Undertaking a new aspect of Infection Prevention – Implementing a Respiratory Protection Program during the COVID-19 pandemic

Miss Sara Peterson1, Michelle Battye1

1Svphm, Melbourne, Australia

It has become a requirement for hospitals to implement Respiratory Protection Programs for HCWs working in high-risk areas who are required to wear respirators.

Over 2 months 389 staff members were fit tested using a range of respirators, this presentation will discuss the results and learnings from setting up the program.


Sara Peterson

Sara Peterson is an Infection Prevention Nurse with almost 3 years full time experience in the field. She completed a Masters of Public Health in December 2019 and almost immediately found herself in a real life case study of a pandemic. During this time she relocated to Melbourne from Sydney, and was inadvertently swept up into the largest wave of COVID-19 in Australia. Sara has recently been appointed as a Respiratory Protection Program Administrator at a private hospital in Melbourne, and would like to share her experiences of getting a brand new program for healthcare up and running during a pandemic.

Michelle Battye

My nursing background is as a NICU/SCN nurse, with specialised skills in caring for newborn infants who for a variety of reasons required specialised care. As a nurse I was already trained in infection prevention, nonetheless I decided to specialise in the area. Working to prevent the spread of infectious agents, ensuring infection prevention is ‘everyone’s business’, ultimately focusing on maintaining a safe environment for all patients, healthcare workers and visitors.

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