An Audiologist is a licensed health care professional who diagnoses hearing loss, balance problems and vestibular system conditions of the ear. They are trained to diagnose, prevent and manage these conditions. After a review of your health history and a hearing evaluation, an audiologist will determine if your condition might be medically treatable. If your condition is not medically treatable, they will make recommendations for treatment which might include the use of hearing aids, listening devices, balance therapy and aural rehabilitation.
What Education is Required to Become an Audiologist?
Audiologists need to have either a masters or doctoral degree in audiology from an accredited university. They are regulated by state licensure or registration in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The profession’s requirements are transitioning into requiring a doctorate as the initial degree to practice audiology.
Minimum requirements for the degree include:
- A minimum of 75 semester hours of post-baccalaureate study
- Meeting prescribed competencies
- Passing a national exam given by Praxis Series of the Educational Testing Service
- Teaching programs that are equivalent to a minimum of 12 months of full-time, supervised experience.
Audiologists will also earn a certificate from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association or through the American Board of Audiology (ABA). To remain licensed, most states have continuing education and renewal requirements that must be met.
Where do Audiologists Work?
Audiologists will work in a variety of settings:
- Hospitals and medical centers
- Schools and universities
- Clinics and rehabilitation facilities
- Cochlear implant centers and speech and hearing centers
- Private audiology practices, otolaryngology (ENT physician) and hearing aid dispensing offices
- Hearing aid manufacturing facilities
What is a Typical Day for an Audiologist?
In a 40-50 hour work week, Audiologists are involved in the testing, diagnosis and management of hearing loss in patients of all ages. An audiologist can refer their patients to physicians when the history and results of their audiometric evaluation show the possibility of a serious condition. They also dispense hearing aids and listening devices, counsel families through any new diagnosis of hearing loss, and help educate about managing of the patient’s condition. Audiologists help minimize the negative effect of these disorders for their patients, leading to improved outcomes.
How to Choose an Audiologist
Now that you know what an Audiologist does, learn more about how to choose the right Audiologist for your hearing loss needs.
Our experienced staff is here to listen to your needs and show you the ways that we can improve your hearing and quality of life. Schedule an appointment for complete hearing tests, including balance testing, at our main office in Mason City, or at any of our other locations throughout northern Iowa and Albert Lea, Minnesota. We look forward to serving you.