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Keywords

Hearing, Newborn, Nurse, Screen

 

Authors

  1. Brennan, Rita Allen MS, RNC, APN/CNS

ABSTRACT

Hearing loss is one of the most common major birth defects, yet the average age for identifying significant hearing loss in children in the United States is 30 months.Hearing loss directly affects a child's ability to develop normal language skills, impairs his or her ability to communicate with others in the environment, and has been shown to correlate with poor academic performance. However, if hearing loss is detected early and interventions are begun before 6 months of age, children with hearing loss develop language, cognitive, and speech skills comparable to their nonhearing-impaired peers. Only 38 states mandate universal newborn hearing screening before discharge from the hospital.

 

This article describes an institutional universal hearing screening program developed by nursing, which collaborated with physicians, audiologists, and otolaryngologists. Careful planning, including a thorough literature review, networking with area hospitals, and dialoging with experts in the field led to a successful program.The outcomes from this program compare favorably to nationally published data.