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Say what?…..Audiology

January 11, 2012

“What? I can’t hear you? Talk slower, so I can read your lips.” 

“A-U-D-I-O-L-O-G-I-S-T”

When it comes time to learn sign language, it is time to see an Audiologist. Millions of people struggle with hearing disabilities. It is up to an Audiologist to diagnose their problem and properly outfit them with a hearing aid.

Audiologists perform a wide variety of tasks, focused towards different hearing disabilities as well as age groups. They use computers and audiometers, to test patients hearing. The test determines what sounds a patient can hear, volume and impact of balance problems. These problems can occur from exposure to loud noise or a genetic disorder.

After they have diagnosed the problem, they are able to provide different forms of treatment. Advising patients to use hearing aids, implants, fitting tuning cochlear and cleaning ear canals, is just a few of the options an audiologist can advise. They can also help patients with rehabilitation, by teaching communication skills and counseling patients on how to cope with their hearing loss.

Most audiologists work in specialized fields, dedicated towards certain age groups, such as elderly, children or providing therapy. Other forms of audiology, help discover new kinds of hearing disorders, while others work towards creating a new treatment.

Training and Job Qualifications

To become an audiologist, students must acquire a masters degree in audiology as well as a U.S. license to practice. The examination is given by the Praxis Series of Educational Testing Services and must be passed. After a student graduates, they need to acquire 375 hours of clinical experience, which is supervised by a professional. In the first several months, the student will help by being a medical assistant to an audiologist.

An audiologist must be able to communicate test results, diagnoses and propose treatment. Approaching problems objectively, while providing support to patient and family, is key. A patients progress might be slow, showing patients compassion, is a necessary skill towards building trust.

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