When it comes to aesthetics mentoring and practising as a solo injector, we know you have a lot of questions! Many of you are especially concerned about injecting without a mentor for the first time.
When you start your own practise, just like many other aesthetics practitioners, you’ll be working solo. For Level 7 Diploma students in particular, this means leaving the safety of your mentor being with you in appointments.
Whilst graduates will certainly have the knowledge and skills to perform injectable treatments safely and effectively, confidence may be an issue at first.
To explore this topic more fully, we spoke with Dr Jaymi Lad who also gave us her three top tips for preparing to become a solo aesthetics practitioner.
Going from Level 7 mentoring to solo practice
Not only is Dr Jaymi an award nominated injector and respected cosmetic doctor. She is also a Harley Academy Level 7 graduate-turned-clinical trainer who runs her own successful practise, Javivo Clinic, in Manchester.
We asked her about her experience when she first started out and her expert advice should help you to settle into injecting without a mentor, nicely…
What advice would you give to new injectors and Level 7 students who feel they need a mentor or buddy?
“I recommend working within your competencies when you first start practicing,” Dr Jaymi advises. “You could try having separate consultation and treatment appointments to begin with. Use the time in between appointments to plan the treatment or get advice from your support network.”
As a Level 7 graduate, how did you cope when you started injecting without a mentor?
Dr Jaymi says keeping in touch with a few practitioners she met during her aesthetic training helped here. “When I first started practising, I would often discuss my treatment plans with these colleagues – with each patient’s permission. This mirrors how we practice case-based discussions of patient cases in medical work. It encourages you to reflect on your own practices and highlights areas which need improvement. I think it’s important to still do this even as a more advanced practitioner, especially if you work alone!”
“Local networking – keeping in touch with other medical aesthetics practitioners you meet on training days or at conferences – is a great way for new injectors to build a support network,” advises Dr Jaymi. “I also recommend joining Comma – the Community for Medical Aesthetics – which is a free online platform comprising injectors of every level. If you’re a Harley Academy student, chances are you will already be a member as we have a dedicated private channel on this network for our students. ACE (Aesthetic Complications Expert) Group or CMAC (Complications in Medical Aesthetic Collaborative) are also helpful.”
How did you feel about injecting without supervision for the first time? How did you get through what’s often a nervous time for injectors starting solo careers in aesthetic medicine.
“As expected, I did feel nervous the first time I injected without a supervisor,” admits Dr Jaymi. “I started by only treating with botulinum toxin first, as this was the skill I was most confident in performing.”
She adds, “As my confidence in working alone grew, I added on treatments with soft tissue filler such as cheeks or lips. Before each clinic session I would revise my treatment plan and check my emergency protocols. The better you prepare the less nervous you will feel.”
When did you know you were ready to practice solo?
Dr Jaymi tells us that by starting her practice in tandem with training for her Level 7 Diploma in Botox and Dermal Fillers, it allowed her to build her confidence and her skills.
“I started practising in my own time alongside my Level 7 mentoring sessions with Harley Academy. This allowed me to practice the skills I was learning. It’s easy to lose your confidence with injecting if you leave long gaps between injecting in your own time and mentoring. I would only perform treatments I had practiced frequently in training sessions,” she notes.
Dr Jaymi’s 3 top tips for building your confidence ready for injecting without a mentor
1 “Practice the skills you learn in training or mentoring. For example, if you have a lip filler training session, make sure you have a lip filler patient booked in your own clinic that same week.”
2 “Plan your treatments for patients before their appointment. You can even write notes on product choices, quantities and injecting depth. Have these notes in the room, so if you get nervous you can refer back to your plan.”
3 “Stick to using the same products (botox and filler) when you first start injecting. Get used to one brand of filler – the extrusion force needed to inject, syringes, predictability of filler in the tissues – this all varies between brands. Sticking to the same brand whilst you’re still learning will help you to understand how your products are going to work when injected.”
We hope you found this insightful advice helpful as you start your aesthetics career. If you’re a Level 7 graduate who has any additional tips or tricks you’d like to share, let us know over on the Harley Academy Instagram account!