Hepatitis C virus is quickly becoming a national threat, involving 2% of the nation’s population, ranking this as the 11th most prevalent disease in the world. Traditionally, treatment for hepatitis C has been conducted in tertiary care settings, limiting access to care for those residing in rural areas. Improving access to care through the development of a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) nurse-managed clinic in a rural setting will improve health outcomes and quality of life for those treated outside the traditional setting. Caring for those living in less densely populated areas requires an understanding of rural culture. This paper will discuss the development and implementation of a DNP Model of Care for rural patients being treated for hepatitis C. The model of care starts with identifying the hepatitis C, treating the patient following established medical guidelines, using the nursing model to monitor clinical progress and managing side-effects caused by the treatment medications. Using the DNP Model of Care, a patient-focused clinic can successfully treat rural patients utilizing the principles of the Effect Theory for management and the Process Theory for ongoing evaluation. Collaboration with other key resources, utilizing a multidisciplinary approach allows the DNP nurse to care for those requiring treatment for chronic hepatitis C, where they live and work with the assistance of family and social support.
Key Words: Hepatitis C, Rural nursing, Nurse-managed clinics
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