The difference between an Audiologist and an Audiometrists

What's the difference between an Audiologist and an Audiometrist?

Do I need an Audiologist and an Audiometrists?

Visit a hearing clinics in Austraila and you may see an Audiologist or an Audiometrist. But hearing clinics deal with all manner of conditions. A typical week at A Better Ear might include diagnosing and treating hearing loss related to age, noise exposure, wax build-up or even hearing loss caused by ototoxic medications. (That is medications that are harmful to the organ of hearing).

Our Audiologists see people suffering from tinnitus, (i.e., ringing in the ears), sudden onset hearing loss, patients with mild to severe hearing loss, single-sided deafness, and even fungal growth in the ear canal. Happily we also see people who have no hearing loss at all. Our clinical team advise on the clinical appropriateness of all manner of hearing devices. An Audiologist might fit and tune assisted listening devices, cochlear implants, Bluetooth rechargeable hearing aids, and more. They perform adjustments, monitor and maintain hearing devices to meet prescription, as well as facilitate servicing and repairs.

The list of complexities goes on and on. You can see why we love it!

With such a broad scope of practice within hearing care, its important when looking for the best hearing clinic nearby to understand what’s on offer. Sadly, little is understood about the qualifications and expertise of the hearing care professionals you are consulting with. Whilst an Audiologist sounds like an Audiometrists (and unfortunately the term is largely interchangeable in Australia), the two roles are considerably different. Those differences have consequences for patients seeking an informed opinion. So, what is the difference between an Audiologist and an Audiometrist?

In this article we briefly explore and explain these terms. We list the range of skill and training belonging to each, and their relative scopes of practice.

What can an Audiologist help with?

An audiologist is not an Audiometrist. In Australia Audiologists must undergo extensive training. This includes completion of an undergraduate degree, followed by a Post Graduate Diploma or Master’s Degree (Post Graduate Diploma in Audiology, Masters of Audiology), then 12 months of fulltime internship. Only then do they obtain their accreditation.

An audiologist’s scope of practice includes;

  • Diagnostic hearing tests
  • Complete auditory rehabilitation
  • Medical reporting to general practitioners, speech pathologists, and specialist physicians including psychologists
  • Tinnitus treatment and management plans  
  • Central auditory processing testing
  • Hearing and communication counselling
  • High frequency testing
  • Balance problems and disorders of the vestibular system e.g., vertigo
  • Education and training on communication tactics
  • Fitting hearing devices and adjusting them to prescription
  • Perform maintenance and services on hearing devices
  • Programming and monitoring implants like cochlear implants (CI) and bone anchored hearing aids (BAHA)
  • Advice and fitting of hearing aids, cochlear implants, bone anchored devices, and assisted listening devices
  • Custom moulded earplugs for sleep, musician, and noisy work environments
  • Earwax removal  
Is an Audiometrist or an Audiologist best to diagnose this odd ear?
Could an Audiometrist explain this ear to a Doctor?

What can an Audiometrist help with?

An Audiometrists training includes successful graduation from a two-year diploma (or Diploma of Hearing Device Prescription, or Diploma of Audiometry) and two years of clinical practice.

Their scope of practice may include:

  • Assess hearing via diagnostic testing
  • Recommend and fit hearing aids
  • Custom moulded earplugs for sleep, musician, and noisy work environments
  • earwax removal  
  • Perform maintenance and services on hearing devices
  • Fitting hearing devices and adjusting them to prescription
  • Advise on selecting hearing aids, cochlear implants, bone anchored devices, and assisted listening devices

The difference: Audiologist vs. Audometrists

Understanding the difference between an Audiologist and an Audometrists is crucial when seeking hearing care. Both professionals are integral to managing hearing health, but their training, qualifications, and scopes of practice differ significantly.

Audiologists in Australia must complete an undergraduate degree and a Post Graduate Diploma or Master’s Degree in Audiology, followed by a 12-month fulltime internship. Their comprehensive training enables them to conduct diagnostic hearing tests, manage complex conditions such as tinnitus, balance disorders, and auditory processing issues, and work closely with other medical professionals.

On the other hand, an Audometrists’ education involves a two-year diploma followed by two years of clinical practice, focusing primarily on the assessment of hearing and the prescription and maintenance of hearing devices.

While the term “Audiologist and an Audometrists” is often used interchangeably in Australia, the differences are substantial, affecting the quality of care and the range of treatments available to patients. Understanding these distinctions ensures that individuals receive the most appropriate and effective care for their specific hearing needs.

Book your appointment today

Naturally enough, an online search of “Audiology clinic near me” or “Audiologist hearing test” will return results for hearing clinics. However, some of those clinics, will be staffed by Audiometrists. If your hearing loss stems from a medical matter, it’s more likely to be identified and understood by an Audiologist who can not only explain and treat more effectively, but also reliably refer to other medical professionals including your general practitioner.

When investing time and money on the diagnosis and treatment of ear related problems, ensure that the clinic you see has a masters qualified and registered Audiologist who understands patient-centred care and can treat your enquiry from a medical standpoint.

At A Better Ear our Audiologist is so passionate about providing the best-in-class hearing care, she opened her own independent clinic. To book your consultation, please call us at A Better Ear on 3821 3744.  

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Disclaimer: All information is general in nature. Patients should consider their own personal circumstances and seek a second opinion. Eligibility for, and services available under the Hearing Services Program may change. Please check the HSP website for up-to-date details.

 

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