Aimee works as a Dermatology Surgical Nurse at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust – a role we are highlighting as part of Skin Cancer Awareness Month.
“After four years of working as a dermatology nurse, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to develop my skills into the nurse surgical role,” Aimee says. “I now spend most of my time in theatre, taking biopsies and removing lesions including more complex facial lesions. As a nurse, I recognise the need for empathy towards my patients at an uncertain time where a cancer diagnosis is possible. Often patients are anxious about the surgery so my aim is to make the experience as unnerving as possible”.
Over the last 25 years, skin cancer rates in Britain have risen faster than any other common cancer. In total 780 people in Portsmouth and south east Hampshire were diagnosed with skin cancer in 2018 compared to 767 in 2017. Against this backdrop, the NHS is empowering appropriately qualified nurses to undertake a wider range of clinical tasks, including performing minor surgery.
Mum to two young boys, Aimee was excited at the prospect of learning new skills for her role: “I was incredibly eager to learn and push myself professionally,” says Aimee. “I am fortunate to work with a great team of dermatology surgeons who are supportive and willing to pass on their knowledge and skills in order to develop the nurse surgical role.”
Aimee works at St Marys Hospital in Portsmouth, which is home to the largest Dermatology department on the south coast. The department is extremely busy and has seen referral rates increase rapidly over previous years, and surgical nurses play a key role in helping meet the demands of the service.
Aimee feels privileged to be able to work in a job that is both challenging yet rewarding and looks forward to developing her skills further.