Audiometrist vs Audiologist: What’s the Difference?
Are you having difficulty hearing, suffering from an ear-related problem, or having trouble with balance and are wondering what to do next?
Chances are you’ve done some research online and come across the terms ‘Audiologist’ and ‘Audiometrist’.
However, there is a lot of information online and sorting through it can be stressful. Today we will be going over what these two terms mean and the differences between them.
What is an Audiologist?
An Audiologist is a hearing healthcare professional with specialised knowledge in diagnosing and rehabilitation of hearing and balance problems.
Audiologists work with children and adults of all ages and see more complex cases. They may work in private practice, hospitals, schools or alongside Ear, Nose and Throat specialists (ENTs).
Due to their extensive education, their role is to perform diagnostic hearing assessments, balance assessments, auditory processing assessments and tinnitus assessments. They can also provide rehabilitation for hearing loss, balance problems and tinnitus.
Audiologists can prescribe and fit:
- Hearing aids (air conduction hearing aids and bone conduction hearing aids)
- Implantable hearing devices (cochlear implants, bone-anchored hearing aids and middle ear implants)
- Assistive listening devices (ALDs)
- Custom earplugs
In addition, Audiologists provide counselling and communication tactics and strategies.
What is an Audiometrist?
An Audiometrist is a hearing care professional who specialises in assessing and managing hearing loss in adults.
Audiometrists typically work with adults and less complex cases. They may also work in different settings, including private practice.
Their main role is to perform hearing tests and fit hearing devices to people with hearing loss based on their training. They can fit air conduction hearing aids and bone conduction hearing aids. They are not trained to fit implantable hearing devices.
Like Audiologists, Audiometrists may also provide counselling, communication strategies and tactics, fit custom earplugs, and assist in fitting ALDs.
If Audiometrists come across more complex cases or clients who need further audiological assessment, they may refer them to an Audiologist.
In Australia, there are three professional bodies for hearing healthcare, including Audiology Australia (AudA), Australian College of Audiology (ACAud) and Hearing Aid Audiology Society of Australia (HAASA).
The professional bodies have codes of conduct that members must abide by and scopes of practice within which members must work.
Audiologists may have a membership with one of the following professional bodies:
- AudA: Provides membership to Audiologists only.
- ACAud: Provides membership to both Audiologists and Audiometrists.
Audiometrists may have a membership with one of the following professional bodies:
- ACAud: Provides membership to Audiologists and Audiometrists.
- HAASA: Provides membership to Audiometrists only.
Education & Qualifications
In Australia, Audiologists are university qualified and attend university for a minimum of five years. They complete a two-year accredited Audiology Master’s degree during these five years. The Master’s degree is a mix of theory and practical, and students undergo blocks of professional experience to refine their practical skills.
Following university, they must complete a one-year clinical internship under supervision. After successful completion, they are recognised as Accredited Audiologists.
Audiologists must maintain their accreditation every year by engaging in professional development activities and accruing a certain number of professional development points.
Audiologists who are trained overseas and want to practice in Australia must go through a one-year clinical internship under supervision to become accredited.
In Australia, Audiometrists must complete technical and vocational training. The course is usually a two-year Audiometry Diploma at TAFE.
During the course, they will complete a clinical placement period, and students must find their own placement.
Following these two years, they must also complete a period of supervision. If they successfully complete the supervision period, they become qualified.
Like Audiologists, Audiometrists must also engage in continuing professional development to maintain their membership with their professional body completing activities to accrue the required amount of points.
What are the Similarities Between Audiologists and Audiometrists?
- They are both trained hearing healthcare professionals,
- They can both help people with hearing issues,
- They must have good interpersonal and communication skills,
- They both perform hearing tests and can provide hearing aids to people with aidable hearing losses,
- And they may work under professional bodies, which has codes of conduct and scopes of practice within which they must work.
What are the Main Differences Between Audiologists and Audiometrists?
In A Nutshell
Both Audiologists and Audiometrists help people by assisting them with their hearing problems. However, Audiologists can provide more comprehensive and specialised assessment and rehabilitation.
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