims to help drive more talented, well-educated people towards careers in audiology. Their audiology courses and practical skills sessions are preparing students to work in hearing practices, where their knowledge and capabilities are in high demand.

UCSD is considering adding another course on hearing screeners, which Antonio believes is an important facet of the audiology industry that today’s students should understand.

In the future, UCSD wants to include more speech testing options in their courses, which some of their partner companies have requested. These partner companies often hire the college’s audiology students after they get their audiology degree and want to ensure that the students are familiar with the most commonly used speech tests before they graduate.

Auditdata will support UCSD with this request, providing equipment to train in everything from QuickSIN to full speech tests.  The students will be able to access Auditdata’s various speech testing options, which allows audiologists to upload their own Speech Files for pediatric patients, which provides hands-on practice in the classroom.

Auditdata’s SWAP Service eliminates downtime

One of the most important metrics, according to Antonio, is that Auditdata’s SWAP calibration service eliminates their equipment downtime. 

Prior to using Auditdata’s software, UCSD had to calibrate their equipment over the summer, which meant that they couldn’t run the course year-round. Calibration was a time-consuming endeavor with their former vendor. As a result, they couldn’t use their audiology equipment while it was being serviced and, therefore, couldn’t offer the audiology courses during this downtime.

"Now, with Auditdata and its SWAP calibration service, we can run our audiology courses over the summer, as well as during the school year, which means we can increase the number of students that take our classes. The SWAP calibration is a great option and a great plus for us."

Antonio (1)

Antonio Giulio Specchia

Program Lead & Coordinator/Hearing Aid Audiology

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