Clinical audiologists are responsible for administering hearing tests. Some travel may be required for the job, as testing is often performed at places such as schools and offices. These audiologists carry out hearing and balance tests for patients, as well as periodic hearing testing for those who have or have not been previously diagnosed with hearing problems; after testing, they make diagnoses based on their results. The patient may pass the test and not need further testing until later; or, if a hearing problem is detected, further testing, follow-up with a physician, or hearing therapy may be recommended. Audiologists may also dispense hearing devices, such as hearing aids, and evaluate patients to administer the most suitable hearing devices. Some audiologists may also have office management duties.
Strong computer skills are generally required for administrative work, administering tests, and fitting devices, among other tasks. Current licensing as an audiologist and a master’s degree in a relevant field are also required, and some employers may require a doctoral degree and/or significant prior work experience. Those in this position must also be able to explain procedures and diagnoses to patients of a wide array of ages and abilities; most of their time is spent with a patient present, so patience and strong communication skills are highly beneficial.
Clinical Audiologist Tasks
Evaluate hearing and speech/language disorders to determine diagnoses and courses of treatment.
Document the initial evaluation, treatment, progress and discharge of patients.
Counsel and instruct patients in techniques to improve hearing or speech impairment, including sign language or lip-reading.
Fit and dispense assistive devices, such as hearing aids.
Plan, conduct and monitor treatment programs, recommend assistive devices according to patients' nature of impairment.