Specialist Dermatology Nurse @ Northern Health & Social Care Trust
Pamela is one of three dermatology nurse specialists in the Northern Health & Social Care Trust. We've asked Pamela to talk to us about her role.
Hi Pamela, Can you tell us how about your job and what you do from day to day?
This service is provided in six hospital outpatients settings trust wide. I cover two sites within the trust, Ballymena and Whiteabbey. I manage clinics, seeing new and review patients with inflammatory dermatoses. Following assessment of the patient, I discuss the treatment options with them. I prescribe the most appropriate treatment tailored to the individuals needs to offer optimal care, reviewing these patients as needed or referring on to another health care professional if needed. I also review patients who have been seen by one of the consultant dermatologist and commenced on a systemic drug for their skin condition, making sure the treatment is effective, that they do not have side effects, adjusting dose as needed and monitoring of blood results. Many of the patients I see suffer from a chronic skin condition so they require help coming to terms with their disease; help to manage their condition on a day to day basis and targeted education. Recognising the psychosocial need of someone with a skin disease is vital and if needed, I would refer to other services such as dietetics, paediatrics, mental health services or to one of our consultants clinics. My work includes dealing with parents, carers and liaising with other health care professionals involved in the patients care.
What experience/education is required in order to preform this role?
I had worked as a staff nurse in dermatology day care for approximately 13 years prior to my current role so I had gained invaluable experience in a dermatology setting which is one of the main requirements. I did a specific dermatology module, have my degree and have done the nurse prescribing course. All of these are required for the role and I would utilise the learning experience from all of these on a regular basis.
What is the biggest challenge in your role?
Managing the competing demands on my time to ensure the patients receive the best possible service.
What advice would you give to others looking for a job in your field?
Get experience in a dermatology setting.
What do you like best about your role and working in HSC?
The best aspects of the job are the patients and my colleagues. As a lot of our patients have a chronic condition, I get to know them well and build up good relationships with them. I enjoy working with my colleagues, some I have known for many years and many are now good friends.