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Dr. Sheila Williams

A Walters State Community College professor’s research into hepatitis C has been published in a national journal, a press release from Walters State announced.

Gastroenterology Nursing published an article by Dr. Sheila Williams, an associate professor of nursing. The article focuses on the treatment of patients with hepatitis C, a viral infection that causes liver inflammation, sometimes leading to serious liver damage.

Williams first became interested in the disease while working as a nurse at Morristown Gastroenterology, the release said.

“Hepatitis C affects so many people. Unfortunately, there is a stigma to the disease that sometimes prevents patients from getting tested,” Williams said. “Many adults do not have symptoms until the liver has already been damaged. Once a patient has been diagnosed, nurses can play a vital role in ensuring that the patient adheres to treatment regimen.”

The article is focused on research that Williams did as part of her doctorate program at the University of Tennessee. She completed her degree in May. She also earned her post-master’s nursing certificate at that time and is a certified advance practice nurse. She has been a faculty member at Walters State since 2012, starting as an adjunct faculty member and joining the college full-time in 2014.

“I have always wanted to teach. That’s why I eventually went back to school to earn my master’s degree in nursing. After I graduated, I decided to work as a nurse practitioner. I did that for seven years and loved it. But my desire to teach was always there,” Williams said.

Williams is also an alumna of Walters State. She said returning to her alma mater was an easy decision.

“I loved being a student here. I knew the faculty and knew this was a great teaching program,” Williams said. “I love sharing knowledge in the classroom. I love to see the light bulb go off when a student understands a new concept. It is very rewarding to see them take what they’ve learned from a textbook and apply it in clinical training.”

Williams is a strong advocate for lifelong learning, especially for nurses, the release said.

“Nursing is a continuously changing field. Your kidney doesn’t change, but the way we treat it and the techniques available evolve and improve,” said Williams.

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