An audiologist is a medical specialist who investigates and treats patients with hearing and balance problems. They deal with balance problems due to the workings of the ear being related to a person’s stability. Such specialists will work with adults and children. Audiologists are typically recommended by doctors who have found their patients to have a hearing or balance problem. It is then the job of an audiologist to assess the patients hearing or balance and recommend the necessary treatment or tools to manage the condition.

We live in a society in which we are putting our hearing at more risk more than ever before, which makes the job of an audiologist very important. An audiologist needs to have good medical knowledge and the ability to build up a good level of rapport when dealing with patients, particularly children. With time and experience, an audiologist can choose to specialise in one area of audiology, such as paediatrics or balance. The typical work environment would be a general hospital or private clinic, dependent on what route an audiologist takes in their career.

Work activities

Typical work activities an audiologist would need to carry out include:

  • Assess and treat patients through a variety of hearing tests, including the tuning fork test.
  • Use special tests for children such as the otacoustic emissions test.
  • Use specialist tests to find what is causing a patient’s balance problems.
  • Work in a hospital or clinic.
  • Specialise in areas such as paediatrics or adult rehabilitation.
  • Carry out research to be published in journals and other medical publications.
  • Continue to study throughout your career and attend exhibitions in order to keep up-to-date with any new treatments or testing methods.
  • Work alongside other medical professionals.
  • Put patients at ease during testing and treatment.
  • Analyse any patient records you are given and update them with any diagnoses or testing that is made.

Essential skills

  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Able to work with children.
  • Work under sometimes stressful conditions.
  • Work as an individual and as part of a medical team.
  • Broad knowledge of and an aptitude for medicine.
  • Real desire to improve the lives of patients.
  • Speak in a manner that would enable a deaf person to lip-read you easily.
  • Organised and professional manner.
  • Keep up-to-date with any technological advances.
  • Receptive of other medical professionals’ opinions and able to give your own insight into patient dealings.