Improving the care of people receiving radioiodine treatment

Linda Goss, Senior Clinical Nurse Specialist in Endocrinology at the Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust

Over the last year, since receiving the Evelyn Ashley Smith Nurse Award, I have continued to improve the quality of patient care within the thyroid clinics.

I have written a further more comprehensive information sheet on radioiodine treatment for thyrotoxicosis and multi-nodular goitre. This information sheet is in addition to and compliments existing booklets provided by our nuclear medicine department. The new booklet is in a question and answer format and covers areas such as radioiodine treatment and the benign thyroid conditions it is used to treat, thyroid eye disease, thyroid medications and follow up care.

The research study 'Quality of Life and Wellbeing of patients with thyrotoxicosis after radioactive iodine treatment using block and replace compared to titrated regime' is ongoing. Sixty patients have been recruited to date and thirty-seven have completed the 12 month study period. At present it is still too early for complete analysis of the quality of life and wellbeing data. However, we have analysed early biochemical data and I presented these findings at the 91st Annual Meeting of The Endocrine Society in Washington DC in June this year. From the early data we have concluded that block and replace regime with carbimazole and thyroxine after radioiodine therapy does not prevent abnormal thyroid function in the early post-radioiodine period.

The £500 received with the Evelyn Ashley Smith Nurse Award enabled me to attend the 91st Annual Meeting of The Endocrine Society in Washington DC in June this year. The programme was extremely well organised and comprehensive and provided an ideal opportunity to meet other health care professionals in the field of Endocrinology.

I have also been asked to present at the National Endocrine Nurse Conference in Newcastle in September this year. I am looking forward to the conference as it is well attended by Endocrine Nurses from around the country and provides an opportunity for us to share new ideas and information.

I am extremely grateful for the support from the British Thyroid Foundation and the Evelyn Ashley Smith Award as without such I would not have been afforded the fantastic opportunity of attending The Endocrine Society meeting.