Becoming a prescriber in aesthetics, or how to work with one if you aren’t a qualified prescriber, are popular student enquiries. Whilst dermal fillers are currently not prescription only medications in the UK, toxins are.
Shantel Noble, specialist cosmetic nurse, owner of Noble Aesthetics and clinical trainer at Harley Academy, is here to help!
Having recently completed her V300 prescribing course, Shantel has been sharing her experiences as part of our recent social media Ask Me Anything (AMA) session.
Here she answers your questions about becoming a prescriber, plus how to find and work with an aesthetics prescriber if you aren’t qualified…
Becoming an aesthetics prescriber AMA
How do you apply to become a prescriber in aesthetics?
A few people have asked whether I went through my NHS job or whether I applied privately via a university for my prescribing course. I no longer work under the NHS so I applied privately. I did my V300 prescribing course at the University of Essex and applied to them directly. You just apply as you would normally for any other university course, submitting your credentials and qualifications, etc.
How hard is it to get onto a prescribing course? Will universities take newly qualified nurses?
There are various criteria to fulfil, which vary depending on the University. They include being:
– Three years post-qualification.
– Having at least one year of experience of practising within the field you want to prescribe in (so, in this case, aesthetic medicine).
– Registered with the NMC, with the required professional indemnity insurance.
– Able to nominate a practice prescribing supervisor.
With increasing interest in regulation of the sector, some universities now also have additional requirements. These can include having successfully completed your Level 7 in injectables and being a member of a professional standards register related to Cosmetic Medicine or a private healthcare environment prior to application.
How hard is the V300 prescribing course?
Just like any qualification, it was quite hard. It can be done at Level 6 or Level 7, that’s completely up to you. Level 7 is recommended if you’re considering going ahead with a whole holistic Master’s qualification.
It is challenging but, equally, completely achievable and doable if you’re somebody who’s already obtained a degree. It’s at a very similar level to that.
Accordingly, you will need access to continuing professional development sources. Time to study, as well as conduct supervised practice will also be necessary.
What I did find quite hard was how time-consuming it was and fitting that around my normal general role and professional job was particularly challenging. Make sure you’re choosing to do your course at a time that’s suitable for you, with everything else that’s going on in your life.
Can you do your prescriber qualification after your Level 7 Diploma in Botox and Dermal Fillers?
Yes, you can. I completed my Level 7 Diploma in Botox and Dermal Fillers at Harley Academy first. Then I went on to do my prescribing course.
As I mentioned previously, many universities now require you to have obtained your Level 7 as part of the V300 entry requirements. Therefore, you would need to do your Level 7 qualification before applying for your V300.
Are you guaranteed a place on a prescribing course after achieving your Level 7 Diploma in injectables?
Unfortunately not! They’re two separate qualifications and the entry requirements don’t match. Doing your Level 7 is fantastic but it doesn’t necessarily guarantee you a position on a prescribing course.
How much do prescribing courses cost?
Price-wise, for a V300 prescribing course, you’re looking at anywhere between £2,000 to £4,000.
Typically, when you’re in aesthetics, you also need to pay a designated medical practitioner (DMP) – your mentor. The fee they charge you is entirely up to them. Some places, particularly around London, offer a specific DMP mentoring programme. So expect to pay your university fees but also a fee for your mentor.
I’ve been asked to study five drugs for my prescribing course – which ones did you choose?
I didn’t have to do this during my course, however, I would recommend choosing different drug groups. For example, analgesics, antibiotics, etc, as well as those you may use in active day-to-day practice.
How can you be successful in aesthetics if you’re not a prescriber?
I was a non-prescriber for my first three years of practicing aesthetics. I was fortunate to have an amazing mentor. My recommendations for finding and working with a prescriber are to reach out to people who are local to you, or colleagues – other prescribers who may be willing to prescribe for you and be willing to mentor you through those early stages of your aesthetics career.
It needs to be someone you have a great rapport with because it’s a very trusting relationship. Equally, it needs to be someone who has the same morals and ethics as you.
Apart from day-to-day prescribing support, they will also be responsible for managing any complications as a result of the medication administration, so it is quite a responsibility.
How can I find an aesthetics prescriber?
Remember, the relationship with your aesthetics prescriber goes beyond just prescribing for you.
Great ways to find a prescriber include…
– Working with a service such as Aesthetics Associates.
– If you’re a nurse, you can go via the British Association of Cosmetic Nurses (BACN).
– You can network via Comma – the Community for Medical Aesthetics app. The Comma community is a great place to find people in your area and ask if they’re willing to prescribe for you.
– Networking is also a great opportunity to do this.
What should I consider before offering to prescribe for another aesthetics practitioner?
How it used to work with myself and my prescriber was I would facilitate consultation clinics. So block out an evening, a day or a weekend where I hold back-to-back consultations with my patients and prescriber present.
She would then write me up the necessary scripts there and then, and add them to my pharmacy account. You then pay a fee per script which is payable to your prescriber and the level of that fee is at their own discretion.
As a reminder, it is a legal requirement that the prescriber must have a face-to-face consultation with each patient they are prescribing for in aesthetics. This includes all new patients and equally for any returning patients where you require a new script. Remote consultations, such as via video calls, do not qualify as “face-to-face”.
As mentioned above, you may need your prescriber to support you for the management of complications.
Is information on prescribing or working with a prescriber given during Foundation Training?
Yes, absolutely. Also, if I’m on your Foundation Training day you’re welcome to ask me any questions you have about prescribing. All our clinical trainers will be happy to answer your queries on this, too.
Please note Harley Academy does not offer prescribing courses. However, you can find out more about our range of aesthetic medicine training courses here on our website.