A 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.
Responsibilities of an Audiologist
Responsibilities of an audiologist include:
- Conducting hearing, language, and speech evaluation examination to patients.
- Collecting information about nature or level of impairment through scientific instruments and automated equipment.
- Evaluating hearing disorders to reach a diagnosis and provide treatment options.
- Guiding patients to improve hearing impairment including sign language and lip reading.
- Inspecting and cleaning patients ear canals.
- Fit and distribute helping tools like hearing aid to meet patients goals
- Maintaining patients records from initial evaluation to discharge.
- Monitoring patients treatment progress to release them from treatment when goals are achieved.
- If necessary, refer the patient to supplementary medical or education services
- Supervising and educating audiology students and health care workers.
Qualifications of an Audiologist
To become an professional audiologist you must need:
- Doctoral degree in Audiology (Au.D.)
- Current Audiology License
- Certificate of clinical competence in Audiology (CCC-A)
- 3-5 years of experience of working with patients in a health care setting
- Excellent bedside manner
- Empathy and patience to help in calming the patient
- Ability to interact with patients even the patient has worse hearing or speech issues
- Excellent critical thinking and problem-solving skills
- Detail orienting with exceptional record keeping skills
An audiologist must be licensed in all of the states following the completion of their education. Licensing requirements are different from state to state.
An audiologist can also earn a certificate of CCC-A through the American Speech-Language Association.However this not certification is not required in all cases, it is required by some of the states and employers.
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.
Most of the audiologists work full time. But some audiologist works on weekends and evenings to meet the patient’s needs.
The audiologist who works on a contract basis might spend a lot of time traveling between the facilities.
For instance, if an audiologist is contracted by a school system then he/she have to travel between different schools to provide services.
What to Expect
If you became an audiologist or you are planning to then below are some factors that you should keep in mind:
- You will generally work in a hospital consultation room, but it is also possible to work in universities in a research or teaching role.
- You would not usually have to travel but you might need to visit other hospitals or clinic
- If you are on a senior level, you might need to travel to local and national meetings and events to provide training and giving presentations.
- You will need to feel comfortable working with patients who might in distress.
- Audiology is a frequently developing field as the number of people suffering from hearing disorders is increasing
Employment of audiologists is estimated to grow 34% from 2012 to 2022 much faster than the average of all occupations. However, this fast growth will result in only 4300 new jobs because it is a small occupation.
Hearing loss & technology is increasing with age so an aging population is likely to have a higher demand for the audiologists. The early identification and diagnosis of hearing disorders in children will also stimulus employment growth.