Most health-care workers learn about diagnosing and treating skin disorders through on-the-job training, because there's no standardized curriculum and few continuing education programs.
To help fill that gap, Margaret Bobonich, DNP, FNP-C, DNCP, FAANP, from Case Western Reserve University's Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, and Mary Nolen, BC, DCNP, a dermatology nurse at Lahey Hospital and Medical Center in Massachusetts, wrote and published Dermatology for Advanced Practice Clinician (LLW, 496 pages, 2014).
The book is intended as a resource for advanced practice nurses, midwives, general physicians and physician assistants with little training in the specialty, said Bobonich who holds faculty positions at the nursing school and Case Western Reserve School of Medicine.
Bobonich, who developed and completed an interdisciplinary Dermatology Nurse Practitioner Residency and a doctorate of nurse practice in 2009, and Nolen are nationally recognized speakers on the topic of skin diseases.
Heather Onoday, president of the Dermatology Nurses' Association, described the text as more advanced than previously published books on the subject.
Opportunities to learn dermatology are limited because "few dermatology offices and practices allow medical, nurse practitioners and physician assistants to rotate through their practices for clinical experiences," Bobonich said.
Three post-master's degree programs exist for nurses nationally: at Case Western Reserve, Lahey Hospital and Medical Clinic in Boston and Southern Florida State. These are limited to two-year residencies or fellowships, and only accept one or two nurse practitioners a year.
Bobonich's experiences have taught her that if nurse practitioners and physician assistants learn the science, they can provide high quality dermatology care.
The authors cover the physical characteristics of skin diseases and follow with chapters on specific morphologies, like blisters, scaling, or rashes. The authors have included 600 photographs to help in diagnosing.
The authors offer step-by-step instructions, such as how to apply liquid nitrogen to freeze warts. The book also explores skin diseases found in children, and patients with autoimmune and immune-compromised disease.
Help in navigating the challenging insurance reimbursement process is also provided. The book includes a list of skin diseases' new reimbursement ICD-10 codes, which will become effective this year.