The increase in liver disease is startling with it now being the fifth biggest killer in England and Wales with around a 25% increase in deaths in the last decade.
The UK’s drinking culture has its part to play with younger people now affected more by liver disease as a result. Rates of hepatitis C are increasing but unfortunately the level of treatment has not kept pace. Last month Nursing Times reported a steep rise in deaths from this virus in the UK with experts saying that the rate of treatment for hepatitis is “unacceptable”.
Nurses can help identify those at risk and boost the numbers treated from this disease. However it is a disease area which nurses sometimes feel they do not know enough about.
The Royal College of Nursing has produced a competence framework for nursing to provide professional quality standards to support nurses, regardless of their own clinical background, to offer appropriate, timely and quality care for people with and at risk of liver disease.
Two of the authors of this framework have worked with Nursing Times to produce a learning unit which is free for all to access. Liver Disease: risk factors and treatment is aimed at nurses working in all healthcare settings; it will enable you to identify patients at risk of liver disease, offer them health education to reduce their risk, and recognise those who require referral to specialist liver services.
And of course it will add to your CPD hours with a certificate that you can print off and keep in your portfolio.