Audiology Infection Control: What Do You Suggest We Do When….

between_a_rock_and_a_hard_place_w450h450The following question posed by AuD students during an infection control presentation has been popping up, in one form or another, more often: “What do you suggest we do when we, as students, are at a clinical site that doesn’t practice infection control?” Since the question is being asked, AuD students are obviously finding themselves in situations whereby some clinical sites are perceived as not practicing standard infection control procedures. Whether or not that is the case, the suggestion has been made for those students to simply ask for what they need in order to provide patient care in a manner consistent with minimizing the spread of disease.  For example, ask if gloves or disinfectant towelettes are available; these are products that most clinical settings should have available and asking to use something that is readily available is perfectly acceptable.

resourcesBeyond the awkwardness an AuD student may feel in this particular scenario, the practicing audiologist may also feel awkward or perhaps slightly intimidated.  Twenty-five years ago the need for infection control in the audiology clinic was essentially left unaddressed.  Since then, standard infection control precautions have been modified beyond blood borne pathogens to include ubiquitous microorganisms such as Staphylococcus, Audiology scope of practice has evolved, and implementing infection control protocols in the Audiology clinic have become an expected part of routine practice. For more information on this topic, please refer to the following resources addressing infection control in the Audiology Clinic:

Free-to-view Webinars/ at AudiologyOnline:

1. Infection Control Part I: Why Audiologists Need to Do It (Recording of Live Webinar)

2. Infection Control Part II: What Audiologists Need to Do (Recording of Live Webinar)

3. Infection Control Part I: Why Audiologists Need to Do It (Text/Transcript of Course)

4. Infection Control Part II: What Audiologists Need to Do (Text/Transcript of Course)

Practice Guidelines/Policy Documents:

1. Infection Control in Audiological Practice (AAA)

2. Infection Control in Audiology (ASHA)

Articles/Blog Posts of Interest:

1. What’s Growing on Your Patients’ Hearing Aids?

2. Hearing Aids: lick ’em and stick ’em? (page 12-13)

3. FAQs about Infection Control (page 17-19)

4. ABC’s of Infection Control

5. Is a Written Infection Control Plan Necessary (uhm, Yes)

6. Five Key Points of Infection Control


1. Infection Control in the Hearing Aid Clinic by Bankaitis & Kemp

2. Infection Control in the Audiology Clinic (2nd ed) by Bankaitis & Kemp

3. Infection Control for Speech-Language Pathology by Bankaitis, Kemp, Krival & Bandaranayake

About AU Bankaitis

A.U. Bankaitis, PhD is a clinical Audiologist with extensive clinical, research, and business experience within the hearing industry. Dr. Bankaitis created this blog to educate her colleagues on viable product solutions for their patients and/or clinical practice.
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One Response to Audiology Infection Control: What Do You Suggest We Do When….

  1. When you see something, Say Something. If that means a whistleblower call to the State Department of Health, so be it.
    When you look at Kermit Gosnell’s Woman’s Medical Society in Philadelphia (and setting aside the top four counts in his conviction), many of the counts dealt with unsanitary conditions, including a catbox in one of the surgical rooms. What’s more, these went as far back as 1979, meaning dozens of employees over the years witnessed these conditions… And nobody dropped a dime.
    When you have an AuD intern ask you this question, answer them with a question:
    Could you look yourself in the mirror if a patient actually died due to an infection triggered by the conditions?

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