Being fearful of injecting or causing complications as a new aesthetics practitioner is a common concern. On the other end of the spectrum, one that is less spoken about is overconfidence when you first start out.
We often talk about needing the ‘right mindset’ to succeed in aesthetic medicine, and this is a great example of how to start off on the right foot.
Here, Dr Tristan Mehta, founder of Harley Academy, creator of our Level 7 in Injectables and facial aesthetics expert, explains how to realise what you don’t know..!
The initial learning curve for new aesthetics practitioners
Upon entering the specialism, as a healthcare professional, you may believe that you’ve got this. That you don’t need more than some basic aesthetic medicine training in fillers and/or botox; this is the first hurdle to overcome…
“When you’re learning injectables, you have this initial learning curve when you think, ‘I can do this, this is easy, all I needed to do was one day or two days of training. I’m a doctor – I’ve got enough experience elsewhere in healthcare’,” notes Dr Tristan.
“Everyone has that initial little part of their journey where they are over-confident. If I look back at my early treatments, I’m not particularly happy with them,” he admits. “I certainly think that I was injecting in ways that aren’t as safe as I am now.”
Understanding how long it can take to realise what you don’t know
“It took me probably 50 of my own patients, treated over 6 months, to really fall into my own part of my growth journey,” advises Dr Tristan. “As my experience grew, I realised what I didn’t know and what I needed to study to get better.”
“My general trend is that the more I learn, the more I realise I don’t know,” he says. “And I think that will continue all the way throughout my career.”
This is a timeline worth factoring in to your own growth journey as a new aesthetics practitioner. It should also be a consideration when choosing your training.
Gaining practical injecting experience as a new aesthetics practitioner
So, how do you gain this experience? How do you acquire patients when you first start out? And how do you get over any initial overconfidence?
Once you have completed your entry level aesthetics training – a Foundation or Core course, for example – you will be able to gain the insurance you need to start practising.
Most injectors start their careers by treating family and friends, or colleagues, and building up their practice via word of mouth. This allows you to build your practice gradually. It’s a great way to start offering aesthetics treatments alongside studying and/or remaining in an NHS role, for example.
Once you start treating patients, as Dr Tristan points out, you will start to realise how much more you need to learn to become an aesthetics specialist. Safe, ethical and effective practice, where you can produce high levels of personalised results, comes from study. It also requires new aesthetics practitioners to get as much hands-on injecting practice as possible.
Look for an entry level job or traineeship
One way to get this experience is to look for a job or traineeship with an established clinic. Whilst some clinic chains will mentor you, these opportunities are highly competitive and the salaries will reflect your junior experience and skill level.
Another option is to find a mentor you can shadow in clinic, or to undertake practical mentored learning. At Harley Academy we offer targeted 1:1 Injectables Training, where you treat your own patients in our clinic, under the guidance of our experienced mentors. These sessions are available to doctors, dentists, nurses and midwives who are qualified to practise aesthetic medicine.
Undertake a Level 7 Diploma which includes one-to-one mentoring
As we are firm believers in the importance of one-to-one mentoring, this forms a large part of our industry-leading Level 7 Diploma in Botox & Dermal Fillers. Our flagship, Ofqual-regulated qualification offers a Master’s level education in aesthetic medicine.
It offers an in-depth knowledge that spans facial anatomy, skin ageing, injecting techniques, preventing complications, and more. This self-paced eLearning is complimented by observed expert demonstrations and your own mentored practical injecting. During these sessions our trainees never share patients, so you get the maximum injecting time.
Whichever option you take, bear in mind that the world of aesthetic medicine is constantly evolving. You should commit to lifelong learning to stay at the top of your game. Not only should your learning experiences be informative and inspiring, they should also help you to stand out from the crowd as a highly trained medical injector.
For help finding the best aesthetics training for you and your specific needs, book a call with our courses advisor, Christine Slater.