RIDBC Jim Patrick Audiology Centre celebrates 20,000 clients

02/03/17
RIDBC Jim Patrick Audiology Centre audiologist conducts test to look at inner ear function.RIDBC Jim Patrick Audiology Centre audiologist conducts test to look at inner ear function.

On World Hearing Day, Friday, March 3, RIDBC Jim Patrick Audiology Centre will be celebrating the achievement of serving over 20,000 clients since its inception in 2002.

RIDBC Jim Patrick Audiology Centre at North Rocks is a family-friendly audiology clinic offering a full range of children’s audiological services. The centre incorporates the latest technology for hearing assessment of children from birth onwards.

Genelle Cook, Head of RIDBC Jim Patrick Audiology, said, “I feel extremely proud that the team at RIDBC Jim Patrick Audiology Centre has been able to contribute to the local and broader community by providing high quality diagnostic hearing assessment services for so many children, particularly those with additional needs.

“Our staff provide a valuable community service to the 2,500 children who visit RIDBC each year for their hearing assessments. Over 20,000 children and their families have attended the centre since it first opened in 2002. For most of those families, their hearing assessment at the centre was their first introduction to RIDBC.”

RIDBC Jim Patrick Audiology Centre was officially opened by Jim Patrick in 2002 in response to the increased need for paediatric audiology services. The centre was named in honour of Jim Patrick, who spent his working life devoted to the development of the cochlear implant.

The centre is the only audiological assessment centre dedicated to paediatric services outside of the children’s hospitals, ensuring that children as young as three weeks of age can receive diagnostic audiology testing,including infants referred as part of the NSW State Wide Infant Screening – Hearing (SWISH) program.

"The SWISH program tests the hearing of all newborns born in NSW hospitals. This important program has seen dramatic improvements in the early diagnosis and support provided to families where there is a diagnosis of hearing loss.

“Detecting a hearing loss at birth ensures children are able to access quality early intervention from just a few weeks of age and this greatly improves their outcomes.  Early detection allows audiologists to fit infants with high-quality hearing aids and cochlear implants early on, to give them as much access to sound as possible,” said Genelle.

Some children who pass their SWISH test may find they require the services at RIDBC Jim Patrick Audiology Centre later in life.

"We also support a large number of young children who are referred to us because of a speech delay or possible developmental delay and children of all ages who might be experiencing ear infections or difficulty hearing," said Genelle.

RIDBC Jim Patrick Audiology Centre has experience in offering culturally sensitive programs particularly for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

“Our audiologists mentor Aboriginal Hearing Health Workers in their communities, provide information sessions to parents, undertake in-servicing workshops for teachers, and conduct hearing screenings at schools and preschools,” said Genelle.

RIDBC Jim Patrick Audiology Centre is the preferred referral service for many audiologists who have been unable to gain results from difficult to test children and children with multiple disabilities.

To make an appointment to have your child’s hearing assessed phone, 02 9872 0872.

RIDBC Jim Patrick Audiology Centre is a dedicated paediatric audiology centre which incorporates the latest technology for hearing assessment of children from birth onwards and is the only centre that provides two audiologists during testing.

RIDBC Jim Patrick Audiology Centre offers educational audiology support for children in RIDBC programs and is the only service that offers unilateral hearing loss information sessions.