An audiologist is a licensed health care professional who diagnoses, evaluates, and treats hearing disorders and communication problems.
A New York licensed audiologist has completed a minimum of a Master's degree in audiology. This includes studies in basic communication processes and professional and scientific areas of hearing and hearing loss, as well as a supervised practice of at least 300 hours. In addition, New York licensed audiologists have satisfactorily completed nine months of supervised experience and passed a written, State-approved licensing examination.
Licensed audiologists are required by law to complete 30 hours of continuing competency learning activities every three years.
You would seek the services of an audiologist if you or someone you know is having difficulty hearing.
It may be difficult for you to determine if a child is having trouble hearing. You might consult an audiologist for a child if:
An audiologist can evaluate your hearing, determine whether you have a hearing loss, and make recommendations for hearing health care. This may include a referral to a physician or recommendations for hearing aids or other amplifying devices or methods to modify the listening environment. [Please note: if a hearing impairment affects your speech, you may want to read the information above about speech-language pathology.]
Audiologists use a variety of sounds and test equipment such as earphones and speakers to evaluate your hearing. An audiologist may remove ear wax if it interferes with the hearing tests.
If you think that you might need hearing aids, you should have a hearing evaluation performed by a licensed audiologist before making any purchase. You can also contact the State Board office to request a copy of the brochure Buying Your Hearing Aid.
Many audiologists prescribe, fit and sell hearing aids. Audiologists who sell hearing aids must be registered with the Department of State as hearing aid dispensers, in addition to being licensed by the State Education Department as audiologists.
Audiologists work in a variety of settings including private offices, clinics, hospitals and schools. Check with your doctor and people you know who have been helped by an audiologist. You can also check under "Audiologists" in the yellow pages of your telephone book.
You may also call professional organizations for assistance in identifying member providers. The State Board for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology cannot refer you to a practitioner.
Ask such questions as whether the service location is physically accessible (curb cuts, ramps, restrooms, etc.) as well as whether there is a Telecommunication Device for the Deaf (TDD) and parking for people with disabilities.
It may. Many audiologists participate in health care plans. Review and understand your insurance plan, and contact your insurance provider to understand your plan's benefits.
Your patient file contains a record of your evaluation and treatment. Audiologists must keep client records for six years or until the client turns 22, whichever is longer.
Generally, your records are confidential unless you approve their release. Ask your professional about exceptions to this. If you want a copy of your records, provide your audiologist with a written request. You may be charged a reasonable fee to offset the cost of providing copies.
One can buy almost anything online ‘for less’; however, the State Board for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology advises that buying a medical device such as a hearing aid online is not in your best interest. Hearing aids are complex medical devices requiring a competent professional to select, program, fit, verify and maintain them, and to provide ongoing follow-up care. In fact, New York State requires that hearing aids or any other instruments to compensate for impaired hearing must be dispensed and adjusted by a competent hearing healthcare professional. For more information about on-line sales and hearing aid purchases, see Purchase of Hearing Aids Online.
New York audiologists must display a current New York registration certificate; this certificate lists the professional's name, address, and dates of the registration period. Audiologists must reregister every three years to practice in New York. Some professionals also display their original New York license, diploma, licenses from other states, and membership certificates. You may verify an individual's license and registration on this site.