Building a Better Health Service


Clients cry with delight

Kirsten Carroll tatoo

A dental nurse has branched out into the world of medical tattooing, transforming the lives of many of her patients.

“To see a client actually cry with happiness when they look in the mirror and see something there which they have probably not had before or lost at some stage due to illness or injury is priceless and totally fulfilling,” explained Kristen Carroll.

Kristen joined the HSE in 1996 as a dental nurse. Although she enjoyed her job, she said that the turning point for came when she turned 40 a few years ago.  “I felt I needed to re evaluate my working life. The realisation I had more than 25 more years of work left in me I needed a new challenge so looked at where that would lie.”  “I looked into things I would like to learn, work at and most importantly enjoy giving to people and recalled seeing a permanent make-up brow procedure being done some years ago. I recall thinking it looked like a really nice job, it brought a lot of happiness to the person who had it as they had suffered from alopecia so their new brows changed their life, literally!  “I did my research and discovered that outside of the make-up part, there was a medical aspect to SPMU (semi-permanent make-up) - areola/nipple restoration for ladies who have had breast reconstruction post cancer, needling and camouflage for burn scars and restoration of symmetry in cleft lip. I knew then this was for me.”

After earning a diploma of excellence in SPMU, she decided to get some qualifications in the medical field awhere my heart truly lies so completed her training in areola/nipple restoration with needling for scars. She plans to train further in the medical field in scar camouflage so she can deliver complete treatments to clients and patients in both cosmetic and medical tattoo. She was shortlisted amongst the top six SPMU technicians in the UK for Best Technician in May.

Kristen recently treated ladies who were referred to her by Beaumont breast clinic for free as part of breast cancer awareness month .

“I am looking forward to working closely with them in the future as they try to work through their waiting list for areola, which I understand is years long. I'm also working closely with Alopecia Ireland providing a service at manageable cost for any of their members who contact me,” she said.  She still works in HSE dental as a nurse on a part-time basis and sees clients for cosmetic tattoo the other part of my week.  “The biggest difference being in dental is not everyone is happy to see you, even on a good day. In my current role, everybody is happy to be here and delighted when I finish my work.”

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