The nurse’s role in dermatology – Q+A with RVN Sara Kendall
Dermatology Nurse Advisor
Sara Kendall works in practice in the above role, and completed the first intake of our Veterinary Nurse Dermatology course. We wanted to know more about her role, what drives her to have an active input to dermatology in her practice, and what she took from the course.
Nurses could have a key position in management of dermatology cases in everyday practice. We hope that talking to Sara and hearing about how she achieves this will help to inspire a new generation of dermatology nurses in practice.
I knew that I could play a role in improving quality of life for both patient and owner.
Q. Tell us about why you are interested in dermatology, and the veterinary nurse’s role in dermatology clinics.
I acquired an interest in dermatology when I was made aware of just how much we WEREN’T doing for our derm patients in practice. When I realized how big the picture is for dermatological diseases; the process that is necessary to reach diagnosis and provide relief for the patient I knew that I could play a role in improving quality of life for both patient and owner.
I believe nurses can be instrumental to improving management of these cases as we can provide the time necessary
Q. Why do you think nurses have such an important role to play in management of dermatology cases?
I believe nurses can be instrumental to improving management of these cases as we can provide the time necessary for gathering clinical information and educating the owner on the nature of management. Clients experience such frustration as we do not get the opportunity, in traditional consulting time, to make them fully aware of what will be involved in management and why the time and effort is necessary. I think that they often feel that their pets’ comfort and their personal frustration isn’t being considered but once they have been given the dedicated time, they can understand that this isn’t the case.
Q. What are your current responsibilities and activities in this area of work in practice?
My role as dermatology nurse advisor is to spend the time gathering a detailed history, diagnostic data using the appropriate techniques, select and dispense the appropriate over the counter products where necessary and spend the time educating the client in detail. I get the opportunity to develop a relationship with the client so that they have a point of contact to go back to when needed.
Being able to interact with others via the learning forum also encouraged this kind of learning that sticks with you and makes application to practice easier to visualize and utilize.
Q. Tell us about your learning experience on the course
My experience of the dermatology nursing course was incredibly positive. Lecture videos were precise and presented in a way that made them easy to understand and apply to practice. Tutor guidance encouraged critical thinking and deep learning. Being able to interact with others via the learning forum also encouraged this kind of learning that sticks with you and makes application to practice easier to visualize and utilize. It was very encouraging to see that current strategies we have in our practice are along the right track but also to see how we can improve and gain inspiration from the course on how to do it.
Q. How do you think this course will help you to drive forward nursing dermatology clinics in your practice?
The course has provided insight as to how we, as nurses, can involve ourselves with aiding dermatology patients and the vet surgeons that manage these tricky cases with limited time and resources. I have gained structured ideas to grow the nurse derm consulting service and also a more focused method of learning and absorbing new knowledge from CPD. I think that this reflective method of learning will make applying CPD to day to day practice more effective.
If you are interested in holding a dermatology nursing position in practice, and/or finding out more about the course, you can access information here.
Interview by Jill Macdonald