Healthcare science staff working in this field assess hearing and balance function and identify their associated disorders, recommending and providing therapeutic rehabilitation and management. They may develop diagnostic protocols, critically interpret and report the results. This enables them to solve clinical hearing and balance problems, and when necessary to develop logical alternatives. They are also involved in counselling and rehabilitating hearing-impaired patients.
The main areas of work are:
- adult assessment and rehabilitation
- special needs groups
- research and development
Many healthcare science staff in audiology develop a special interest and expertise in one area, such as paediatrics, adult auditory rehabilitation, tinnitus, auditory rehabilitation, cochlear implants, bone anchored hearing devices or balance assessment and rehabilitation.
Newborn hearing screeners work in neonatal units, postnatal wards, and in hospitals and clinics. At a more senior level, scientists use techniques to measure and compensate for hearing loss including offering the initial therapeutic support and advice, and diagnose audio-vestibular neurological diseases. They work directly with patients, often children or elderly people. They may prescribe hearing aid equipment or arrange onward referral for further investigation. They play both a clinical role and a managerial development role.