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Audiologist Roles and Responsibilities

Is a career in audiology right for you? Audiologists are health care professionals who use technology, creative problem solving, and social skills to identify and treat hearing, balance, tinnitus, and other auditory disorders. Audiologists help people with these disorders better communicate and connect with the world around them. This page describes the attributes and abilities of audiologists, as well as the knowledge, skills, duties, and responsibilities. If you think you may be interested in audiology, you can find an audiologist near you and make an appointment to shadow the practitioner for an afternoon to see a typical day in the life of an audiologist.

Aspirational Attributes and Abilities 

  • Accountability to practice within an established professional code of ethics and scope of practice within federal, state, and institutional policies and regulations
  • Integrity to observe a professional manner regarding confidentiality with individuals, family members, and other service providers
  • Evidence-based practice to access, evaluate, and integrate science-supported evidence into clinical practice
  • Effective collaboration on interdisciplinary teams to provide person-centered care that aims to achieve optimal outcomes for the patient
  • Cultural competence and compassion to show care and concern for patients, encourage involvement of individuals and families in the plan of care, and understand the impact of cultural and linguistic variables
  • Professional duty to advocate for the rights of individuals who need audiologic services, participate in interprofessional teaming, and promote the value of audiologic services
  • Effective communication skills that include using multiple forms of communication, and communicating on behalf of patients as a referral agent or as part of an interprofessional collaborative team

Knowledge and Skills for Clinical Practice

Assessment and Identification

  • Identify, test, diagnose, and manage disorders of human hearing, balance, and tinnitus; interpret test results of behavioral and objective measures
  • Counsel patients about hearing health and the possible need for treatment/management
  • Assess the candidacy of persons with hearing loss for hearing aids and cochlear implants and provide fitting, programming, and audiologic rehabilitation to ensure the best possible outcomes 
  • Supervise and conduct newborn hearing screening programs
  • Evaluate and manage children and adults with central auditory processing disorders 
  • Screen speech-language, the use of sign language, and other factors affecting communication function for the purposes of audiologic evaluation and/or initial identification of individuals with other communication disorders

Management and Treatment

  • Perform otoscopic examination of ear canals and ear drum, manage the removal of excessive cerumen, and make ear impressions
  • Recommend and provide hearing aid selection, fitting, and programming
  • Recommend and provide hearing assistive technology systems (HATS) 
  • Recommend and provide audiologic rehabilitation—including speech reading, communication management, language development, and auditory skill development 
  • Perform assessment and nonmedical management of tinnitus
  • Counsel and educate patients and families/caregivers on the psychosocial adjustments of hearing loss

Prevention and Education

  • Collaborate with educators regarding communication management, educational implications of hearing loss, educational programming, classroom acoustics, and large-area amplification systems for children with hearing loss 
  • Educate the public on the prevention of hearing loss, tinnitus, and falls
  • Consult about accessibility for persons with hearing loss in public and private buildings, programs, and services 
  • Implement and/or coordinate community, school-based, or occupational hearing screening and conservation programs 
  • Participate in the development of professional and technical standards 
  • Demonstrate the value of audiologic services by measuring functional outcomes, consumer satisfaction, and effectiveness of treatment
  • Supervise audiology assistants who provide support functions to the practice of audiology

Resources

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