The Role and Certification of a Hearing Conservationist

The Certified Hearing Conservationist

The certified hearing conservationist plays an important role on the team. He is responsible for implementing the audiometric testing program, providing education, and ensuring that all HCP regulations are met.

This course includes the official CAOHC 5th edition Hearing Conservation Manual textbook, study guide, additional electronic study materials and hearing protection devices.

Certification Requirements

Typically, an occupational hearing conservationist (COHC) works directly with noise-exposed employees to conduct audiometric testing and fit/verify hearing protection devices. These individuals also educate employees and enforce hearing loss prevention programs, as well as maintain records within the company’s hearing conservation program. COHCs are familiar with regulations from governmental agencies such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Mine Safety and Health Administration and the Department of Defense.

To become a Certified Occupational Hearing Conservationist, you must attend a Council for Accreditation in Occupational Hearing Conservation (CAOHC)-approved 20-hour certification course. CAOHC courses are offered online with instruction, audiometric practicum and a standardized exam conducted via Zoom meetings. You will need access to a computer for the duration of the course and a webcam for video conference instruction. This includes laptops and desktop computers. Mobile phones, tablets and external webcams are not recommended. Click on the registration page link below to choose your desired course date.

Coursework

Although an audiology degree is required for becoming a certified occupational hearing conservationist, supplementary coursework can be a good way to become familiar with the field. Various seminars and courses are offered by professional organizations that can help individuals understand the regulations that govern noise exposure, as well as strategies for prevention of occupational hearing loss.

Many of these classes are designed to train professionals that work directly in a company’s HCP such as nurses, physicians, industrial hygienists, safety managers and human resource personnel. The courses are taught by experienced CAOHC instructors and cover topics such as defining a program, federal & state regulations, testing, hearing protection and fit-verification, education, and training.

e3 Occupational Health Solutions facilitates over 70 NIOSH and CAOHC certification and re-certification courses throughout the country to make it easier for workers to attend. Attendees learn all aspects of their role in an HCP, as well as gaining hands-on experience with the audiologist’s practice and the procedures used in the testing room.

Exam

Occupational hearing conservationists are trained to administer pure-tone air conduction audiometric testing and associated duties. Upon completion of the CAOHC-approved, 20-hour full certification course, students take an assessment-based certificate exam. The exam questions are unique to the information presented during the course.

e3 Occupational Health Solutions facilitates CAOHC courses at the Bayne-Jones Army Community Hospital at Fort Polk in Louisiana and across the nation. Our CAOHC courses include hands-on training on the Forced Whisper Test, a practicum, and time spent with an audiometer to learn how to set up, check calibration, and use it.

Certified occupational hearing conservationists are a vital member of the hearing loss prevention team. They are usually supervised by a physician or audiologist but play an important role by being closely involved with noise-exposed workers and their activities. They perform audiometric testing, fit hearing protection, provide education, and enforce the hearing conservation program (HCP) compliance. Certified Occupational Hearing Conservationists can be audiologists, physicians, occupational health nurses, industrial hygienists, human resources directors, or workplace safety officers.

Practicum

The practicum is a significant portion of the training necessary to become a certified hearing conservationist. A student must find an onsite supervisor to act as a mentor during their practicum. It is important that the onsite supervisor and student work well together. Students should take time to meet with their supervisors before starting the practicum and make sure they get along.

It is also recommended that students keep a journal during their practicum to help them reflect on the experience. This can be a great way to connect their practical experiences with the theories they have learned in school.

Our COOHC course is designed to educate, train and certify Occupational Hearing Conservationists (OHC) in conducting audiometric tests, fitting and verifying hearing protection devices, and educating/training employees on the use of their company’s hearing conservation program. It is an OSHA, MSHA, FRA and DoD recognized certification course. It includes training on the Forced Whisper test and how to set up, check the calibration, and use an audiometer.

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