What does a Hearing Therapist do?
Rehabilitation specialists are advanced practitioners within audiology (previously known as hearing therapists). They work with adults who have acquired hearing loss, tinnitus or a balance disorder. Their role includes:
- using counselling skills with clients and their families to facilitate adjustment to hearing loss and related disorders
- assessing the rehabilitation needs of patients in order to provide programmes of care
- discussing the ways in which everyday life may be affected, setting goals and using problem solving skills
- maximising auditory ability by providing a tailored programme which may include teaching lip-reading or other communication skills
- working with patients who are suitable for cochlear implants or bone anchored hearing aids
- working with patients with complex needs such as dual sensory loss or learning disabilities
- working in hospitals and the community as part of a multi-disciplinary team, liaising with audiological, medical and social work staff.
The work also involves keeping detailed records of treatment and progress and attending case conferences and team meetings. Rehabilitation specialists may be involved in giving presentations to groups of professionals, patients, and the general public to help improve their understanding of hearing loss and related disorders.
What's the working environment like working as a Hearing Therapist?
Rehabilitation specialists work 37.5 hours a week full time; part-time or flexible hours may be available.
They usually work in ear, nose and throat clinics or audiology departments. They may also provide domiciliary services, visiting patients in their homes or in health centres, residential homes, special schools, housing associations and voluntary organisations.
Some posts involve local travel and a driving licence would be needed.
What does it take to become a Hearing Therapist?
To be a rehabilitation specialist, you should:
- enjoy working with a wide range of clients, and have patience and understanding
- have clear and distinguishable speech patterns which can be easily lip-read
- be able to teach and explain instructions to clients of all ages and abilities
- be interested in the theoretical and scientific background of treatment
- have imagination, adaptability and persistence in devising courses of therapy, and supporting clients and their families through it
- have practical skills and a practical outlook to tackle the everyday problems faced by clients
- enjoy working as part of a multidisciplinary team.
Hearing Therapist Career Opportunities
Most rehabilitation specialists work in the NHS and are employed by health authorities or community trusts. There are also some limited opportunities with voluntary organisations.
There may be the opportunity to move into management positions within mainstream health care. Rehabilitation specialists can focus their work in a range of areas, such as balance rehabilitation, cochlear implants, or in assisting people with learning disabilities or dual sensory loss.
Many rehabilitation specialists undertake further training in their main area of interest whilst working, and may incorporate this with a training role in higher education. There are increasing opportunities for further study and research.
If you would like to know anything about Hearing Therapist that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below. British Academy of Audiology
PO Box 346
Tel: 01733 253 976
www.baaudiology.org NHS Learning and Development Service
Tel: 08000 150 850
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