United Kingdom Dermatology Clinical Trials Network Nursing Award 2018/19

Tess GarlandHi, I am Tess, a research nurse in Dermatology over at the Broadgreen site.

I have been in post for 2.5 years. The speciality has been challenging at times, as it was completely alien to me when I joined the team here.  My knowledge has developed immensely over the last couple of years and I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to grips with skin.

I work with my colleague Sarah on a number of different trials. We are mainly researching aspects of psoriasis at present as well as hand eczema, and have a number of academic studies in place.

We have commercial studies in the pipeline looking at atopic dermatitis, so exciting times are ahead.

I was encouraged by Dr Mili Shah (consultant dermatologist) and Dr Richard Parslew (consultant dermatologist) to apply for the award. The UKDCTN Nurse Prize is given annually and is over 2 years.

As part of the award I attended a three day workshop at the UKDCTN in Nottingham with Professor Hywel Williams. ‘Getting to grips with evidence based dermatology, better evaluation of evidence and statistics course.  The aim of the course was to develop my understanding of the fundamentals of clinical trial interpretation and clinical appraisal.

I really enjoyed my first three days in Nottingham. The course was compact and quite intense at times. At one point I felt that I was out of my comfort zone and wondering what I was doing there.  The standard of teaching was brilliant and after regaining my confidence I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I learnt a great deal and I feel that with further independent learning I could utilise this knowledge to critically appraise clinical trials.

My critical appraisal skills will be further developed throughout the first year of the award when I work on a reading curriculum with Prof Williams and the UKDCTN fellows via teleconference and emails. I am hoping to join our team of doctors at their weekly journal club to discuss the articles I have read and submit a commentary on a critically appraised trial to of the Archives of Dermatology

In June, I have an opportunity to spend three days at the UKDCTN Base to understand the structure and processes of organising a clinical trials network. I will also have the opportunity to find out more about the Cochrane skin group and other aspects of the Centre of Evidence Based Dermatology. I have been invited to attend the ‘Understanding the principles of critically appraised topics in dermatology course that same week.

The award also allows me to join the UKDCTN Steering group meetings at the British Association of Dermatologists in London. The first of which is at the end of February.

In Year 2, I will be given the opportunity to join a trial development team for a study in development to provide nursing expertise for a study or to join a systematic review team with the Cochrane skin group at the centre of evidence based dermatology. (CEBD)

I will also attend the CEBD annual evidence based update meeting.

I am looking forward to what the next two years will bring.