We decided Halloween was an opportune moment to ask our founder, aesthetic medicine specialist, Dr Tristan Mehta, a question we’ve been dying to know the answer to… “What are the scariest moments of your aesthetics career to date?”
His answers were not what we were expecting!
Watch him explain the elements that have frightened him the most in the video below. You can also read about them by scrolling down…
What’s been the scariest moment of your aesthetics career so far?
“A lot of people practising in medical aesthetics also run their own business. My scariest moments have all been on the business side of things. I think we’ve really pushed the limits a few times and, for me, I can think of three or four times when we’ve nearly run out of money,” he shares, frankly. “In the early days of Harley Academy – 2016, 2017, 2018 – it was an unpredictable time.”
“One of the key things I’ve learnt in business is cash flow monitoring. You have to be absolutely religious about cash flow. There’s a time I remember in 2017, when half of our senior management had to leave. Our website malfunctioned so we couldn’t make sales and revenue,” recalls Dr Tristan.
“These are the kinds of things that can terrify you because, when you put so much into your business, then the thought of it all just imploding is probably the scariest thing that could happen,” he states. Adding, “…and then COVID came along and that wasn’t much fun either!”
“So, my most terrifying moments have been on the business side of things and it’s an incredible learning journey,” he concludes.
What about as an injector?
“As an injector, I’ve had my fair share ,” advises Dr Tristan. “I’ve had three vascular occlusions along the way. Fortunately, each one has been perfectly fine afterwards; all of my VOs have resolved.”
“I’ve injected every which way you can imagine. I’ve probably injected thousands of cases with filler. All three of my occlusions have been in the nose. Which just reminds me how relevant it is for which zone you’re treating, regarding how likely it is that you’re going to have a serious adverse event.”
“Some of those can be quite difficult to manage and quite terrifying at the start. Anyone’s first vascular occlusion is a scary moment,” he empathises. “The saving grace, in my learning about vascular occlusions, is that actually, they’re not that scary.”
Dealing with vascular occlusions as a new injector
For any new injectors worried about dealing with vascular occlusions, especially early on in their aesthetics careers, Dr Tristan advises remembering the following…
“You do have time. It’s not something you need to immediately manage in the first 10 minutes. You’ve got hours to address, recognise and manage a vascular occlusion.”
The importance of safe aesthetic practice
“Fortunately no catastrophic events have happened during my aesthetics career,” notes Dr Tristan. “I think this is because, at Harley Academy and the way we teach – the way I teach – is that we inject in a way that absolutely minimises the risk of something like a retinal artery occlusion – blindness, for example.”
He stresses, “We have to inject knowing that we may cause a cutaneous vascular occlusion at any point. This is just something that may happen, and we would have to manage that.”
“Almost philosophically,” he adds, “if you think about how we’re approaching injectables, every single injection could cause a vascular occlusion. The fear that that could cause in you as an injector, has to be in-built in everything that we do.”
Echoing a subject he has spoken about separately, Dr Tristan advises, “We have to be prepared for that. That’s the field that we’re working in. It shouldn’t be that scary, when it happens because, in your head, it may have already happened. And that, I think, is the best place to approach injecting from. It gives you that confidence and that courage… as long as you know what you’re doing.”
Becoming a confident, safe aesthetics practitioner
Two key takeaways from Dr Tristan’s interview, on the clinical side, are the need for aesthetics practitioners to be confident and to practise safe injecting techniques.
The best way to embody both these traits is to treat as many patients as possible, under the guidance of a specialist mentor. Not only does this build your confidence as you grow your portfolio, but it also stops you from developing any bad habits.
One-on-one aesthetics mentoring
Harley Academy offers targeted 1:1 Injectables Mentoring sessions to cosmetic doctors, dentists and nurses who have completed their entry level aesthetics training. You bring your own patient and treat them from our clinic, one-on-one with one of our team of expert mentors.
You’ll experience what it’s like to work in a real aesthetics clinic, from consultation to assessment and treatment. Allowing you to improve your skills in every area of clinical practice, not just the specific treatments you are there to perform, so you get more bang for your buck!
Level 7 Diploma in Botox & Dermal Fillers
One-on-one aesthetics mentoring is also a crucial part of our industry-leading Level 7 Diploma in Botox & Dermal Fillers course. This Ofqual-regulated, Master’s level qualification offers in-depth learning in anatomy, facial and skin ageing, injecting technique, ethics and both preventing and managing complications.
Alongside this, the largest part of Level 7 is focused on developing your injecting skills under the supervision and tutelage of an experienced clinical mentor. In addition to observing cases being performed, you’ll also treat a number of filler and botox patients of your own. At Harley Academy you never share patients, so you always get the maximum injecting time for a truly hands-on educational experience that sets you up for a successful aesthetics career!
If you’d like to know more about our aesthetic medicine courses or to find out which is the best aesthetics training pathway for you, book a call with our courses advisor, Christine Slater.