Published: 25 Jul 2016
Working life has changed dramatically for Aberdeen nurse Karen Urquhart since she qualified in 1995.
From working as an oncology nurse on the cancer ward at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary to being a practice nurse at a busy GP surgery, Karen has seen and done it all.
But taking the jump into private healthcare, and moving into the cosmetic and aesthetics arena has been worth the gamble, and she is now clinical director of Aberdeen’s premier cosmetic and weight loss clinic.
Karen, 42, has worked at the city centre’s Temple Medical for six years, joining as an aesthetic nurse before being promoted to nurse manager.
Karen, who is married with two children, said: “I loved being a nurse in the hospital and in the doctor’s surgery, but I was ready for a new challenge.
“It’s certainly a change, but it has been so exciting and rewarding working with patients at the cutting edge of aesthetics and weight loss.
“Sometimes I really feel like I am transforming lives which is incredibly rewarding.”
Before training to become an aesthetic nurse, Karen was in General Practice for nine years. She also worked as a cancer nurse in the oncology department at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and in various other wards before joining the Links Medical Practice.
She said: “Working at Temple Medical means no two days are ever the same. There is always something different every day, and it is great working with patients who want to look after themselves.
“I feel I am learning all the time as I regularly attend training courses with leading experts in the field. Aesthetics has changed so much, it’s not just about Botox and fillers. It is a very exciting field for nurses to be in now as the techniques and technology are improving all the time. It is amazing what can be done now compared to just 10 years ago for instance.”
Karen runs a busy skin clinic at Temple Medical where she works with everyone from teenagers to pensioners, treating skin conditions from acne and rosacea to sun damage and ageing skin.
She is also involved with the Weight Loss Clinic where patients can lose up to a stone a week on a medically supervised programme.
She said: “Learning to be a good effective manager has been the most challenging thing for me. I’m in charge of the whole team and we aim to work well together.
"I have a huge amount of trust in my staff and know they are capable of doing so much without being leaned heavily on. My aim is to create an environment where we all have mutual respect for each other’s abilities and foster a caring environment.
“Also, striving for that work life balance is hard with two young girls but I think I get there.”
Temple Medical founder Dr Sam Robson said: “Karen is one of Scotland’s foremost skincare experts, and is a real asset to Temple Medical.”