Newborn Infant Hearing Screening

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What is a newborn infant hearing screening program?

Newborn infant hearing screening programs are designed to identify hearing loss in infants shortly after birth. All states have implemented these screening protocols within hospitals and birthing clinics. Most hearing screening tests are done prior to discharge from the hospital or birthing clinics.

Typically, nurses or medical assistants are trained extensively on how to operate automated equipment for testing infants. Prior to discharge, each newborn has his/her hearing tested. If, for some reason, the newborn does not pass the screen, a rescreen is usually done. If the infant does not pass the second hearing test, he/she is referred to a specialist for further testing.

Specialists who are experts at testing hearing are called audiologists. Audiologists have had training that emphasizes diagnostic hearing testing techniques as well as hearing rehabilitation of children and adults. Their postgraduate academic training requires a minimum of a master's degree.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/18/2014

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