A Fragmented Profession within the System of Professions: The Experience of the Audiology Professional in the United Kingdom
MetadataShow full item record
The main purpose of this study was to explore the lived experience of audiology professionals in the United Kingdom. For the purposes of this study an audiology professional is defined as someone who completed a United Kingdom or International course/training pathway in audiology and who is working in the UK. The definition can include audiologists, hear(ing) care assistants, hearing aid dispensers, hearing therapists and clinical scientists. Audiology professionals working in Higher Education were also included. Working in two different contexts with similar and dissimilar aspects of role descriptions, as well as boundaries of practice led to the research question: What is the experience of audiology professionals in becoming and being an audiology professional in the United Kingdom? The following strands narrowed the focus of the study and helped to identify the appropriate methodological approach: 1. The experience of becoming an audiology professional 2. The experience of being an audiology professional 3. The impact of change in education pathways and service delivery on the audiology professional The research question was explored through an Exploratory Sequential Mixed Methods approach starting with interviews of eight participants followed by a survey circulated to the wider profession with 329 respondents. Data analysis consists of interpretive phenomenological analysis of the interviews and descriptive statistics for the surveys. The results from both stages will be discussed in relation to the sociology of professions, specifically Abbott’s (1988) system of professions with elements of Bourdieu’s social world theory (1985). The results sketch a fragmented profession divided by titles, professional organisations, and regulatory bodies as well as many education pathways across the private sector and the NHS.