Guest Blogger A.U. Bankaitis, PhD Vice President of Oaktree Products, Inc
A.U. Bankaitis, PhD, is Vice President of Oaktree Products, Inc., a multi-line distributor of audiology and hearing-related products based in St. Louis, MO. As a clinical audiologist, Dr. Bankaitis has been involved in educating colleagues about various practical aspects of clinical practice including infection control, cerumen management, and hearing assistance technology.
A medical resident needs a stethoscope, a plumber in-training requires a wrench, a recruit in the police academy has to have a gun, and yes, an AuD student should invest in their own otoscope. An ototscope is one of the most important pieces of equipment that audiologists will use on a routine basis in the clinical environment. Otoscopes provide illuminated magnification of the ear canal and tympanic membrane, allowing audiologists to see what is necessary to perform their job.
Otoscopes generally fall into one of three different types according to their general design.
Pocket otoscopes tend to be smaller, lighter devices designed to “fit in a pocket” and typically require AA alkaline batteries to power the light source. In contrast, full-size otoscopes are more substantial in size and weight and traditionally use rechargeable batteries and the ability to recharge the handle via a standard wall socket. Furthermore, the standard interlocking tool feature of full-size otoscope heads and handles offers the user more flexibility in terms of head and handle options or upgrades. Finally, video otoscopes provide the ability to project images on a screen (computer, TV or special LED screen), offering image sharing for clinical and/or educational purposes.
While it isn’t necessary to spend a lot of money on an otoscope, it is important to recognize that light source quality (halogen versus xenon versus LED), battery technology (NiCad versis Lithium Ion), and other factors will influence image quality and, therefore, the price of the otoscope. When attending various state or national conferences such as AudiologyNow, AuD students should take the time compare and contrast various otoscope technologies showcased in the exhibit halls. While otoscopes may cost a bit in the mind of a student, it is a necessary and priceless investment to make towards achieving the goal of becoming an Audiologist.
For more information on the content provided in this post or Oaktree Products,Inc you may contact Dr. A.U. Bankaitis at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.aubankaitis.wordpress.com.
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The Audiologist to Be.Com's A.U.D. (Acquire Useful Devices) Otoscope Giveaway is sponsored by our friends at Oaktree Products, Inc. You must be a current Audiology Graduate student to enter and win.