Jobs in health care [Pictures]
Learn about the wide variety of careers in the health-care field in the words of local professionals. This is a regularly updated gallery. If you would like to spotlight your medical career, email firstname.lastname@example.org. We will consider submissions of jobs not already profiled.
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Audiologist( Lloyd Fox, Baltimore Sun / April 29, 2014 )
Diane Becker has been an audiologist at Saint Agnes Hospital for 14 years.
What does your job entail?
I've been employed at Saint Agnes Hospital, in some form or another, my entire career, including my first clinical fellowship year. As an audiologist, I have the opportunity to work with inpatient and outpatient populations. One of my inpatient areas is the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Program (formerly Universal Newborn Hearing), including clinical and administrative aspects. In the outpatient department, we offer diagnostic hearing testing for adults and children, balance testing for patients with vertigo or dizziness, and a comprehensive adult hearing aid program.
What kind of schooling or training did you go through?
The entry level degree for audiology changed from a master's to a doctorate in 2007. I originally earned my master's degree from Towson University and later a doctorate in audiology from the University of Florida.
What inspired you to this career?
I initially went to Towson University for a degree in speech therapy. While selecting my master's program, I realized that audiology was the perfect match for me. Helping all different patient populations with a variety of tests and technology makes audiology my dream job.
What do you like best about your job?
The truly amazing part for me is being able to start my day by screening the hearing of newborns as young as 4 hours old in the nursery. The advancements in digital technology provide me with continued learning opportunities for hearing aids, implants and the equipment we use. We have a battery of tests and many specialty areas within audiology that definitely keep my interest piqued. Most importantly, helping patients learn about their hearing and balance systems, and helping people improve their quality of life through better hearing are the most rewarding aspects of my job.
What are the challenges?
Audiology faces similar challenges as other health care professions with coverage and reimbursement for services. Educational audiologists continue to advocate for increased funding for services for school-aged children. Currently, there is proposed legislation for a Hearing Aid Assistance Tax Credit Act, which is a tax break for people who purchase hearing aids.
The median salary for audiologists working a calendar year (as opposed to academic year) is $73,000, according to a 2012 survey by the American-Speech-Language Hearing Association.