Students in audiology assisting certificate programs learn fundamental scientific aspects of audiology and develop patient care skills. Online learning might be an option for these students. Associate's degree programs in communication disorders focus on the assessment and rehabilitation of hearing and speaking disorders. At the bachelor's level, students in speech and hearing science programs may learn to diagnose patients who have swallowing or diction disorders. This program includes clinical components that help students develop practical skills in these and other areas.
Applicants to these programs will need an aptitude for mathematics, communication, and the physical sciences. Students interested in enrolling in bachelor's degree programs might consider taking advanced placement high school coursework in biology, chemistry, physics, algebra, and calculus to prepare for program coursework.
Certificate Programs in Audiologist Assistance
These programs cover the practical and theoretical skills used to diagnose, cure, and prevent issues with patients' hearing. They discuss the methods and technology used to assess patients' hearing and discover any pathology. Students also learn about amplification technology, such as hearing aids, that are used to treat hearing problems. Some programs that conduct all of their instruction through distance learning allow students to complete practical assignments under audiologist supervision. Classes can include coursework in science, technology, and patient care. Students usually learn about the following:
- Human ear anatomy and physiology
- Troubleshooting ear amplification devices
- Hearing aid technology
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Associate's Degree Programs in Communication Disorders
These programs discuss the skills needed to work as an audiologist assistant. Students learn about speaking and hearing disorders in children and adults, language acquisition, and speech development. Programs cover the scientific and technical aspects of assessment and rehabilitation. They also learn the causes and symptoms of disorders of speaking and hearing. Programs cover language acquisition and speech development in children. The following topics are often taught:
- Developmental psychology
- Abnormal psychology
- Sign language
- Human biology
- Human development
Bachelor's Degree Programs in Speech and Hearing Science
These programs are designed to teach students how people speak, hear, and acquire language. They also discuss how to diagnose and treat patients with swallowing or balance difficulties. They also learn about the technology used to measure speaking and hearing abilities and treat disorders. The subjects below are often discussed:
- Language development
- Hearing neurology
- Hearing assessment methods
- Speech disorders
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov) predicted job growth of 23% for all types of medical assistants from 2014 through 2024. The BLS reported that medical assistants earned an average of $31,910 annually as of May 2015.
There are certificate, associate's, and bachelor's degree programs in fields like audiology assisting, communication disorders and speech and hearing science that can help students gain employment as audiologist assistants. These programs teach them about different kinds of language and hearing disorders and effective treatments to help manage or treat symptoms.