My job

Making a difference with personalised care

Grasp every opportunity advises nurse practitioner in medical dermatology, Lucy Moorhead.
Lucy Moorhead

Grasp every opportunity advises nurse practitioner in medical dermatology, Lucy Moorhead.

What is your job?

I am an advanced nurse practitioner in medical dermatology at Guy's and St Thomas Hospital. I run nurse-led clinics for the initiation and monitoring of new systemic and biologic treatments for patients with medical dermatology conditions.

I work in a tertiary referral psoriasis service and a nurse-led day centre offering investigations and topical treatments.

I also chair the London and South East Biologic Nurses Network and co-chair the British Dermatology Nursing Group biologics sub group. I am also the clinical lead for a dermatology module that is offered at level 6 and 7.

Why did you become a nurse?

One of my earliest memories is running a doll and teddy bear hospital and there is a picture of me age 4 in a nurses uniform looking very happy. School encouraged

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Grasp every opportunity advises nurse practitioner in medical dermatology, Lucy Moorhead.

What is your job?

I am an advanced nurse practitioner in medical dermatology at Guy's and St Thomas’ Hospital. I run nurse-led clinics for the initiation and monitoring of new systemic and biologic treatments for patients with medical dermatology conditions.

I work in a tertiary referral psoriasis service and a nurse-led day centre offering investigations and topical treatments.

I also chair the London and South East Biologic Nurses Network and co-chair the British Dermatology Nursing Group biologics sub group. I am also the clinical lead for a dermatology module that is offered at level 6 and 7.

Why did you become a nurse?

One of my earliest memories is running a doll and teddy bear hospital and there is a picture of me age 4 in a nurse’s uniform looking very happy. School encouraged us towards careers with a caring element to them.

I was always attracted to the thought of doing something useful.

What might I have done otherwise?

I probably would have tried teaching as I enjoy the teaching aspects of my role. 

Where did you train?

I worked in a research unit for many years trialling the drugs we now prescribe to patients which was an excellent grounding for my current post.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I enjoy the multi-faceted aspects of my role as each day is different. Some days I am in clinics, some days I am teaching, and other days I am office based. It is also rewarding working with patients with psoriasis as there is such a variety of treatments available now to help treat their skin.

I have been attracted to working with patients with chronic conditions that have psychosocial aspects attributed to them.

What is your greatest challenge?

My master’s degree consisted of mostly medics and those with a legal background. I was the only nurse on the course and struggled to be admitted.

The classroom was different to a nursing class and at the beginning I struggled to participate as I found it confrontational. I was proud to pass the course at the end with merit and have found my master's to be useful in all areas of my practice.

What has given you the most satisfaction?

The change in treatments for psoriasis since I started. We used to have a 32-bed ward mostly occupied by patients for psoriasis who would attend for approximately 6 weeks for intensive topical and light treatments. Now we rarely have to admit patients. 

These drugs are not without problems but they have dramatically improved the quality of patients’ lives.

What nursing achievement makes you most proud?

Winning the inaugural psoriasis nurse of the year award this year at our annual conference. I was so touched that patients nominated me.

I often see what a difference it makes to people with psoriasis when they receive regular, personalised care. It boosts their self-confidence and motivation to effectively manage their condition, and it is so rewarding for us as nurses to see those we care for feeling empowered.

Outside work what do you enjoy doing?

Spending time with my husband and 5-year-old son. I love running and we all take part in organised runs. I am planning a 100km walk within 30 hours for charity in the autumn.

I like to relax by cooking for my family and binge watching box sets.

What advice would you give a newly registered nurse?

I would recommend getting a general post to consolidate your skills. I would encourage nurses who wish to progress to band 7 or beyond to start thinking about a masters as early as possible.

I would also encourage them to grasp every opportunity – as a nursing student, I would never have imagined my career lay in dermatology.


About the author

Lucy Moorhead

Lucy Moorhead is advanced nurse practitioner in medical dermatology at Guy's and St Thomas’ Hospital

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