Over the years I’ve told a lot of people what I do for a living. A few who were not familiar with the term thought I said cardiologist. A couple have thought I said ideologist. I’m not sure what that is. Perhaps it has to do with the study of ideologies. Someone recently offered a definition to a member of my family. This person suggested that an audiologist might be someone who works with fossils. I wouldn’t touch that one with a ten-foot pole. Or even two five-foot Canadians. : )
So, what is an audiologist? I’ll take the definition straight from Brad Stach’s Comprehensive Dictionary of Audiology. An audiologist is a “health care professional who is credentialed in the practice of audiology to provide a comprehensive array of services related to prevention, evaluation, and rehabilitation of hearing impairment and its associated communication disorder.” Some people would add balance disorders to the definition, however, my practice is focused on the dictionary definition.
Audiologists practice in hospitals and clinics, in private practice and with ENT physicians, in schools and in the military. There are sub-specialties that focus on special populations such as pediatrics or geriatrics.
Audiologist differ greatly from hearing aid dealers. The difference between an audiologist and a hearing aid dealer is the topic of my next post.