Whether you need a basic hearing test or you’re worried that you may have a serious hearing problem, an audiologist is your go-to hearing care specialist for any hearing-related problem. To gain their title, they have to be highly educated, highly-qualified, and able to provide a wide range of hearing-related services to patients.
Audiology is the branch of medical science which deals with hearing, hearing disorders, and balance issues. This field of study pertains to hearing and balance at large and doesn’t designate a particular age group. It’s a profession that uses the knowledge of hearing, sound, and balance to treat and rehabilitate patients who suffer from related disorders.
One aspect that seems to stand out to most people is that audiology deals with balance disorders. The majority of balance issues originate in the inner ear. As a result, those who study audiology are the most qualified to help treat those with an ear-related balance problem.
All in all, audiology is a scientific field that has seen rapid growth in the past 50 years, thanks to technological developments. Those who wish to enter this field should have an interest in medical science, communication, working with others, and complex problem-solving.
What is an Audiologist?
In the simplest possible terms, an audiologist is a hearing doctor that provides services to both adults and children. Their job is to help patients with anything related to their hearing, including, but not limited to, evaluating, diagnosing, treating, and educating their patients on hearing loss. If you think your hearing may be problematic on any level, an audiologist can help you.
Administering hearing tests is one of the most common services an audiologist provides. This practice allows them to get precise data on the status of your hearing, and if you require any special treatment. They can also assist with most forms of hearing treatment, such as fitting hearing aids, programming hearing implants, and even monitoring ear-related surgeries.
Audiologists often work in hospitals and through private practices, but they also can be found working in K-12 schools, universities, and even military hospitals. Since they are educated to treat nearly all types of hearing loss, they will know how to best advise you based on the specific nature of your hearing.
Requirements to Become an Audiologist
Becoming an audiologist is no easy task, and it requires extensive education for you to become fully qualified. For starters, you need a doctoral degree. These days, all aspiring audiologists are required to get an Au.D (Doctor of Audiology) degree to specialize in all aspects of the profession.
In addition to those many years of study, audiologists also need to have a state-verified certification. This certification ensures that the person is fully qualified to take on the responsibilities of this profession. To get a state-verified certification, a candidate has to do a few hundred hours of supervised clinicals, pass a national exam, and complete nine months of post-grad clinical experience.
It’s plain to see that becoming an audiologist requires motivation, hard work, and dedication to one’s field of study. Many states also require ongoing education and career development even after an audiologist receives their certification. But why are the requirements so intense?
An audiologist needs to be able to address any hearing problem with confidence, expertise, and certainty. The way they treat a patient with a high-risk hearing problem could mean the difference between saving that person’s hearing or not. It’s a position of great responsibility, and that’s why the requirements are so rigorous.