Waikato DHB’s manager of Newborn Hearing Screening Lynne Forsman, pictured, is one of two screeners nationally who have completed a newly established national certificate that recognises her specific knowledge of newborn hearing screening.
The other is Jenny Woodward from Auckland DHB.
The introduction of the universal newborn hearing screening and early intervention programme required the National Screening Unit (NSU) to develop a new workforce of newborn hearing screeners.
Initially 120 people did the training run by the University of Canterbury, 112 people completed it, and along with DHB orientation, allowed screeners to meet minimum levels to commence screening independently.
Since then the NSU has worked with Careerforce to develop an NZQA qualification – The National Certificate in Health, Disability, and Aged Support (Newborn Hearing Screening).
The screeners trained at the University of Canterbury have the opportunity to be recognised for their current competency.
Topics covered include safety requirements, risk factors and protocols for well babies and babies in neonatal and special care units, administration procedures, the use and maintenance of hearing screening equipment, communicating with parents of newborns, demonstrating competency in carrying out newborn hearing screening and referral, habilitation and intervention options for newborns with hearing loss.
Holders of this qualification are able to apply the Code of Rights when supporting people, demonstrate knowledge of infection control requirements and describe and apply culturally safe operating principles and Maori values in a health or disability setting and apply knowledge of communication process theory.
To acquire the National Certificate screeners have had to complete 13 compulsory unit standards and one elective unit standard.
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