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Arming herself with up-to-date information on viral hepatitis has given Nurse Navigator Louise Weller more confidence in providing hepatitis information to patients.
Working in various nursing roles for 35 years, Louise is now with Southern Downs, a part of Darling Downs Health. She is responsible for assisting people with complex health needs, low health literacy, and high coordination needs.
Louise was initially drawn to Hepatitis Queensland’s education sessions as a way to keep abreast of current hepatitis trends and treatment.
“I hadn’t had an update on hepatitis for a while and had just started in a new role after having worked as a clinical nurse consultant within the community mental health team,” Louise said.
“One of my key takeaways from the day was the information on new hepatitis C treatments as well as the demonstration of the FibroScan to assist in treatment.”
During education sessions, Hepatitis Queensland’s Community Outreach Nurse is on hand to show how the FibroScan, a non-invasive, ultrasound-like machine, measures the liver’s stiffness. Those with a FibroScan score below 12.5* can generally be treated by their GP without being referred to a specialist.
Louise says other health professionals may be surprised how hepatitis impacts other aspects of health and could benefit from taking part in the evidence-based education sessions.
“I would recommend the sessions to other health professionals as a way to stay current with the latest in hepatitis research and treatment. It is particularly relevant for mental health clinicians, alcohol and other drug services, as well as other nurse navigators.
Education sessions are available for all non-clinical staff working with people who are at risk of, or living with viral hepatitis. To book a free session at your workplace or online, or if you have any questions, contact Lana.
*Refer GESA Guidelines for full clinical guidance for treating hepatitis C infection.