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AUDIOLOGIST

Audiology deals with the branch of science which specializes in ear-related disorders and the issues relating to hearing, and balance. Principally, if a patient suffers from hearing loss and other prevalent damages, the audiologists provide specific treatment by aptly diagnosing audiological and vestibular pathologies. Besides, they may also be specialized in procedures like rehabilitation of tinnitus, hyperacusis, misophonia, auditory processing disorders, cochlear implant use, or hearing aid use. Furthermore, an Audiologist can provide hearing health care to all stages of life.

WHO IS AN AUDIOLOGIST?

An audiologist is a licensed professional with roots in hearing health care and specializes in diagnosing and treating hearing loss and balance disorders in adults and children. While majorly dealing in the treatment for issues like balance disorders and tinnitus (ringing in the ears), Hearing and speech rehabilitation programs are all the broad concerns that he deals in.

AUDIOLOGIST EDUCATION AND CERTIFICATION

Following the specifications laid down by the Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI), the following is the educational requirement of audiologists. A 4-year degree program after the senior secondary with a science stream. Courses such as Bachelor of Biology and Speech-Language Pathology (BASLP) or BSc in Speech and Hearing can be pursued. Moving ahead, they have 2 years of post-graduate program and can go for further Ph.D. The minimum qualification should be BSc in Speech and Hearing or BASLP to practice independently.

IS AN AUDIOLOGIST A DOCTOR?

YES, An audiologist is a licensed healthcare professional who specializes in diagnosing and treating hearing, balance, and tinnitus disorders and who has, at minimum, a master's degree. While the rest also pursue to get a doctorate (Au.D.) and then become a Doctor in Audiology. Predominantly hearing plays a significant role in every individual's life as they ensure a better quality of life. Thus, an Audiologist’s services will majorly assist in managing issues specific to hearing and balance.

HOW DO I APPROACH AN AUDIOLOGIST?

An audiologist can be found in various places be it Private practices, Physicians' offices, Hospitals, Schools, Colleges, and Universities in addition to Rehabilitation centers.

DOES AN AUDIOLOGIST REMOVE EAR WAX?

Fundamentally yes an audiologist does perform that function wherein he would examine your ears with an otoscope that is used to determine if you have an impacted or hardened earwax. Thereby he would be removing it with the assistance of special tools called a "cerumen” spoon to remove the wax.

ARE AUDIOLOGISTS AUTHORIZED TO WRITE PRESCRIPTIONS?

Audiologists vitally recommend over-the-counter medications, however, they aren't designated to perform surgeries or prescribe medications (prescription drugs). 

IS THERE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN ENT AND AN AUDIOLOGIST? WHOM SHOULD WE CONSULT IF WE ARE HAVING HEARING OR BALANCE PROBLEMS?

Essentially yes! There does lie a difference between an ENT physician and an audiologist. You may be referred to a specialist for further testing or treatment.

IS IT COMPULSORY TO CONSULT AN AUDIOLOGIST AND ENT PHYSICIAN IN ALL CASES?

An audiologist is a healthcare professional who is bestowed with vital capabilities to evaluate or diagnose and manage hearing loss apart from balance disorders. Therefore, if hearing loss is encountered it's the hearing aids that are an option, wherein, an Audiologist is regarded to be an expert in the selection and fitting of appropriate hearing aids or other amplification. If a potential medical issue is witnessed he may refer you to an ENT specialist for treatment options.

An ENT physician is a medical practitioner who deals with the broad study of Ear, Nose, and Throat and treats the disorders of the head and neck including, among other things, hearing loss and balance disorders. The pivot being this Physician is erudite in this field to recommend appropriate medical or surgical treatments for specific conditions. Rarely when a case of hearing loss identified and if no medical or surgical treatment will improve the condition, the medical practitioner may provide medical clearance to proceed with a hearing aid trial.

It is not to be forgotten that Audiologists and ENT Physicians work in close quarters to ensure that their patients with hearing loss and balance disorders have the best treatment guaranteed.

WHAT IS AN AUDIOLOGY EVALUATION? 

Technically, an Audiological evaluation is a series of diagnostic procedures to determine the degree, type, and magnitude of hearing loss. The main agenda of such assessment is to draft a treatment plan which is unique and suits the needs of the patients to augment their hearing capabilities.

The selection of hearing aids will fundamentally be based on after counseling and diagnosing  patient's hearing health.

After which the possible need and type of treatment would be prescribed.

These would be in the form of modern ear fittings (hearing aids) which will be designed in accordance to conventional method subsequent to a ear mold  of the patients ears.

Not to forget that these fittings are crafted with a blend of invention and charm which suits all age groups .

Further the programming and usage of customized hearing aids will be persuaded depending upon the magnitude of the disability .

SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGIST

Speech-language pathology deals with the branch of speech and language disorders in adults and children. The specialists would analyze these disorders and assist by diagnosing the depth of the issue and aiding in treating speech and language problems.

EDUCATION AND CERTIFICATION OF A SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGIST

To specialize in the branch of Speech-language pathologists, a medical practitioner must hold both a bachelor's and a master's degree in the field of “ASLP” (Audiology and Speech-language pathology). An individual who is regarded as a Speech-language pathologist is an erudite and trained clinician who can attend to patients, an educator who is prepared to impart knowledge, a researcher that delves into subjects to provide in-depth analysis and can act also as an administrator.

WHAT IS THE ROLE OF A SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGIST?

The role of Speech-language pathologists is diverse as they cardinally focus on evaluating, diagnosing, and treating speech, language, communication, and swallowing disorders.

THE JOB DESCRIPTION OF AN SLP

Essentially, the practitioner will develop and implement treatment plans based on their professional assessment and recommendation from members of the interdisciplinary team.

Further, they would evaluate and conduct various tests and examinations based on hearing, speech, and language to analyze their patient's issues. Following, they would be monitoring their patients’ progress in addition to designing, developing, and employing diagnostic and communication devices.

Apart from these, the crucial job lies in strategizing and implementing speech and language programs, documenting patient care, and writing reports on patient evaluation, treatment, progress, and discharge.

They also indulge in educating patients and family members on treatment plans, communication techniques, and remedies for coping with speech/language barriers.

Practically majority of speech-language pathologists are not only involved in direct patient care, but their focal point lies on other divergent professionals who strive to fulfill several other roles in areas such as Advocacy, Research, and Program coordination. They are also active in administration, teaching at the post-secondary level, supervision, product development, and evaluation consultation.

HEARING AID SPECIALIST

A hearing aid specialist is a healthcare professional who focuses on the branch of study that deals with hearing aid distribution and maintenance. Further, these professionals assist their counterparts such as audiologists in providing adequate care to those patients diagnosed with hearing loss and can commence practicing after two years of training in this field. 

The hearing aid specialist explains to the patient about different types of hearing aids, models, companies, services, technology, and future effects, and helps the patient to select the best-suited hearing aid for him.

EDUCATION AND CERTIFICATION OF A HEARING AID SPECIALIST

Hearing instrument specialists’ educational requirements generally vary by state, since every state establishes its own set of requirements. An Audiologist can also perform all the procedures of a hearing aid specialist. However uniformly at a minimum, hearing instrument specialists must possess a high school diploma along with completing a rigorous training program. In comparison, most of these training programs combine classroom or distance learning with a requisite number of hours of hands-on experience supervised by licensed hearing care professionals and can take up to two years. The required program of study for hearing instrument specialists includes the anatomy of the ear, acoustics, assessment, and testing of hearing, hearing aid selection and fitting, hearing aid technology, counseling, and other topics.

WHAT IS THE ROLE OF A HEARING AID?

The health providers specialize in the field of hearing aid profession care for people with hearing difficulties and recommend top-notch solutions to these patients. To execute this, the specialists test the extent of a patient's hearing loss and identify the likely cause behind it. They also have hands-on with hearing aid instruments.

THE JOB DESCRIPTION OF A HEARING AID SPECIALIST

Professionals holding a ‘hearing instrument specialist license’ are entitled to various aspects that include the administering and interpreting of the hearing tests, such as immittance screening, pure tone screening, otoacoustic screening, along with air or bone conduction and speech audiometry selection for fitness. The role can also be executed by an Audiologist. To maintain hearing aids they take ear impression design, prepare and modify ear mold, and repair non-functional or damaged hearing aids in some cases. Sometimes, hearing instrument specialists may remove earwax as well.

CHILD BEHAVIORAL THERAPIST

Behavioral therapists are those medical practitioners who cover various forms of clinical behavior-based therapy. It is an umbrella term where the pathologist may cure mental health disorders and behavioral disorders along with mood disorders. Conventionally, Behavioral therapists are referred to as ‘clinical mental health practitioners' since they majorly use techniques derived from the concept of behaviorism. These therapists will assist their clients to alter their unwanted thought processes and behavior patterns. 

EDUCATION AND CERTIFICATION OF A BEHAVIORAL THERAPIST

As per the medical guidelines, every behavioral therapist must hold a bachelor's degree in psychology. Additionally, aspiring behavior therapists also have undergraduate majors in related fields such as sociology or social work, and behavioral science. Perhaps earning a four-year degree is only the primary step, however, behavioral therapists require an advanced degree and state licensure to practice legally.

WHAT IS THE ROLE OF A BEHAVIORAL THERAPIST?

Corresponding to their clinical therapy pathologists, the CBT therapists strive to provide unstinting support and care for clients who are coping or suffering from a wide variety of issues including mental or emotional issues. Further, they diagnose clients—one-on-one or on a group basis—and assist them not only in comprehending their negative behaviors and negative self-talk but also in providing ways to cope with those practices which are detrimental in their day-to-day life.

Additionally, counseling is an activity that they undertake and this can be a part of behavior therapy, but patients who seek out a behavioral therapist are usually looking for more. A behavioral therapist has adequate knowledge to devise personalized problem-solving strategies and behavior modification drafts which are designed to eliminate practices that are unhealthy.

JOB DESCRIPTION OF A BEHAVIORAL THERAPIST

  • Meet new patients to discuss treatment plans. Early meetings with clients help therapists design treatment that best fits their stresses and concerns.

  • Schedule meetings with existing patients to discuss and monitor their progress and offer new strategies.

  • Ongoing communication is critical to creating an effective and personalized treatment for clients.

  • Counseling and observation notes for the day's patients.

  • Tracking and monitoring the treatment plans and patient progress.

  • Draft fitness goals and exercises to assist patients adjust their thought patterns.

  • Active participation and communication between therapists and their patients help in the design and implementation of effective treatment exercises.

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST

Occupational therapy (OT) is a branch of health care that allows individuals of all ages who've physical, sensory, or cognitive issues to seek assistance via therapies from experts in this field. An OT can assist them to regain independence in all regions of their lives. 

The role of an Occupational therapist isn't limited to just a particular element but is diverse. As they assist their patients to overcome the obstacles that affect a person's daily life be it emotional or social and physical needs. 

Conventionally, the techniques they use play a pivotal role as its unique, say for instance the usage of everyday sports, exercises, and different remedies.

An OT not only persuades an individual to play, but they also improve their overall performance in school as well and aid their day-to-day activities. It also boosts their shallowness and sense of achievement.

TRAINING AND CERTIFICATIONS FOR AN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST

A doctorate in Occupational remedy can be achieved after completing a four-year bachelor's degree course in OT. Along with pursuing this degree, you ought to graduate with a master's in Occupational therapy course with 55% minimum marks. Further in this course, research centers in various fields are available for the studies of scholars.

TASK DESCRIPTION OF AN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST

They deal with individuals of all ages, from premature infants to young children, adults in midlife, and seniors.

In short, the therapist seems at the way you do any type of activity or venture. After successfully diagnosing, they devise a plan to improve the mannerism of a patient which will enable them to perform it in the least painful way.

Chronologically, the primary step during your first appointment is that the OT will verify your thoughts. Next, they'll come to your premise (house or place of job) to see what you do and what modifications you require. Moreover, if they might be working together with you, they could also visit the workplace/school/university. They could inform you to transport fixtures or get an assistive tool like a cane or grabber. They may also show you the way to do everyday chores at a better performance rate.

 

SPECIAL EDUCATIONIST

Teachers in special education play a crucial role in the educational process. To have an impact on student progress, one must possess a distinctive combination of qualities, which is best achieved by finishing a bachelor's or master's program in special education. They provide a caring focus for developing pupils who need the assistance of knowledgeable practitioners in addition to a career-building advantage.

QUALIFICATIONS AND EDUCATION

Before teaching special education, all special education teachers are required to complete a bachelor's degree, while some states also demand a master's degree special education certification.

Children's growth is critically dependent on teachers. Long after the school year is done, a great teacher can continue to function as a child's motivating and inspiring role model. This is especially true for special education teachers who work with kids who have a variety of needs and issues.

These individuals are prepared to assist kids in facing and overcoming obstacles. The children reach their own best with the help of a highly qualified special education teacher possessing an advanced degree. The best special education instructors exhibit the qualities listed below:

 

  1. CREATIVITY

Everybody has a unique way of learning. The finest teachers can creatively modify their classes to emphasize each student's learning skills.

Due to their limited communication skills, some kids might struggle to express their feelings appropriately. A special education teacher must be intuitive to identify the underlying problems that are causing a kid's behavior and support the child.

The amount of tension in the classroom might be decreased by an excellent teacher because of their calm demeanor. Instructors need to learn how to create a safe classroom, which is defined as keeping a tranquil environment.

  1. AMUSING PERSONALITY

A fantastic special education instructor should be able to discern when it's okay to laugh out loud and contribute to making the classroom climate happier.

  1. GREAT DEVOTION TO CHILDREN

Though all the above-mentioned characteristics are important, the most pivotal for a special education teacher to possess is having a genuine affection for kids. A teacher is crucial in helping students develop this innate ability to recognize love and care. 

ROLE OF A SPECIAL EDUCATIONIST

A Special Educationist’s role is quite vast when compared to normal school teachers. This is because these specialists have to be constantly involved with the emotional, moral, intellectual, and physical development of the students in their class. They must ensure that children have good numeracy and literacy levels. Their role is not limited to :

  • Motivating and inspiring children along with maintaining discipline in the classroom

  • Assessing, and recording children's progress in addition to keeping up to date with changes and development of the student’s behavior

  • If they notice issues with a particular child they must focus on working with and communicating with parents.