Newbie Question

I was recently diagnosed and have been on methotrexate for two weeks. I've seen a few people mention they speak to their rheumatology nurse. Who is this and when should/do I get mine?

I've yet to have any blood tests (first one due next week) and haven't had my first follow-up appointment with my consultant since starting Mtx, (end of the month) but in all previous meetings with my consultant or GP, no mention of a nurse has been made. I live in Scotland, does anyone know if it's different up here?


11 Replies

  • Hi

    I am SW Scotland. The local Rheumatology Dept has a helpline for its patients so that we can quickly access advice.

    I just call, leave my name dob, number to call me back with brief message about my concern.

    A call from a specialist RA nurse follows, usually within a couple of hours.

    Worth asking if your Rheumatology Dept offers this, or would consider it.

  • Hiya MrsC0we, though I'm sorry you've been diagnosed you're most welcome here.

    Usually when we're diagnosed we're given a helpline number to the Rheumatology nurses, the ones who work in the Rheumatology dept at hospital. It's usually an answerphone so you'd leave a message & your tel no & they'll ring you back. It can vary according to the size of hospital but often we're allocated a named nurse who can be contacted for any extraneous appointments or just to answer any queries we have. Departments are run differently though so I'd ask about it when you see your Rheumy at the end of the month.

    I hope you find MTX helps. I've been on it 8 years now, it's my longest serving DMARD & works well for me.

  • Hi same as others I live in w of Scotland and have a helpline and specialist nurse , so I would ask next time you go to see specialist

  • I live in ireland and we have a help line to the rheumatology nurse . I have had to use it a couple of times and the Nurse usually rings back the next day , it has been a great help.

  • Do you get an appointment report from you consultant appointment. There may be details on that letter or have a look at your hospital's website at their rheumy department page. Farm

  • I don’t have a named nurse but I can call help line and the Rhuematologist calls me back.

  • Hello Mrs Owe

    I am on methotrexate injection and it seems to be working well. The only problem is bruising.I have a rheumatology nurse who trained me how to inject myself as well as seeing me in between my appointments with my consultant rheumatoligist. In addition, any other concerns I have regarding my condition she is willing to help. I have been seeing her at least three times a year. Please get in touch with your rheumatology department and I am sure they will arrange for you to see a rheumatology nurse. Good luck.

  • Yes, when they start your mtx treatment they assign a specialist rheumatoid arthritis nurse, so you can consult in between seeing the consultant rheumatologist. Find out if your hospital provides this service, I have had RA for 22yrs now and the rheumy nurse about 10yrs.

  • I am in Renfrewshire and have also been given contact details for the rheumy nurse and the department secretary. If I remember rightly, I only got this info after the first time I had a steroid injection during a flare up, and it was more for the purpose of contacting the secretary if I urgently needed a steroid injection during any future flare ups, but I have since used the rheumy nurse helpline as others have described.

  • Thank you to everyone who replied, you've been both helpful and reassuring.

    And now for the next newbie question:

    My consultant said he wanted see me about four weeks after starting Mtx. Does it matter if I'll only have the results of the first of my fortnightly blood tests when I see him, or should I wait to have two tests back? (I was still in a bit of shock about having arthritis, so wasn't compos-mentis enough to ask the right questions)


  • Do you have the date you see your Rheumy for your review yet? If so you could arrange to have your drug monitoring bloods done a couple of days prior to that date, that would allow enough time for the lab to have done them.

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