Newborn hearing screeners work as members of a team in neonatal units, postnatal wards and in hospitals and clinics. They are involved in identifying which babies need testing and explain the screening procedure.
Training and qualifications required
There are no set entry requirements for newborn hearing screeners. Employers expect a good standard of numeracy and literacy and may ask for GCSEs or equivalent and may ask for a nursery nursing or child-care related qualification, such as NNEB, BTEC or vocational qualification. Experience of working with children and families is advantageous as is experience of working with deaf people. This can be either or paid or voluntary work. You will be given the training you need for the job including how to use the equipment, health and safety and child protection. Newborn hearing screeners can join the British Society of Audiology (BSA) as associate members. The BSA offers conferences and meetings where hearing screeners can update their skills and network with others working in the field.
Expected working hours and salary range
As a newborn hearing screener you will typically be on Agenda for Change band 3. You may be able to apply for more senior positions at AfC band 4 - eg as an assistant practitioner, after further training and experience. Newborn hearing screeners work standard hours of around 37.5 a week. Some may work shifts, which could involve nights, early starts, evenings and weekends. Terms and conditions will usually be different for clinical support staff working outside of the NHS.
Desirable skills and values
As a newborn hearing screener, you need to be happy to handle newborn babies, calm and reassuring, able to explain procedures to parents, willing to work with people from all walks of life, able to work as part of a team but use your own initiative, able to follow instructions and use equipment. You'll also need very good communication, customer care and organisational skills
You could become a newborn screening coordinator, supervising and organising the work of a team of screeners. You could move into other jobs in the wider healthcare team or with the appropriate qualifications for entry to university, you could apply to train as a healthcare professional, such as a midwife or nurse or as an audiologist.