Ear Nose Throat Specialist

Community and Health

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Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists perform surgery to correct diseases and disorders of the ear, nose and throat. Also known as an ENT specialist, an Otolaryngologist is a physician who specializes in the treatment of diseases of the ear, nose, and throat. Otolaryngologists work with patients of all ages who suffer from diseases in those areas. Future Growth Strong

ANZSCO ID: 253515

Alternative names: Head and Neck Surgeon; Otorhinolaryngologist, ENT Specialist,

Specialisations: Otolaryngologists focusing on the ears treat hearing disorders, infections, balance disorders, nerve pain, ear noise (tinnitus), and cranial nerve disorders.

ENT specialists of the nose deal with patients suffering from chronic sinusitis.

Throat specialists treat diseases of the larynx, esophagus, and upper aero-digestive tract, including swallowing and voice disorders. Medical specialists treating problems in the head and neck regions deal with tumors, infectious diseases, deformities, and facial trauma.

Knowledge, skills and attributes

Aside from being knowledgeable in this field, Otolaryngologists should also have the stamina required to work long hours. They should be able to get along with people and instill confidence, so excellent communication skills is a must. They should also have excellent hand-eye coordination, problem solving skills, and critical thinking. They should also have a strong moral philosophy, and is able to work well under stressful conditions.

To become an ENT Specialist, you would need:

  • Ability to work as part of a team, and to manage and supervise others.
  • Excellent vision and visuospatial awareness.
  • Expert listening skills and the ability to work effectively with people who have communication difficulties.
  • Good organizational capacity.
  • Outstanding hand-eye coordination and manual dexterity.
  • Stamina to sustain a busy and demanding role.

(Source: OkOA)

Duties and Tasks

  • Examines patients to determine the necessity of operations, estimates and explains risks to patients, and selects the best operational procedures.
  • Reviews reports on patients' general physical condition, reactions to medications and medical histories.
  • Consults with anaesthetists regarding the correct anaesthesia for patients.
  • Performs surgical operations.
  • Examines instruments, equipment, and surgical set-up to ensure that antiseptic and aseptic methods have been followed.
  • Instructs other medical, nursing and associated staff regarding the preparation of patients and instrument and equipment requirements.
  • Prescribes post-operative care, and observes and investigates patients' progress.
  • Maintains records of operations performed.
  • May specialise in particular types of operations.

Working conditions

The working conditions of Otolaryngologists vary depending on where they work. Those who work in hospitals could be called in for an emergency surgery so they are on call 24 hours a day. However, those in private practice or joined colleague practice may see patients on their own schedule, allowing flexibility, in the comfort of their own office. Some Otolaryngologists may also find themselves teaching at universities and hospitals, or conducting research in laboratories for pharmaceutical companies.

Tools and technologies

Otorhinolaryngologists use a range of specialised surgical instruments when operating on patients including retractors, forceps, snares, syringes and hooks. They must also wear sterile surgical attire while operating.

Outside of the operating theatre, otorhinolaryngologists use technologies such as X-rays, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans, and Computed Tomography (CT) scans to assist in planning appropriate courses of action and to follow up after surgery.

 An ENT Treatment Unit Set will have the following equipment :-

  • Suction, Fiber Optic Head Band, Sprayer, Fiber Optic Otoscope, Mirror Re-warmer, Instrument Tray, Cold Light source – Double Outlet, Endo Holder, Fiber Optic Cable, Cautery, X-ray Lobby (or) Monitor.

  • Optionally the unit may include – 0 deg. Endoscope, 70deg. Endoscope, CCD Camera, Side Cabinet, Microscope, Patient Chair, Doctor Chair and Video Imaging System.

  • Apart from the above hospital requires – Tympanometer, Nystagmograph (used to diagnose the cause of vertigo / dizziness) and audiometry set-up.

  • Endoscopy equipment such as nasopharyngo-laryngoscope, Sinuscope, video otoscope, Laryngoscope or telelaryngoscope, bronchoscope or esophagoscope may be made available depending on the diagnostic capability the hospital would like to have.


(Source: ENT Houston)

Education and training/entrance requirements

To become an otorhinolaryngologist, you need to first become a qualified medical practitioner and then specialise in otolaryngology head and neck surgery.

To become a medical practitioner, you need to study a degree in medicine. Alternatively, you can study a degree in any discipline followed by a postgraduate degree in medicine.

To specialise in otolaryngology head and neck surgery, doctors must apply to the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) to complete the Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery Surgical Education and Training program.

Did You Know?

Top Ear, Nose, and Throat Facts

1. Your nose is directly connected to the limbic system, the memory center of your brain.
2. Humans are able to detect more than 10,000 types of scents.
3. Sore throats are caused by disease or from swelling of the tonsils or pharynx.
4. Earwax production can increase due to experiencing fear or stress.
5. Approximately 20,000 liters of air passes through an adult’s nose daily.
6. While your nose reaches its main shape by the time you are 19 years old, your nose will still droop and lengthen with time.
7. The bones in your ear, the stapes, malleus, and incus are the smallest in the human body. They are so small that all three bones can fit together on a penny!
8. While your tonsils and adenoids help protect against infections, they have little purpose beyond childhood.
9. There are at least 14 different types of noses.
10. While this number decreases with age, the average human has 12 million olfactory receptor cells.
11. We constantly replenish olfactory receptor cells throughout life.
12. Your nose is able to produce almost one litre of mucus per day.
13. Your ears are not only useful for hearing; they also aid in balance.
14. Your style of sneezing is one of the things that make you unique, as your sneezing style is believed to be genetic.
15. The epiglottis divides the esophagus from the trachea and prevents food or drink from going down the wrong pipe.
(Source: NY Sinus Center)

HSC Biology: The Ear





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Material sourced from
StateUniversity - Careers [Ear, Nose & Throat Specialist;]
Great Sample Resume [Otolaryngologist; ]
Work Chron [Otolaryngologists; ]

PrimedeQ [ENT Medical Equipment;]
The Apprentice Doctor [Becoming an ENT doctor; ]

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