2019 Tennessee Code
Title 63 - Professions of the Healing Arts
Chapter 17 - Licensure Act for Communication Disorders and Sciences
Part 1 - Speech Language Pathologists and Audiologists
§ 63-17-103. Chapter definitions.

Universal Citation: TN Code § 63-17-103 (2019)
  • As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:
    • (1)

      • (A) “Audiologist” means one who practices audiology or one holding oneself out to the public by any title or description of services incorporating the words “audiologist,” “audiology,” “audiological,” “hearing center,” “hearing clinic,” “hearing clinician,” “hearing therapist” or any similar titles or descriptions of service;

      • (B) Nothing in this chapter shall prevent or prohibit any hearing instrument specialist from employing and using such terms as “hearing aid center,” “hearing aid clinic,” “hearing instrument center,” “hearing instrument clinic” or any similar titles or descriptions of services, so long as the word “aid” or “instrument” is incorporated in any such title or description of service and insofar as such terms do not connote qualifications or education for which the hearing instrument specialist does not have valid credentials or do not imply rehabilitative or professional services that the hearing instrument specialist is not qualified to offer;

    • (2) “Board” means the board of communications disorders and sciences;

    • (3) “Person” means any individual, organization or corporate body except that only individuals can be licensed under this chapter;

    • (4)

      • (A) “Practice of audiology” means the nonmedical application of principles, methods and procedures for the assessment of the auditory and vestibular systems, including the interpretation of behavioral and physiologic measures, and the design and implementation of programs of hearing conservation and preservation and programs of habilitation and rehabilitation for auditory and vestibular disorders including the assessment, selection, fitting and sale of amplification systems or other assistive devices and technologies;

      • (B) Nothing in this chapter shall prevent a person licensed under part 2 of this chapter as a hearing instrument dispenser from engaging in the practice of measuring, testing, appraisal, prediction, counseling and instructions related to fitting, usage and dispensing of hearing instruments;

    • (5)

      • (A) “Practice of speech language pathology” means the nonmedical application of principles, methods and procedures for the measurement, testing, assessment, prediction, counseling or instruction related to the development and disorders of speech, voice, language or oral, pharyngeal and laryngeal sensorimotor competencies for the purpose of assessing, preventing, treating, ameliorating or modifying such disorders and conditions in individuals and groups of individuals;

      • (B) The practice of speech language pathology shall include the use of rigid and flexible endoscopes to observe the pharyngeal and laryngeal areas of the throat in order to observe, collect data and measure the parameters of communication and swallowing for the purpose of functional assessment and rehabilitation planning. A speech language pathologist who uses an endoscope shall meet all of the following conditions:

        • (i) Obtain written verification from a board certified otolaryngologist that the speech language pathologist is competent in the proper and safe use of an endoscope. The otolaryngologist's determination of competency shall be based on the speech language pathologist's training in the proper use of endoscopes, the successful completion of a university course or other educational program of at least fifteen (15) hours on endoscopy and the successful performance of at least twenty-five (25) endoscopic procedures under the supervision of an otolaryngologist or another speech language pathologist who has successfully performed at least fifty (50) endoscopic procedures and has been approved in writing by a board-certified otolaryngologist to provide that supervision. The speech language pathologist shall maintain this written verification on file at all times at the primary practice location of the speech language pathologist;

        • (ii) Not perform a procedure utilizing an endoscope unless the patient has been referred to the speech language pathologist by an otolaryngologist or other qualified physician for the performance of the procedure;

        • (iii) Perform only nonoperative procedures with an endoscope;

        • (iv) Have protocols in place for emergency medical backup for every setting in which the speech language pathologist performs a procedure using an endoscope:

          • (a) If the procedure is performed in a community setting such as a physician's office, a physician shall be on the premises and provide onsite supervision; and

          • (b) If the procedure is performed in an institutional setting such as a hospital or nursing home, a physician shall provide general supervision and be readily available in the event of an emergency, including, but not limited to, physical presence at the institution or availability by telephone; and

        • (v) Send to the referring physician in a timely manner a report and visual recording of each endoscopic procedure performed upon referral of that physician. If the referring physician is not an otolaryngologist, the speech language pathologist shall also provide a visual recording of the endoscopic procedure to an otolaryngologist, if directed to do so by the referring physician;

    • (6) “Speech language pathologist” means one who practices speech pathology, one who holds out to the public by any title or description of services incorporating the words “speech language pathologist,” “speech pathologist,” “speech pathology,” “speech therapy,” “speech correction,” “speech correctionist,” “speech therapist,” “speech clinic,” “speech clinician,” “language pathologist,” “language pathology,” “language therapist,” “logopedics,” “logopedist,” “communicology,” “communicologist,” “asphasiologist,” “voice therapy,” “voice therapist,” “voice pathology,” “voice pathologist” or “phoniatrist” or any similar titles or description of services; and

    • (7) “Speech language pathology assistant” means any person who meets minimum qualifications that the board may establish for speech language pathology assistants, which qualifications are less than those established by this chapter as necessary for licensure as a speech language pathologist and who works under the supervision of a licensed speech language pathologist.

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