DUBBO’S Hear Our Heart Ear Bus project has become a tool for teaching the next generation of medical professionals.
A group of medical students from the University of NSW (UNSW), including former St John’s College student Richard Chatoor, have this week spent time viewing aspects of the project, through a visit with Medical Outreach Australia (MOA).
The students arrived in Dubbo on Sunday, and project volunteer director Donna Rees said they have relished the chance to get involved with Hear Our Heart.
“[It has enabled them] to gain more insight into understanding hearing loss in health and educational aspects,” she said.
The week kicked off with a workshop on Monday morning outlining the history of Hear Our Heart and its multi-faceted approach to ear health and prevention.
The students participated in a hearing loss simulation at Dubbo West Public School, and heard from teachers, parents and affected students.
Tuesday morning was spent learning from ear, nose and throat surgeon Dr Hayder Ridha.
The students sat in on consultations and experimented with different equipment, before heading to a local preschool to watch the Hear Our Heart Ear Bus conduct hearing tests.
The week has given the medical students a greater understanding of hearing issues, Ms Rees said.
She hoped the MOA student visit could become an ongoing program.
“It would be nice to have it continue because hopefully when these guys leave, in their own practice in the future they will have a better understanding of hearing and ear health in a general sense,” she said.
“They’re certainly very interested, they’re asking a lot of questions and the opportunity of working with the equipment and observing the specialists is a good opportunity for them to be adding onto their own learning.
“Speaking to the teachers and the children themselves is good because that’s what it’s about in the real world.”
The students head back to Sydney on Wednesday afternoon.