Are you considering becoming an audiologist? There is a huge shortage, which means that you would have great job security if you pursued a career in this field. There are only 13,300 audiologists in the United States. This is not nearly enough as a growing number of baby boomers start suffering form hearing issues as they age.
But what do you need to do to become an audiologist? The American Academy of Audiology has some guidelines on its website. You can also keep reading below to learn more.
What Do Audiologists Do?
Being an audiologist is about far more than hearing exams or prescribing hearing aids to patients. It’s about helping people identify factors that, alongside hearing loss, can be red flags for other, more serious illnesses. Perhaps most importantly of all, it’s about educating patients about hearing health and helping them improve their quality of life in the long term.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, this is also the core reason many audiologists choose to prefer this career path. Their passion for the field is born first and foremost out of a desire to help others. They understand that hearing loss causes real problems for people and want to help them address it. The people who become professional audiologists already knew at the start that they wanted to work a healthcare career.
They also understand the importance of hearing health and how easy it is for the average person to miss the warning signs of hearing loss.
Many audiologists have friends or loved ones who suffer from hearing loss. They witnessed the difficulties someone struggling with a hearing impairment must overcome and saw firsthand the emotional impact of the condition. Others may have even experienced some form of hearing impairment personally.
Audiology also draws many people who find the technology fascinating. They want to learn more about the different brands of hearing assistance devices and how modern hearing aids are being integrated into the Internet of Things. They want to see firsthand some of the newest, most advanced hearing assistance devices on the market before anyone else — in essence, a technophile’s dream come true.
Still, others enjoy the more challenging aspects of audiology. Helping patients overcome the denial they feel about their condition. Identifying the factors behind unexplained hearing loss. Working with people to help guide them through the pain and fear of impending hearing impairment.
Knowledge is also a powerful motivator. Like many medical professionals, audiologists tend to be lifelong learners. And like many medical fields, you don’t stop learning once you’ve received your degree — there are always new technologies, emerging treatments, and new information about existing conditions.
Audiologists Have Very Important Roles
Audiologists have very important jobs. Ultimately, they help people and get to see firsthand the difference their help makes in improving someone’s quality of life. When a patient first comes into a clinic, they may be shy, nervous, or reluctant to discuss their condition. There are also conditions such as tinnitus and vertigo, which can become unbearable if left untreated and unmanaged.
It’s immensely rewarding to see a shy patient open up as their confidence returns. To see a patient who came into a clinic struggling with an untreated condition leave and retake control of their life. To watch someone overcome their hearing impairment, and know that you played a part in making that happen.
There Are Compelling Reasons to Become an Audiologist
So, what is it that motivates an audiologist to become an audiologist? there are a lot of great reasons to pursue this career. It offers exceptional job security and can give you a chance to help others.
Knowledge. Compassion. Fascination with emerging tech. A personal stake in hearing health. A love of challenges.
All of these things and more.