Training for DHB staff on new newborn hearing screening equipment and protocols

By October, all DHBs will have changed to the new testing.
By October, all DHBs will have changed to the new testing.
The National Screening Unit (NSU) is supporting district health boards (DHBs) with training on new equipment and testing protocols for newborn hearing screening. By October this year, all DHBs will have new equipment and will have changed the type of testing performed.

The NSU is also working with DHB advisors on a new information system for hearing screening.

New brochures for families have been developed with photos of the new testing equipment. These can be found here.

One or two babies out of every 1000 born will have a moderate or more severe permanent hearing loss. Finding these babies early is important for their language, learning and social development. Hearing screening is strongly recommended by the Ministry of Health and is offered to parents/guardians of all newborn babies by specially trained hearing screeners.

Because screening takes place soon after birth, Lead Maternity Carers (LMCs) have an important role in providing information to parents during pregnancy about the purpose of the screening, what to expect and supporting them to make an informed choice about having their baby’s hearing tested. The Ministry of Health strongly recommends this screening.

Newborn hearing screening requires a quiet environment without interruptions. The baby needs to be sleeping or very settled and the room should be quiet. If this is not the case, screening should not be initiated. Maternity staff and LMCs can help by:

  • working with the hearing screener post birth to facilitate an appropriate screening time and settling of a baby for screening
  • supporting women who may be anxious after babies are referred
  • encouraging women to attend appointments to complete screening and/or audiology appointments, even if they have no concerns about their baby’s hearing.

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Page last updated: 30 June 2015