Challenges and Successes of an Audio-Technician Training Program in Guatemala
07 April 2020 (online)
Hearing healthcare outreach in developing countries is ill defined and inundated with sustainability challenges. One method to facilitate sustainable efforts is by training local personnel on certain aspects of hearing healthcare. The purpose of this descriptive study was to identify the challenges and successes of an audio-technician training program conducted in various regions throughout Guatemala. A collaboration was created between Healing the Children, Centro de Audicion, the University of Washington, and Gallaudet University to create a learning environment for Guatemalan audio-technicians and audiology graduate students. Administration of the audio-technician training component of this program began in 2008 and continues today. Challenges and successes were identified around five themes: (1) audio-technician recruitment and skills upon entering training program; (2) practical and logistical components of clinical training; (3) collaboration and resources for ongoing care; (4) funding for travel, time, and accommodation for personnel involved in training sessions; and (5) cultural differences surrounding our approach to hearing healthcare and training. Approaches to overcome the barriers identified and future directions are discussed.
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