We are Northern: This is the Audiology team
The Audiology department is based at Northern Hospital Epping, and aims to identify and manage hearing impairment in children from six months to adults, referred from within Northern Health. Most referrals come from the Ear Nose and Throat Service and the Paediatrics teams, with some from Oncology, Neurology, Infectious Diseases and other clinics.
Audiology operates five days a week and consists of two part-time audiologists, Jasna Bruce and Yen Nguyen. The department is located in Specialist Clinics (Room 36) and is supported by the Associate Director of Allied Health – Dietetics, Speech Pathology, Audiology and Orthoptics.
An audiologist is a health-care professional specialising in identifying, and the non-medical management of disorders of the auditory and vestibular system. Audiologists also help design and implement personal and industrial hearing safety programs, newborn hearing screening programs, school hearing screening programs, and provide special fitting ear plugs and other hearing protection devices to help prevent hearing loss.
During the pandemic, the clinic was closed for a time and became innovative by partnering with community audiology clinics to assist with the demand. During this time, Audiologist Jasna Bruce became a PPE trainer for Allied Health and a COVID-19 spotter for the Mental Health wards (when they were in the Red zone), and also a COVID-19 Tracer at Broadmeadows Hospital during lockdowns.
“It was a really interesting time and one that I will never forget, but I really enjoy working at Northern Health and have been here for 13 years. I enjoy Audiology because hearing is associated with speech development, learning, behaviour and the wellbeing of children. It is also associated with many quality-of-life measures for adults, so it’s very important to detect hearing loss and do something about it if needed,” said Jasna.
“As you can imagine, we have lots of supportive conversations with patients during their time in the Audiology clinic. One of the best feelings is when a child is diagnosed with a conductive hearing loss, has grommets inserted and immediately we see their hearing improve to normal.”
In 2023, the staff are excited about achieving significantly reduced patient waiting times.
“With the increased staffing, we are able to service referrals and review patients in a timely manner. Less pressure on the whole department allows us to be more thorough with our follow-ups. We are also looking forward to potentially expanding our services into other areas of audiology in future,” said Yen.
“If the door is open, please come and say ‘hi’.”
Thank you to the Audiology team for all that you do for our patients.
Pictured in featured image (L-R): Yen Nguyen and Jasna Bruce.