Audiology services provide the assessment, management and therapeutic rehabilitation of those with hearing and balance problems and any associated disorders. These patients can be adults, the elderly or children. Audiology assistants work as part of this team carrying out a variety of duties to assist their colleagues.
An audiology assistant will usually carry out tasks under the supervision of another professional, an audiologist, a nurse, a GP or a midwife. The role can be based in several different areas of healthcare and the setting will influence the tasks carried out. For example, as assistant working in a neonatal care setting as a newborn hearing screener may assist in hearing assessments, be responsible for ensuring screening equipment is in working order and recording and distribute hearing assessment results. In other departments, work may include the testing hearing thresholds, taking ear impressions and helping at hearing aid repair clinics.
The qualifications necessary to be employed as an audiology assistant will vary from setting to setting. Audiology assistants will need a good level of education, however, including GCSEs in English, Maths and Science. You can also apply to enter the NHS Practitioner Training Programme by taking a BSc degree in Healthcare Science (Audiology). To do this you will need at least two A’ Levels including science subjects.
Places of work
Audiology assistants are usually employed by the local health authority, which means they can work in a variety of settings. Audiology assistants may work in hospitals, health centres, community hospitals, nursing homes and patients’ homes.
An audiology assistant working within the NHS will usually be paid within Band 2 as a healthcare science support worker. As of April 2012 this was £14,153 per annum.