0A licensed hearing professional who is specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss and balance disorders in adults, as well as children, is known as Audiologist.
Audiologists possess extensive knowledge of human auditory and vestibular systems. They also have the best training in sound reproduction, which is important to the accurate fitting and adjustment of hearing aids.
The audiologist offers the following services:
- Hearing exams
- Fitting, adjustment, and maintenance of hearing aids
- Treatment of Tinnitus and balance disorder
- Hearing and speech rehabilitation programs
What Audiologists Do?
Audiologist manages, diagnose and treats a patient’s hearing, balance or related ear problems. The duties of an audiologist include:
- Examination of patients who have hearing, balance or any other ear problem
- Evaluate the results of the examination and diagnose problems
- Determine the treatment to meet patients goal
- Providing treatment for tinnitus, a condition that causes ringing in the ear
- Fit and respect hearing aids
- Give counseling to patients and their families on ways to listen and communicate like lip reading or through technology
- Assess patients regularly to check on their hearing and balance and to continue change treatments plans
- Record the patient’s progress
- Search the causes and treatment of hearing and balance disorder
- Guide patients on ways to prevent hearing loss
What are the Qualities of an Audiologist?
Some important qualities for audiologists include:
- Communication Skills because they need to communicate test results, diagnosis, and proposed treatments so that their patients can clearly understand the situation and options. Communication skills are also important because they need to work with other healthcare providers and education specialists regarding patients care.
- Compassion is a necessity because audiologist works with patients who might be frustrated or emotional due to their hearing or balance problems. In this type of case, the audiologist should be empathetic and supportive of patients and their family.
- Critical-thinking skills should be available in an audiologist because they must concentrate when testing a patient’s hearing and should be able to analyze each patient’s situation, this will help them to offer the best treatment. They should also be able to provide alternative plans if patients do not respond to the initial treatment.
- Patience is also a necessary thing for audiologist because they have to work with patients who need a lot of time and special attention.
- Problem-solving skills must be there in an audiologist because they have to figure out the causes of hearing and balance problems and determine the suitable treatment to address them.
What type of Education Needed to Become an Audiologist?
The new audiologist must get a doctorate in order to begin practicing. The doctoral degree in audiology is a graduate program of 4 years that you can pursue while having a bachelor’s degree in any field.
Some audiology programs also allow you to specialize in an area of interest like pediatric, geriatric, or educational audiology. The related coursework will include classes like:
- Anatomy and Physiology: Peripheral Hearing
- Signals, Systems & Acoustics for the communication science
- Biological foundation of Speech & Music
- Clinical Practice and Practicum
During the course, your first year or two will include observations, clinical orientation, written qualifying exam, and a practical assessment. After this, your third and fourth year will offer hands-on experience through your externship and internship.
What is the Salary of an Audiologist?
Salary of an audiologist depends on education, experience, work setting, and geographical location. According to a survey that is conducted by ASHA ( American Speech-Language-Hearing ) in 2014:
- The median salary of an ASHA-certified audiologist with 1-3 years of experience was $65,053/year.
- An audiologist with a doctorate earned over $1,07,574/year.
- An audiologist at administrative position earned over $1,00,465/year.