Dermatology Nurse

With the current trends on gaining specializations, the field of dermatology won’t miss to be one of the highest paid professionals nowadays. Registered nurses are needed in the field of dermatology not just to enhance beauty of the skin but to face the challenge of treating various types of dermatological problems. On top of the list is skin cancer. Nurses are encouraged to take continuing professional education to sharpen their knowledge and skills. There is actually a shortage of dermatology advanced registered nurse practitioner.

With the high demand of dermatology nurse, the salary across that states are also very attractive. The rate of a dermatology nurse may actually depend upon the length of experience and locality he or she is employed. As of last 2010, a dermatology nurse can make up to $100,000 when assigned in a skin care or aesthetic centre. However, according to current surveys done, by this year the average salary may range between $60,000 – $80,000. The advent of laser technology has made the field of dermatology very popular and has made a huge impact for registered nurses working on this field.

The advanced practice of dermatology nurses have actually been based to nursing theories such as Orem’s theory of care. Dermatology nurses actually look at the patient not only for skin problems but as a whole person. Through this approach, unique patient care has been made by dermatology nurses. The end of dermatology nurses is to give the patients an opportunity to be independent in terms of taking care of them.

Dermatology Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners have undergone being a registered nurse first and then going up for further training and certification. They study the anatomy of the skin and general dermatology in particular. They are also exposed to clinical exposures about skin care ranging from abrasions, burns, plastic surgeries and a whole lot more about skin pathologies. Being a nurse practitioner, this entitles them a higher opportunity to practice independently both in a hospital and community setting.

Further studies have been also encouraged among these professionals. A nurse working in the department of dermatology must possess a master’s or doctoral degree. Covering patients from newborn to adult, dermatology nurses are called to be very flexible and versatile in applying their knowledge about skin care among these patients.

The rise of this specialization was due to sporadic growth of skin diseases which affect all people across the ages. From atopic eczema to psoriasis up to skin cancer, the work of a dermatology nurse needs a intensive observation and follow up. Being in this field, dermatology nurses does not only alleviate the physical pain brought about the skin disease but as well as the psychological pains. The dermatology nurses therefore must be self-aware and non judgemental as they interact with patients who are not on their best physical shape. Psychosocial support among medical team workers is very essential on the response to the treatment. Dermatology nurses play a role as an advocate when the patient is very shy about talking or even voicing out his or her needs, an information giver about the current events when patient is afraid to face the public and even a listener to those who have frustrations about their current physical status.

It is undeniable that the physical make up of the person matters a lot. It is really a challenge for dermatology nurses to look beyond the physical deformities and bring the unique person in each patient.

Here are common conditions that dermatology nurses encounter:

  1. Skin Cancer
  2. Herpes Simplex or cold sores
  3. Fungal Infections
  4. Head lice
  5. Eczema
  6. Contact dermatitis
  7. Acne
  8. Psoriasis
  9. Accidental Burns

Dermatology nurses still apply the basic knowledge in nursing care. They also perform activities that can bring comfort and healing to patients. As most of the patients with skin problems have uneasy and painful experience most of the day, these nurses are experts in giving comfort in unique ways which are only learned through evidence based practices alongside with good foundation knowledge about dermatology and medical management. As most the cases can be distressing to patients, nurses also provide or facilitate patient support group so that they can vent out their feelings and can work together with other patients.

So it is not just a physical face list for dermatology nurses when working with patients with skin problems. It is rather giving a heart of care as an advanced nurse practitioner.


Photo Credits:

Daisy Jane Antipuesto RN MN

Currently a Nursing Local Board Examination Reviewer. Subjects handled are Pediatric, Obstetric and Psychiatric Nursing. Previous work experiences include: Clinical instructor/lecturer, clinical coordinator (Level II), caregiver instructor/lecturer, NC2 examination reviewer and staff/clinic nurse. Areas of specialization: Emergency room, Orthopedic Ward and Delivery Room. Also an IELTS passer.

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