So, you’re a top notch doctor, dentist or nurse and fancy dipping your toe into the world of aesthetics. But where do you start? While you have amazing medical skills that will stand you in great stead for treating clients, it’s not all fun and syringes - there are several other things you need to consider before you get up and running as an aesthetic practitioner. Here are some of the key points to think about before starting out.
Become an independent prescriber
Treatments done by medical practitioners are generally less likely to result in issues but, of course, these can happen due to the complexity of certain procedures - as you know. So, if you’re a nurse, you’ll need to become an independent prescriber in order to prescribe and administer potentially essential substances, such as hyaluronidase. In order to become an independent prescriber, you’ll need to complete a v300 course, which is an NMC Independent Nurse Prescribing course.
Shadow an expert
Before committing yourself to a completely new career, it’s always a good idea to see what it’s actually like first. A great way to do this is to shadow another medically qualified practitioner, which will allow you to see not only how they perform treatments but also how they deal with day-to-day situations within a clinic.
Train, train, train
If you’re completely new to aesthetics, enrolling on to a short basic course can help determine if this is the direction you want to continue in and allow you to get to grips with various treatments at a superficial level. A CPD certified course will allow you to continue your aesthetic skills and is essential for practitioners registered with the NMC, GMC or GDC.
If this is enough to tickle your fancy, great - book yourself onto a longer, more in depth course that will give you enough information and skills to be able to take your interest further. A Level 7 course will ensure you are up to date with all the latest GMC and HEE guidelines, so this is certainly worth keeping in mind. And it probably goes without saying, but it’s important to look for a training course that is reputable within the industry, has full insurance and has great reviews.
Get yourself connected
While you may be constantly learning via courses and conferences, it’s also a great idea to surround yourself with people who have been in the aesthetics industry for a long time. Take a look at forums and become part of a community of seasoned practitioners who will be able to answer questions, provide advice and give you support.
Keep on learning
Perhaps you’ve already completed a course - whether to learn basic anti-wrinkle injections and fillers or an intensive course - and loved it, but the learning isn’t over. The learning is never over. In aesthetics, it’s essential to stay up to date with all the very latest techniques and treatments. And it’s imperative that you understand complications and how to deal with them, so any training that allows you to get to grips with this is a must. As is product training for new and existing products with manufacturers.
Think you know everything there is to know? Think again. Even practitioners who have been working in the aesthetics industry for 30 years+ keep themselves updated constantly, and with good reason. It’s an industry that is constantly changing and developing.
And it’s not just a case of learning about the practical side of things. Starting up your own aesthetics business will require you to learn so much more - think social media, marketing, PR… If you’re coming from the NHS, chances are you haven’t had experience in how to be your own boss - and that can be pretty daunting. But, again, that’s where it pays to have a great support system around you. It’s never ending, but can be so worth it if you really throw yourself into it.
Get set up
Once you have the theory, training and practice under your belt, as well as a community around you, willing to help you out with any questions, you’re well on your way to getting started. But then comes the part where you need to put into practice everything it takes to become an aesthetic practitioner superstar.
This is where you’ll need to put your business head on and get to grips with what it takes to become your own boss. In order to get set up on your own as a fully-fledged aesthetic practitioner, you’ll need to consider insurance, VAT, premises, staff, product manufacturers, what you’ll need to kit out your clinic, pricing, a decent website, a social presence…The list goes on. So, look around at how others are doing things, get on those forums, chat with experts in your field. You’ll see that there are so many people willing to help and provide advice.
There’s, unfortunately, no one-size-fits-all approach to becoming an aesthetic practitioner, but with the right training, support network and mind-set you’ll soon find what works for you. So, what are you waiting for? Get on that journey to becoming an aesthetic hero.