Since I’m an audiologist, you may think I’m biased in favor of audiologists providing hearing healthcare. The truth is, I do believe an audiologist is the best choice. However, I discovered the tremendous value of audiology long before I joined the profession.
When I was a student planning to become a neurologist, I developed a fascination with how the brain processes sound. I changed course to focus my studies on the relationship between sound and the brain. That relationship forms the essence of hearing. Audiology became my new field because I saw how an audiologist’s knowledge could benefit patients.
Unfortunately, most people are unfamiliar with the advantages of being treated by an audiologist. October is National Audiology Awareness Month. In celebration, I’m sharing the reasons an audiologist is the right choice for your hearing healthcare.
Audiologists Have Extensive Training
An audiologist is a healthcare professional who specializes in issues related to hearing, tinnitus, and balance. They care for people of all ages. Becoming an audiologist requires years of education. After earning a bachelor’s degree, the candidate must study an additional three to four years in an accredited audiology doctoral program. Such programs involve academic coursework and clinical practice.
Every Audiologist Is Licensed
In addition to obtaining a doctoral degree in audiology, a candidate has to become licensed in the state where he or she wants to practice. The licensing of healthcare professionals protects the public from unscrupulous individuals. In Texas, audiologist candidates must complete a supervised internship that involves at least 1,600 hours of clinical work. Before receiving an audiology license, the candidate also must pass two exams.
The state of Texas requires audiologists to fulfill continuing education requirements to renew an audiology license. Continuing education keeps audiologists current on the latest advances in our profession. In Texas, we renew our licenses every two years.
Audiologists Are Qualified to Provide Excellent Care
The goal of such comprehensive education, training, and licensure is to ensure every audiologist is capable of providing high-quality care. Audiologists follow best practices to diagnose and treat hearing problems. When someone is struggling with hearing, an audiologist can administer an advanced hearing assessment. As audiologists, we have the expertise to examine the ears and use of state-of-the-art equipment to measure how the brain is interpreting sound. If we discover hearing loss, we can develop a plan of care to address it.
There’s No Substitute for an Audiologist’s Skills
In summary, my fellow audiologists and I have spent years cultivating the expertise necessary to offer the hearing healthcare you deserve. Many audiologists (including yours truly) were horrified when online hearing screenings became a reality a few years ago. We knew online hearing screenings could not match the level of care we provide. For instance, online hearing screenings cannot determine when someone has an obstruction in the ear or an underlying medical issue. As audiologists, we evaluate each patient for both possibilities.
If you or a loved one have trouble with your hearing, the audiologists at North Houston Hearing Solutions are available to help. Contact us to schedule an appointment or a tele audiology consultation.