Audiologists or hearing experts detect your hearing problems and improve your life by proper management. An audiologist comes with a 4-year Bachelor’s degree and can do a 2-year Master’s degree later. A doctoral degree or Ph.D is also often awarded to audiologists.
Diploma courses in audiology are taught in various institutes/universities and according to Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI), successful pass outs can initially work under the guidance of an audiologist and gain experience in the process. For independent practice, a Bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement. To practice as an audiologist in India, one needs to have a registration number from RCI. In India, all diploma courses in audiology are inclusive of speech and language pathology. This helps aspirants pursue profession later as an audiologist or speech language pathologist. An audiologist and speech language pathologist should be a member of Indian Speech and Hearing Association (ISHA) who provides a registration number to every audiologist and speech language pathologist.
The American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA) defines audiologists and their services as follows:
“Audiologists are professionals engaged in autonomous practice to promote healthy hearing, communication competency, and quality of life for persons of all ages through the prevention, identification, assessment, and rehabilitation of hearing, auditory function, balance, and other related systems. They facilitate prevention through the fitting of hearing protective devices, education programs for industry and the public, hearing screening/conservation programs, and research. The audiologist is the professional responsible for the identification of impairments and dysfunction of the auditory, balance, and other related systems. Their unique education and training provides them with the skills to assess and diagnose dysfunction in hearing, auditory function, balance, and related disorders. The delivery of audiologic rehabilitation services includes not only the selecting, fitting, and dispensing of hearing aids and other hearing assistive devices, but also the assessment and follow-up services for persons with cochlear implants. The audiologist providing audiologic rehabilitation does so through a comprehensive program of therapeutic services, devices, counseling, and other management strategies. Functional diagnosis of vestibular disorders and management of balance rehabilitation is another aspect of the professional responsibilities of the audiologist. Audiologists engage in research pertinent to all of these domains.”