Audiology is the study of hearing and balance disorders. Audiologists, also known as hearing doctors, are health care professionals who diagnose, treat, and manage hearing disorders.
Keep reading to learn more about audiologists and what you need to do to become one.
What Audiologists Do
Audiologists are professionals who diagnose, manage and treat hearing loss and other ear disorders. Audiologists may work in various settings, including hospitals, clinics, schools, or private practices.
Hearing doctors work with patients to diagnose and treat hearing impairments. This kind of ear doctor performs tests to determine the nature and extent of a patient’s hearing loss.
They then develop treatment plans that may include prescribing hearing devices, helping patients learn how to use those devices, and providing therapy to improve communication skills. Some hearing doctors also conduct research on hearing disorders.
Getting the Necessary Education
There are a few ways to become a hearing doctor. The most common path is to earn a bachelor’s degree in audiology or a related field, such as speech-language pathology or communication sciences and disorders.
The next step is earning a doctorate called an AuD. This typically requires four years of graduate study. After completing a doctoral program, graduates must pass an exam from the Council for Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) in order to be credentialed as audiologists.
Some states also require hearing doctors to be licensed or certified. Requirements vary by state but may include passing an exam and meeting certain educational requirements. Most audiologists including audiologists in West Orange, NJ, must have an AuD and be certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
Getting Certified by the ASHA
After completing a graduate degree program, students must complete a clinical externship and pass an exam from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) in order to be credentialed as audiologists.
The ASHA is a professional, nonprofit organization that is dedicated to the scientific study of human communication and its disorders. The ASHA offers a variety of certifications, including the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology (CCC-A) and the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP).
In order to become certified by the ASHA, audiologists must meet a variety of eligibility requirements. They must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university, and they must complete an accredited graduate program in audiology. They must also pass an examination.
Audiologists who are certified by the ASHA are held to a high standard of professionalism and ethical conduct. They are required to adhere to the Association’s Code of Ethics, which sets forth the principles that guide the profession.
These certification programs are highly respected and are recognized by many professional organizations. Certification is an important credential that helps audiologists stand out from the competition and demonstrates their commitment to excellence in the field.
Completing an Internship or Residency
Audiologists usually have to complete an internship or residency to gain the necessary experience and training to work in this highly-specialized field. During their internship or residency, audiologists learn about different hearing disorders and how to treat them. They also learn about the latest technology used to diagnose and treat hearing problems. In addition, they may receive training in psychology and speech-language pathology. After completing their internship or residency, audiologists are eligible to become licensed audiologists.
Choosing the Right School
The audiology field is growing rapidly, and as a result, more and more colleges are starting to offer audiology programs. As you might expect, not all colleges have audiology programs. College Guidance Services can help aspiring hearing doctors find and get accepted into the best college to suit their career needs.
In a nutshell, there is more than one path to becoming a hearing doctor, but it almost always involves a bachelor’s degree, a graduate program, and a certification process.