Aug 29, 2015
5
0
Status
Audiology Student
Hello, first time poster, long time reader.


I am currently an AuD student in the Midwest and have recently begun my second year within the program. Classes have been back in session for a week and I've been wrestling with some doubts about audiology and whether audiology is really my calling, the cost vs. benefit of receiving my AuD, and options available to me if I did quit the program. I just wanted to seek some advice, perspective, or thoughts from others about my situation and what I should do.


Some background: I graduated in May 2014 with a BA in communication sciences and disorders from a private Midwest university with a 3.5/4.0 GPA. When I applied to grad schools, I really thought I wanted to study audiology and I was ready to take this next step in my education. However, I had a feeling that I really wasn't ready for grad school and I was feeling burnt out with school in general; I ignored the feeling and took to advice of my family members who told me to power through and not take a gap year for fear that I wouldn't go back to school. I struggled with these feelings of doubt about my personal satisfaction with audiology and some of the aspects of the field that concerned me my whole first year. I fully admit there were long stretches of time that I was really happy and satisfied, but the doubt has always come back in one form or another. Now that I have come back from a short time off between summer and fall classes, these doubts have gotten even stronger, to the point where I have been actively been looking at other things I could do should I decide to quit the program.


There are several things that have bothered me and are contributing to my doubts about the path that I have chosen. The first of these doubts is whether there is enough variety in the day-to-day work as an audiologist to keep boredom at bay or avoid feeling like I'm just reliving the same day each and every day when I go to work. I realize there is some repetitiveness in every job, but I worry that there is not enough variety in this field for me. I'm also worried about some of the professional issues that we have discussed in some of my classes like reimbursement rates for those working with Medicaid, competing with big box stores and online hearing aid/amplification sales, pay vs. time/money spent getting an AuD, how we are respected as allied healthcare providers, etc. I am slightly upset/resentful that I had to get a BA for 4 years and then turn around and spend another 4 years getting and AuD when, realistically, a 5 or 6 year program that allows one to complete a BA and an AuD could be done and makes more sense to do (this was done with the pharmacy program at my undergrad, students were admitted and did 4 semesters of “pre-pharmacy” work and then used the rest of the time in the program working towards their PharmD). How much time this degree takes is really the thing that is currently bothering me the most.


With that said, I’m kind of trying to figure out what my next step(s) should be. I’ve gone back to the career center at my undergrad university and had some career counseling there and it was helpful. Some of the suggestions from that meeting guided me towards other professional careers that would be more suited to my abilities/interests, but I would assume quitting one professional degree program will not look good when applying to another professional degree program. I’ve also considered an accelerated nursing program, but I haven’t taken many science classes and I’m not exactly sure if my GPA would allow me to get into such a program. I would appreciate any insights, advice, and even some “I’ve been theres” from anyone. Thanks!
 

CBA300

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Apr 16, 2008
37
2
Status
Rehab Sci Student
Hi, I can definitely say I've 'been there' and agonized about the same problem. I'd be happy to offer my personal story and any support or suggestions. Please feel free to contact me in a private conversation.
 

TheEarDoc

Audiologist
7+ Year Member
Dec 28, 2010
594
157
The dirty south
Status
Non-Student
That's a tough one. I will say this any field you could think of that would be a lateral move to Audiology (OT, PT, Speech, Nursing, etc.) has a lot of repetition.

Trust me on the nursing thing. I have been there done that. A lot of the same repetitive tasks, a lot of the same headaches, etc..

Being that you do not have a sciences background is going to be a hurdle for you. Almost any other lateral move program is going to require some Science courses like basic human anatomy, Chemistry, Physics, several Biology courses to even be considered for acceptance into a program. The accelerated nursing programs are usually for folks with a hard sciences background (think pre-med major) and many will take those students first then students with a bachelor's degree without the pre-reqs, but with a lot of patient care such as EMT, CNA, etc..

What are your issues with Audiology? The work required for the payout? I make over 100k a year. Granted I work 2 jobs, but the work is not that bad. Yes I crank out a lot of audios, but I do just about the entire scope of practice in Audiology between my 2 jobs. You don't want to sell hearing aids? You don't have to. The VA system requires no sales of hearing aids, pays well, and has a decent amount of respect in the VA system. I won't lie, Audiology does limit you more in terms of the amount of jobs available unless you live in a decent sized metro area. Could I have made more money and had more job prospects as a nurse practitioner or physician assistant or Psychologist? Yep. I would have had the same headaches though in the private sector with billing, professionalism issues (unless you're an osteo doc or MD you will be looked down upon by others including hospital administrators it's just the facts of life), and pay (yes even nursing is seeing a drop in pay as the field gets saturated and the ACA kicks in). Yes no matter the field you will also have more administrative work thrown on you besides just your clinical load.

Let's say you walk out the door today from your AuD program. For any other move you would probably have a year to two years of pre-reqs you would need to complete before you could stroll into an RN program or most other programs. Then if you did your RN you would need 2 years
 
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OP
Q
Aug 29, 2015
5
0
Status
Audiology Student
That's a tough one. I will say this any field you could think of that would be a lateral move to Audiology (OT, PT, Speech, Nursing, etc.) has a lot of repetition.

Trust me on the nursing thing. I have been there done that. A lot of the same repetitive tasks, a lot of the same headaches, etc..

Being that you do not have a sciences background is going to be a hurdle for you. Almost any other lateral move program is going to require some Science courses like basic human anatomy, Chemistry, Physics, several Biology courses to even be considered for acceptance into a program. The accelerated nursing programs are usually for folks with a hard sciences background (think pre-med major) and many will take those students first then students with a bachelor's degree without the pre-reqs, but with a lot of patient care such as EMT, CNA, etc..

What are your issues with Audiology? The work required for the payout? I make over 100k a year. Granted I work 2 jobs, but the work is not that bad. Yes I crank out a lot of audios, but I do just about the entire scope of practice in Audiology between my 2 jobs. You don't want to sell hearing aids? You don't have to. The VA system requires no sales of hearing aids, pays well, and has a decent amount of respect in the VA system. I won't lie, Audiology does limit you more in terms of the amount of jobs available unless you live in a decent sized metro area. Could I have made more money and had more job prospects as a nurse practitioner or physician assistant or Psychologist? Yep. I would have had the same headaches though in the private sector with billing, professionalism issues (unless you're an osteo doc or MD you will be looked down upon by others including hospital administrators it's just the facts of life), and pay (yes even nursing is seeing a drop in pay as the field gets saturated and the ACA kicks in). Yes no matter the field you will also have more administrative work thrown on you besides just your clinical load.

Let's say you walk out the door today from your AuD program. For any other move you would probably have a year to two years of pre-reqs you would need to complete before you could stroll into an RN program or most other programs. Then if you did your RN you would need 2 years
Thank you for your reply! You gave me a lot of good information and a lot of things to think about!
 
Sep 8, 2015
2
1
Status
Audiology Student
I too have definitely felt that I was wasting money and time pursing my Au.D. Especially after my first year. But i powered through and am finally in my 4th year. I've only been out "practicing" for a few months, but i was also worried about the whole getting bored thing. And i can honestly say that I'm not. Im at a private practice that mainly does hearing instruments, no balance, tinnitus or APD stuff. So everyday is audios, programming and EMIs. Its the same thing day after day, but it's the new and interesting people that make it exciting. i get to learn so much about my patients and get to become a part of their lives. That's my biggest motivation for becoming an audiologist. I rarely give bad news, i see a patient on average once every 4 months, but i get to make such a huge impact in their life.

Grad School is ROUGH, no matter what program youre in. It takes away your social life, gives your crippling debt and turns you into a zombie. But when youre in a job setting that you love, its just worth it.
 
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