An audiologist is a health professional who specialises in diagnosing, treating, and managing hearing and balance problems. As hearing and balance problems are sometimes caused by other medical conditions, audiologists can also refer their patients to a specialist, such as an ear, nose and throat surgeon, to receive the appropriate treatment.
Audiologists help people identify whether a person may have a hearing loss and prescribes hearing aids to help them communicate and reconnect with the world around them. Some of their duties include:
An audiologist must undergo extensive training to become fully qualified. Becoming a certified audiologist involves completing a two-year Master of Audiology degree, followed by one further year of supervised clinical practice. Most trainee audiologists complete their clinical supervision while employed in an audiology clinic. Once complete, the audiologist will receive a Certificate of Clinical Competence provided by the New Zealand Audiological Society (NZAS).
A Master of Audiology (MAud) is required to become an audiologist. This is a two-year university degree that is only offered at the University of Auckland and the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. The entry requirement for this is a Bachelor’s degree. Most, but not all candidates usually have a Bachelor’s degree in health sciences, science or psychology when they apply.
Most audiologists in New Zealand are also members of the New Zealand Audiological Society (NZAS). NZAS is the professional body for audiologists in New Zealand. All members are required to demonstrate professional competency to become full members and must maintain their clinical competency through ongoing professional development.
Getting your hearing checked regularly is an important step in maintaining your overall health and wellness. This is a good place to start on your hearing health and the online test involves checking your hearing in 6 different social scenarios.