Audiology is study of vestibular and auditory system of the ear. It mainly deals with hearing, balance and other related problems. An audiologist is a person who has acquired professional skills to access the aesthetic of hearing and identify problems if any. They are trained to identify the disorders of the vestibular system that arises from problems in the inner part of the ear. They diagnose the problem if one is having any issues with hearing and offer viable solutions to treat them. Thus audiologists specialize in the following:
- Find out the hearing, tinnitus or balance problem and diagnose the affected area
- Treat the affected area to cure or stop further hearing loss
Services Provided by Audiologist
The services provided by them include:
- Identify hearing problems with the help of various tools, equipment’s and interaction with the patients
- Diagnose the cause of it
- Offer the available treatment options and provide treatment
- Fit the hearing aid and other hearing protection equipment
- Access if cochlear implants are required
- Educate and council parents, patients and caregivers on the treatment technique and how to use and care of the hearing aid
- Consultancy on various communication techniques and reading speeches
- Help design hearing programs and implement them
- Help to identify hearing problems in infants by designing newborn screening programs and educate parents to monitor treatment progress
- Help to educate and counsel deafened adults to cope with the condition and teach communication skills
Audiologists are found working in various places like hospitals, clinics, education centers or government sponsored treatment facilities. They sometimes work with other medical professionals and technicians. Educational institutions and industrial establishments have their own in house doctors for counseling. Audiologists work as counselors in various schools on part time basis where they diagnose students complaining of hearing problem. They sometimes take sessions to educate the kids of proper ear care and dos and don’ts associated with it. They design the hearing safety and screening programs. Many professional industries also invite audiologists to take sessions on hearing and balance. One can also get themselves engaged in research related work as scientists. As more and more advanced hearing aids are coming in the market, one can also find career growth in designing the devices.
Working Hours and Pay
Working hours of most of the audiologists are around 40-50 hours per week depending on the facility they are working in. Others put in extra time depending on the number of patients or any seminar or sessions they are taking up. Many work part time and working hours for them depend on the agreement between the employer and the practitioner. Pay depends on the hours put in for work. For beginners the pay is according to market standards. The more the experience, the greater is the pay scale. Again seminars and sessions or consultation outside regular work fetches more money and recognition. Those working in research field have option of high income once settled and get design patents.
Education, Qualification And Skills
Audiologist needs to have the skills and knowledge pertaining to identification and evaluation, treatment, counselling, consultation and education. The educational requirement might vary a little from country to country. However, a masters or bachelor’s degree in science is desirable. Bachelors or Masters in audiology, Bachelors or Masters in Clinical Physiology are some of the basic criteria. There are some diploma courses for audiology that are also considered. In some places they are required to be a member of a professional body. Good communication skills add to one’s credibility.