We here at Staffing Proxy are all about remote work when possible, and we fully support 21st Century work culture. We have technology now that means we can work virtually anywhere in the world, and many people are more productive when they’re not forced to be in the office all day.
So where does that leave audiologists?
To answer the question we posed in the title of this article: Yes, some audiologists can work from home. However, that doesn’t mean that everyone can. There are a couple big caveats that we should talk through.
Work-from-home opportunities will vary by employer
Every employer is different. Some are all about work-from-home opportunities, while others are working to get employees back into the building as fast as possible. Just because there are remote options for audiologists doesn’t mean that your employer will go for them.
How does this work? Well, you can potentially meet with clients remotely using an application like Skype or Zoom. In many cases, software exists that can help you make diagnoses remotely. Audiology.org actually has a really great article about tele-audiology if you’re interested in learning more.
This isn’t a perfect solution, however. A while back, we spoke with Dr. Lori Ann Halvorson, AuD, FAAA Board Certified Doctor of Audiology. She was able to keep her practice open when a lot of other audiology practices were shutting down to weather out the pandemic – and she did so by fighting to see patients in person.
She told us:
…the quarantine and social distancing have left many people isolated in their homes, nursing homes, hospitals, senior living centers – and the only communication with family, friends, or doctors is through the telephone. If there is hearing loss, even a mild loss, communication is challenging, which often becomes a safety factor. Families try to call their parents who live in other states, but the parents don’t hear the phone or can’t understand them on the phone, so there’s less communication, and they’re not able to know parents are safe from the virus or from anything else. Keeping patients connected to their loved ones – communicating with and hearing their families through the phone – was a priority.
In a lot of cases, in-person care is required in order to do your job properly. Obviously, if you perform these service, remote work simply won’t be an option for you.
Let’s expand upon that a little bit with our next point.
Audiology is a vast career field, and many positions require an in-person presence
There are several non-clinical careers for those with audiology degrees. We made a list of four such opportunities a while back.
Let’s take a look at one of the options we called attention to: Forensic Audiologist. You can see how some people working in Forensic Audiology would spend a lot of time in the courtroom, while others would spend a lot of time in the lab. In both cases, working from home might simply be out of the question.
Let’s look at another example from that article: Audiology Teacher. If you’re teaching audiology at a college, you might already have remote options available to you. In fact, you might be able to do the job completely from home by offering remote courses only.
And a third example from that same article is the Psychoacoustician career. This is such a diverse niche of audiology that it’s hard to even imagine what the work-from-home prospects might be like without actually talking to a Psychoacoustician.
As you can see, there’s so much variety inside the field of audiology that different workers are going to have vastly different experiences, with vastly different responsibilities and expectations. Some people can make that work remotely; others simply can’t.
So can audiologists work remotely?
While our answer to that question is a hard yes, whether or not it works for you personally is going to change that answer to a soft maybe. You might be able to, but it depends on what exactly you’re doing and who you work for.
While we do believe in remote work, many of your clients might be better served in person. That’s just the reality of healthcare.