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How to Become an Audiologist

First professional degree

Audiologists work with patients on a regular basis to check their hearing and balance. They may continue with the current treatment plan or make appropriate changes. Audiologists require a doctoral degree. They must be licensed.

Education & Training

The Au.D. is a doctoral degree in audiology. This is a graduate program that is four years in length. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree in any field prior to entering one of these programs. Graduate coursework includes classes in genetics, anatomy, pharmacology, physiology, ethics, normal and abnormal communication development and treatment and diagnosis. In order to receive a license, graduation from a program accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation is typically required.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Requirements will vary from place to place; therefore, it is best to check your local licensing board to determine requirements. Audiologists may earn a CCC-A or the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology. This certificate is offered by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Credentials may be given via the American Board of Audiology. Certification is not necessary in every instance however it is required by certain employers or locations.

Skills and Qualities that will Help

Communication Skills: It is necessary to communicate diagnoses, test results and treatment options in a way patients' can clearly understand. Audiologists need to describe individual situations and options. They commonly need to communicate with additional education specialists and healthcare providers in regards to patient care.

Compassion: Individuals visiting an audiologist typically have issues with balance or hearing. It is vital to be compassionate and supportive of their patients and their family members.

Critical-thinking Skills: Concentration skills are important during patient testing in order to analyze their haring and determine the patient's situation. When patients do not respond as expected to the initial treatment protocol, alternative plans must be considered.

Patience: Certain patients require extra special attention and more time than others; particularly young children and the elderly.

Problem-solving Skills: Audiologists need to assess frequent balance and hearing issues in their patients. They have to recommend proper treatment and be able to communicate potential causes and address concerns.