Hospital’s screening program recognized

Whidbey General Hospital Nurse Josefina Santos has her arms full with two sets of twins.  - Courtesy photo
Whidbey General Hospital Nurse Josefina Santos has her arms full with two sets of twins.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Whidbey General Hospital was recently recognized by the Washington State Early Hearing-loss Detection, Diagnosis and Intervention Program for its excellent Universal Newborn Hearing Screening program.

The program was launched in 2002 as one of seven pilot programs in the state. According to the Department of Health, the hospital screens about 98 percent of its babies each month and refers about 6 percent of them on the initial hearing screen.

Nurse Manager Trish Nilsen requires that her staff attend regular training sessions on hearing screening and said it helps that her staff has very little turnover. Additionally, she said the nurses are deeply committed to their patients.

“It’s about the hearing, not about the checklist,” she said in a release. Unlike in other rural communities, failure to followup with families isn’t common at Whidbey General.

The hearing screenings are performed by all 30 Registered Nurses in the Family Birthplace unit.

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