Paramedical in Audiology / Speech Therapist
An audiologist / Speech Therapist is a health-care professional specializing in identifying, diagnosing, treating and monitoring disorders of the auditory and vestibular system portions of the ear. Audiologists are trained to diagnose, manage and/or treat hearing or balance problems. They dispense hearing aids and recommend and map cochlear implants. They counsel families through a new diagnosis of hearing loss in infants, and help teach coping and compensation skills to late-deafened adults. They also help design and implement personal and industrial hearing safety programs, newborn hearing screening programs, school hearing screening programs, and provide special fitting ear plugs and other hearing protection devices to help prevent hearing loss. In addition, many audiologists work as auditory scientists in a research capacity.
Speech Therapist Skills Required:
- A minimum of master’s degree in audiology or a doctorate in audiology is required.
- Should possess the skills to effectively disseminate the diagnoses and test results in a manner understandable by the common man.
- Should have patience in handling the patient and help their family to seek for the appropriate solutions.
Speech Therapist Syllabus:
Audiologists have training in anatomy and physiology, hearing aids, cochlear implants, electrophysiology, acoustics, psycho physics, neurology, counseling and sign language. An Audiologist usually graduates with one of the following qualifications (MSc(Audiology), AuD, PhD, or ScD), depending the program, and country attended.
Employment settings that you could enter using your Audiologist skills:
- Community Health Centre
- Hospital or Health Care Setting
- Private Practices
- Rehabilitation Clinic
- Retail Outlets
Speech Therapist Employers:
Hospitals and rehabilitation centers offer good avenues for audiologists and speech therapists. They enjoy the same amount of salary and perks as other doctors in the government hospitals. And in the private hospitals, the fee structure per visit by the patient ranges from Rs 500 to Rs 1000. An audiologist can also start his private practice by opening a clinic, just like other doctors. And the sky is the limit for a private practitioner. There is another avenue for an audiologist in special schools. These are the school for the hearing impaired and children seeking paramedical treatment.
Career in Speech & Hearing Science
Speech disorders can arise in various parts of the nervous system and muscles and other apparatus involved in speech. These may lead to inability to communicate effectively.
Some of these disorders however are disturbances of language rather than of speech since they result from an impaired ability to understand or to form words in the language centers of the brain rather than from any defect in the apparatus of speech production.
People with speech and language disorders can be helped by speech therapy. Hearing impairment (deafness) may be complete or partial inability to hear.
Total deafness is usually congenital. Mutism – refusal or inability to speak – is a symptom off profound congenital deafness.
Rehabilitation professionals in this field help people with three inter – related problems of speaking, language, and hearing.
There are three types of professionals – speech and language therapists, audiologists, and teachers for the hearing impaired.
Speech therapists diagnose and evaluate the individuals, speech and language abilities and plan treatment programs to restore or develop patients communication skill.
Audiologists are concerned with the prevention of hearing impairment.
Speech and hearing science is the study of normal functioning and disorders of the auditory system, the speech mechanism, and language processing.
It is a diverse field with connections to a number of other disciplines, including anatomy, physiology, psychology, linguistics, medicine, and education.
Students pursuing a major in speech and hearing science are introduced both to basic and applied research and to clinical applications.
Ultimate career paths can include speech science, hearing Science, speech – language pathology, or audiology.
Hearing, speech, and language scientists study such topics as sound localization, speech perception, and language learning in both normal and impaired persons.
Their research may be basic in nature or may be more applied, as in studies of the effectiveness of clinical hearing aids or voice therapies.
Speech – language pathology and audiology are concerned with evaluation, treatment, and research in human communication and its disorders.
Speech – language pathologists assess and treat persons of all ages with speech, language, voice, and fluency disorders. They also may work with people who have oral motor problems that cause eating and swallowing difficulties.
For individuals with little or no speech, speech – language pathologists select alternative communication systems, including automated devices and sign language, and teach their use.
Audiologists specialize in prevention, identification, assessment, and rehabilitation of hearing disorders. When a hearing loss exists, they determine the nature and extent of the hearing loss and recommend appropriate treatment, including hearing aids or other assistive devices.
Audiologists also test noise levels in workplaces and conduct hearing protection programs.
Speech Therapist Career Opportunities :
Speech – language pathologists and audiologists are professionals who work closely with teachers, physicians, psychologists, social workers, rehabilitation counselors, and other members of an interdisciplinary team, but they are autonomous and do not work under direct medical supervision.
They provide professional services in a wide range of facilities, including public and private schools, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing care facilities, community and university clinics, private practice offices, state and local health departments, home care, adult day care centers, centers for the developmentally disabled, research laboratories, and industries.
It is important to note that for professional certification as a speech – language pathologist or audiologist, a master’s degree is necessary.
All states that license these professionals require master’s – level training. In addition, the American Speech – Language – Hearing Association (ASHA) requires both completion of a master’s degree and a Year of clinical internship (Clinical Fellowship Year) for the certificate of clinical competence (CCC) in speech language pathology or audiology.
Career opportunities for persons with a bachelor’s degree in speech and hearing science are comparable to those for students with undergraduate degrees in related fields, such as psychology, sociology, linguistics, or other liberal arts. There are two types of Courses :
- Courses for speech and language therapists and audiologists.
- Courses for preparing teachers for the hearing handicapped.
Courses for speech and language therapists and audiologists are offered at three levels – diploma, graduate and postgraduate. Entry requirement for the diploma course of one – Year duration is a pass in 10+2 examination in Science subjects.
The qualification requirement for the first degree program of 3 Year duration is also a pass in 10+2 examination with biology is open to degree holders preferably in speech, hearing and audio logy.
Hearing and speech scientists are found primarily in universities, research institutions, government agencies, and industry.
Audiologists have multiple career options. They can work in government hospitals, health departments of government and government agencies.
Private hospitals, health centers, clinics and nursing homes also offer employment opportunities to audiologists.
Job opportunities are also available to audiologists in community care centers, community clinics, rehabilitation centers, centre for disabled, nursing care facilities and clinics run by college and universities.
Audiologists also can work privately to provide services to schools, hospitals and nursing homes. Teaching in medical or para – medical colleges is also an option available to audiologists. Annual income of audiologists is quite promising.
They may start from a monthly salary of Rs. 8,000 – 10,000. In private hospitals and clinics the pay scale is higher, which may start from Rs. 15,000.
An audiologist can reach to the monthly salary of Rs. 25,000 – Rs. 30,000 within 4 – 5 Years of experiences.