Eliminating Hepatitis C – The important role of nurses in general practice - Australian Practice Nurses Association
Hepatitis C has been a significant public health issue in Australia for several decades, with a growing number of people living with hepatitis C and its associated disease burden. However, Australia has the essential tools to achieve elimination of hepatitis C as a public health threat, including availability of publicly funded direct-acting antiviral treatments (which can cure hepatitis C) and effective prevention methods including needle and syringe and opioid substitution therapy programs. Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is bloodborne, and transmission can occur if there is blood-to-blood contact. Approximately 75 to 85% of cases progress to chronic infection if not treated. There are six main genotypes of the hepatitis C virus, numbered 1 to 6, and different treatment options are available based on the genotype, which will be detailed in this education program.
This activity has been endorsed by APNA according to approved quality standards criteria. Completion of this educational activity entitles eligible participants to claim 1.50 CPD hours.
Jacqui Richmond, PhD
Registered Nurse – Bachelor of Nursing,
Master of Public Health
Program Manager, Workforce Development and
Health Service Delivery, EC Australia
On completion of this program, participants will be better able to:
- Identify the role of practice nurses in proactively screening and identifying patients at risk of hepatitis C, as well as facilitate access to opportunistic testing
- Identify patients with a diagnosis of hepatitis C using practice software, and recall relevant patients for assessment and management by the GP
- Recognise new medications which have been shown to cure hepatitis C, and understand the role of nurses in contributing to the national effort to eliminate hepatitis C
- Counsel patients on the functions of the liver, and the impact of chronic hepatitis C on an individual’s health status, and refer to national and local hepatitis support groups