Audiologist

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Audiometrist

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Organising and ClericalHelping or AdvisingAnalytic or ScientificSkill Level 5

Audiologists identify, assess and provide the non-medical management and rehabilitation for hearing and balance problems, and other communication-related disorders among people of all Future Growth Very Strong ages.

Audiologists carry out a number of tasks including audiometric testing, prescribing hearing aids and providing rehabilitation plans for patients. Audiologists may also work with industry to develop noise control and hearing conservation practices.

ANZSCO ID & Description: 252711: Provides diagnostic assessment and rehabilitative services related to human hearing defects (registration or licensing is required).


Knowledge, skills and attributes

An audiologist needs:

  • to be able to manage the non-medical and rehabilitation of hearing loss and associated communication disorders
  • knowledge of noise control and hearing conservation in industry
  • to liaise with other health professionals such as otologists (ear specialists), speech pathologists, teachers, psychologists and doctors
  • to inspire confidence and cooperation
  • a sympathetic and tactful approach
  • good communication skills
  • analytical ability

Examining child

Duties and Tasks


Audiologists may perform the following tasks:

  • establish a client's problems with hearing and listening by conducting interviews and studying background information (such as medical history)
  • assess the extent of hearing loss and location of the problem using a wide range of techniques, including audiometric tests such as air and bone conduction tests
  • report results of assessment and testing in writing and make referrals to medical practitioners
  • provide rehabilitation programmes, such as counselling and guidance, for the hearing-impaired and their families
  • assess hearing levels of workers, such as pilots or members of the armed forces, when required by employers
  • prescribe, fit and evaluate hearing aids and other devices, such as cochlear implants
  • provide training in communication strategies such as lip reading and in the use of auditory and other devices
  • conduct follow-up consultations after hearing aids have been fitted to ensure clients receive the clearest amplification
  • assist with the development and management of noise control and hearing conservation strategies in industry
  • act as consultants on industrial compensation claims for work-related hearing loss
  • undertake scientific research related to sound and hearing
    teach the science of audiology and its practice
  • direct projects and act as consultants to other professional groups
  • supervise student audiologists.

 

Working conditions

Audiologists are employed in both public and private settings. They often work with other medical practitioners who specialise in ear, nose and throat disorders. Audiologists liaise with other health professionals such as otologists (ear specialists), speech pathologists, psychologists and doctors, as well as staff in educational settings. They may travel to country areas where there are no resident audiologists.

Tools and Technologies

Audiologists need to be familiar with a variety of technological equipment including audiometers, screening units, aural probes, hearing-aid analysers and ophthalmoscopes. Audiology testing environments need to be appropriately structured and free of electrical interference.

Education and training

To become an audiologist, you usually need to complete a degree in biomedical science, human biology, speech pathology, physiology, linguistics or a related field, followed by a postgraduate qualification in audiology.
Most universities in Australia offer relevant undergraduate courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.


Did You Know?

On each side of your head is the auditory system, one of the most beautifully designed organs in the human body.

The auditory system not only detects sound, but is closely tied to the vestibular system, which helps a person with balance, and knowing how his or her body is moving through space.

Hearing Aid
Audiologists detect, diagnose, and develop treatment plans for people of all ages who have problems with hearing, balance, or spatial positioning. This important work impacts how well a person is able to communicate and function at home, school, and work.
(Source: Science Buddies)


10 Fun Facts About Hearing

1 Fish do not have ears, but they can hear pressure changes through ridges on their body.

2 The ear’s malleus, incus and stapes (otherwise known as the hammer, anvil and stirrup) are the smallest bones in the human body. All three together could fit together on a penny [5 cent piece].

Parts of the Ear
(Source: Forward Thinking)
3 The ear continues to hear sounds, even while you sleep.

4 Sound travels at the speed of 1,130 feet per second, or 770 miles per hour. [343.216 meters/sec]

5 Dogs can hear much higher frequencies than humans.

6 Ears not only help you hear, but also aid in balance.

7 Snakes hear through the jaw bone and through a traditional inner ear. In essence, snakes have two distinct hearing mechanisms, which helps them hear and catch prey.

8 Sitting in front of the speakers at a rock concert can expose you to 120 decibels, which will begin to damage hearing in only 7 1/2 minutes.

9 Thirty-seven percent of children with only minimal hearing loss fail at least one grade.

10 Male mosquitoes hear with thousands of tiny hairs growing on their antennae
(Source: American Academy of Audiology)




Audiometrist
Community and Health

Practical or MechanicalHelping or AdvisingAnalytic or ScientificSkill Level 3


Audiometrists test hearing by administering audiometric tests to enable the rehabilitation of hearing loss through counselling and/or the fitting of hearing devices. They may refer or report to a medical Future Growth Static practitioner or an audiologist as required.

ANZSCO ID: 311299

Specialisations:

Clinical Audiometrist
A clinical audiometrist performs hearing tests to assist medical practitioners and audiologists.

Hearing Aid Audiometrist
A hearing aid audiometrist specialises in fitting hearing aids and advising clients on their use.

Hearing Test

Industrial Screening Audiometrist
An industrial screening audiometrist performs hearing tests for pre-employment screening. They also fit and instruct clients in the use of noise protection devices such as earplugs, and perform noise assessments in factories using sound-level meters and dosimeters.

 

Knowledge, skills and attributes

  • good communication skills
  • able to work accurately with precision instruments
  • able to be patient with hearing-impaired and elderly people.

 

Hearing Aid

Duties and Tasks

Audiometrists may perform the following tasks:

  • administer tests to assess and measure hearing
  • explain to patients how the audiometric equipment will be used to measure their hearing
  • fit earphones or bone conductors on patients and adjust controls on an audiometer to administer the tests
  • send a report to the audiologist or medical practitioner where required once the results of a test are recorded
  • take ear impressions to make ear moulds, so that a suitable hearing aid may be chosen
  • fit and check hearing aids and give instructions on their use
  • provide follow-up care and advice.

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