3141 Audiologists and speech-language pathologists
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Lead statementAudiologists diagnose, evaluate and treat individuals with peripheral and central hearing loss, tinnitus and balance problems. Speech-language pathologists diagnose, assess and treat human communication disorders including speech, fluency, language, voice and swallowing disorders. Audiologists and speech-language pathologists are employed in hospitals, community and public health centres, extended care facilities, day clinics, rehabilitation centres and educational institutions, or may work in private practice. Audiologists and speech-language pathologists who are supervisors are included in this unit group.
- audiology clinician
- certified audiologist
- clinical audiologist
- educational speech-language pathologist
- research audiologist
- speech therapist
- speech-language clinician
This group performs some or all of the following duties:
- Develop and administer audiometric tests and examinations using specialized instruments and electronic equipment to diagnose and evaluate the degree and type of patients' hearing impairment
- Plan and implement habilitation/rehabilitation programs for patients, including selection, fitting and adjustment of amplification devices, such as hearing aids, balance retraining exercises and teaching speech (lip) reading
- Educate and counsel patients and families regarding the nature, extent, impact and implications of hearing loss and treatment
- Establish personalized care plans working as a member of an interdisciplinary team
- Conduct research related to hearing and hearing disorders
- May instruct and supervise audiometric technicians, students and other health care personnel.
- Administer tests and examinations and observe patients to diagnose and evaluate speech, voice, resonance, language, fluency, cognitive-linguistic and swallowing disorders
- Develop, plan and implement remedial programs to correct speech, voice, language, fluency, resonance, cognitive-linguistic and swallowing disorders
- Establish group and personalized care plans working as a member of an interdisciplinary team
- Educate and counsel patients and families regarding communication and swallowing disorders
- Conduct research on speech and other communication disorders and on the development and design of diagnostic procedures and devices
- May instruct and supervise communicative disorders assistants, students and other health care personnel.
- Audiologists require a master's degree in audiology.
- Speech-language pathologists require a master's degree in speech-language pathology.
- Registration with a regulatory body is required for audiologists and speech-language pathologists in Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.
- Membership in the national association, Canadian Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists, is usually required.
- In some jurisdictions, audiologists may be required to obtain a separate licence to dispense hearing aids.
- Progression into management positions, such as chief audiologist or director of speech-language pathology, is possible with experience.