CSHBC has become aware that hearing aid manufacturers may be offering to ship hearing aids directly to clients during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The process of obtaining a hearing aid requires thorough initial evaluation and testing as well as post-fitting care with a Registered Hearing Instrument Practitioner (RHIP). These services provided by RHIPs are critical components to obtaining a hearing aid.
Obtaining a hearing aid online and receiving it through the mail, or using another over-the-counter (OTC) method without the assistance of an RHIP, undermines this process, may pose safety risks, and jeopardizes the effectiveness of hearing aids.
In British Columbia, only qualified RHIPs registered with CSHBC are legally allowed to dispense hearing aids or use the professional titles reserved for College registrants under the Speech and Hearing Health Professionals Regulation.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, CSHBC registrants who dispense hearing aids must use clinical judgement to determine whether a client is presenting with an urgent or emergent concern. Urgent and emergent concerns may be addressed, providing that infection control precautions, such as handwashing, cough etiquette, and cleaning/disinfection of surfaces are carried out. The need for and use of personal protective equipment (PPE) must also be considered when offering in person, emergent, and urgent services.
For more information, please contact CSHBC at firstname.lastname@example.org.