Chevron Pilbara Ear Health Program
What We Provide
The Chevron Pilbara Ear Health Program provides mobile ear health services to children in the West Pilbara via a modified bus that visits participating schools. The program provides free ear health checks and a hearing screening, and facilitates appointments for hearing tests, Nurse Practitioner consultations and appointments with ENT specialists throughout various locations.
Our Presence in the Pilbara
The Karratha office has been modified to provide all scheduled clinical services (Audiology, Nurse Practitioner and ENT), as well as the ongoing management of the program by the Pilbara Ear Health Coordinator and Community Liaison Officer. The premises also houses our purpose built mobile clinic vehicles, used to deliver outreach “on site” screening and audiology services to outlying communities. This is important as it ensures a genuine community presence, and removes the need for people to travel in to major Pilbara centres or to Perth.
Where We Work
Currently we work with communities, elders, schools and various parts of the health system to deliver services in:
* TSH also provides some audiological supports in Newman through a different program.
We also will work with others who are looking for the service in their local community so we can be part of local solutions to local issues.
Who We Work With
Our local team works closely with community elders, along with a range of locally based organisations to ensure our services are supported by the community and address their needs.
Our Ear Screeners work closely with Aboriginal and Indigenous Education Officers (AIEOs), Community Liaison Officers (CLO) and School Nurses to identify children who are at risk or require referrals for medical treatment or a full hearing assessment. We also work with the WA Country Health Service, Aboriginal Medical Services, local community nurses, the Education Department, and others to ensure we work together with other services in the region.
The program provides free ear health checks, including otoscopy (examination of the ear with a light), tympanometry (a pressure test to establish how well the eardrum is moving and whether there is fluid behind the eardrum) and a hearing screening.
The Chevron Pilbara Ear Health Program accepts referrals from healthcare and education professionals, including teachers, AEIOs, CLOs, nurses, general practitioners and allied health workers. Parents and members of the community are also able to refer to the program.
Our Capacity Building Focus
One of the major aims of the Program is to build local capacity and leave a lasting legacy. We achieve this in partnership with our key Pilbara stakeholders (i.e. WA Country Health Services, Aboriginal Medical Services, the Education Department and various community Elders), building skills and capacity through:
- Community events
- Workshops in ear health screening and management and hearing screening
- Education in preventative measures for both professionals, parents and teachers
A strength of the program is the incidental ear health education provided to the children while they are on the bus undergoing an ear check and hearing screening. Children are empowered through education to take responsibility for their ear health and to recognize poor ear health in peers and family members.