HepatitisWA – Supporting Blood Aware Workplaces

Are you interested in finding out more about viral hepatitis? Do you feel your workplace would benefit from a greater awareness of BBV issues?

Are you interested in finding out more about viral hepatitis? Do you feel your workplace would benefit from a greater awareness of BBV issues?

We asked HepatitisWA’s Workforce Development Program Officer, Matthew Armstrong to tell us all about the Workforce Development Program and how HepatitisWA can provide support to your agency or organisation.

What is the workforce development program and what does it offer?

Our Workforce Development Program is a free service open to any organization with an interest in learning more about viral hepatitis (such as hepatitis A, B and C). There are many myths around related to hepatitis C, such as how we get it, how serious it is, and what can be done about it. It is vital that health care workers who are engaging with positive people are fully aware of the truth around hepatitis B and C. This knowledge enables them to confidently help to address potential concerns of clients as they arise, perhaps improve their overall health outcomes years later, or even to help prevent future transmissions. Our training also assists with addressing common workplace issues that can arise, such as managing blood spills and sharps, staff vaccinations etc. In fact, we can even assist in creating workplace policies that can ensure all clients are cared for in a way that is universally considered best practice.

Who is the program for?

The programs is open to any organizations with an interest in viral hepatitis, but is particularly relevant for people regularly engaging with;

  • People who inject drugs
  • People from custodial settings
  • Young people engaging in high risk behaviors
  • People with mental health issues
  • Aboriginal people

Why and how might the Workforce Development Program be useful to someone in the youth sector?

Unfortunately, many young people are engaging in high risk behaviors (such as backyard tattooing and body piercing) without any knowledge of this risk. Many youth workers are in the perfect position to help us prevent these risk taking behaviors through opportunistic education!

It is also important for youth workers to have an ability to answer stressful questions someone living with the virus may have. Common questions include;

  • Am I going to die?
  • Do I have to tell my family/workplace/sexual partners?
  • Is there anything I can do about it?
  • Could I have already passed it on to other people that I live with?

Lastly, our training can alleviate any anxiety staff members may have about working with positive people. It is not uncommon for people to unnecessarily be concerned about sharing kitchen items or toilet facilities etc with a positive person. Our training provides detailed understanding on transmission and prevention, and some practical approaches to safety in the workplace.

Is there any associated cost?

Our services are completely free of charge, and with tailor our programs in both length and content to suit your needs.

Where can I find more information?

For more information, please contact Matthew at HepatitisWA on 92279802 or wdo@hepatitiswa.com.au.

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Meet the team

Jesse Altham

Hey! My name is Jesse and I’m a 23 year old from Fremantle, WA. I’m finishing up my Diploma of Youth Work with North Metro TAFE, completing my last practical placement here with the YEP crew. I am extremely passionate about politics, advocacy and education and I’m so fortunate to be working with YEP in the space of peer education.

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Our offices are with the friendly team and YACWA

4/196 Oxford Street, Leederville 6007, Western Australia

T: (08) 9227 5440 T: 1800 670 231
F: (08) 9238 7446 E: yep@yacwa.org.au

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