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Audiology is the study of hearing and balance. Audiologists provide hearing tests and provide guidance on how to avoid hearing damage or treat hearing-related disorders. An audiologist is usually part of a team of specialists and can be found in a rehabilitation center or hospital.
There are two ways to learn audiology: become an audiologist or become a hearing aid technician. Both these careers are people-based positions that required different levels of education and types of work experience. Audiology is a medical subspecialty and a doctor of audiology receives an Au.D.
To become an audiologist, you must obtain a doctor of audiology or a PhD in hearing sciences. To qualify for either of these advanced degrees, a bachelor's degree in sciences and a master’s degree in audiology are required. Effective January 2007, all audiology training programs result in an Au.D designation, as is required by state law.
Audiology programs are available through selected universities. These programs are all certified and comply with state and federal regulations. Although the Au.D is required to treat patients, many researchers and scientists complete the master’s degree program in clinical audiology and then obtain research positions in this field. Doctors have always recognized the varying degrees of deafness, but the concept of treating and managing hearing loss has only become possible due to advances in technology. Audiology is a relatively new specialty that gained acceptance after World War II in the treatment of war veterans with hearing damage.
Hearing aid technicians are responsible for working closely with patients to select and use hearing aids as prescribed by an audiologist. In most countries, these technicians have completed a two- or three-year community college training program on audiology, hearing aid technology, and patient interaction. In many countries, these technicians are also involved in patient education and provide referrals to other supportive services.
In the United States, no formal education is required for this position. However, technicians are required to have a state license to dispense hearing aids. This requires successful completion of a state licensing exam, which has both a written and practical component. Two years of experience is required before you can become a board certified dispenser of hearing aids.
The field of audiology is rapidly expanding, with new development and treatment options being discovered all the time. People interested in helping others, should explore audiology as a career option. This field requires a combination of scientific, interpersonal and technology-based skills.
This sounds perfect! I am hearing impaired from birth and have a degree in physics and experience as an electrical engineer AND love to help people.
Any places in Vancouver Canada to train? Thanks! Zac H.
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