We were recently asked for tips on how to improve your confidence as an injector.
Keeping our confidence high is important as the more confident you appear, the more trust your patients will have in you.
When it comes to being a confident aesthetics practitioner, especially when you’re just starting out, is it a case of ‘fake it til you make it’..? We called upon Dr Kalpna Pindolia to answer this common question and provide sound advice.
Dr Kal is not only an experienced cosmetic doctor and our director of education, she is also a qualified life coach. This makes her perfectly placed to comment on the mindset needed to excel in aesthetic medicine. Read on for her helpful insights…
Expert tips for improving your confidence as a new aesthetics practitioner
1 Define what ‘step up’ looks like for you
Everyone’s different, have a think about what this actually means for you. Once you’re clear, make a definitive plan to address the step.
2 Go back to your training materials
Make sure you have properly digested and understood the basics. Having a solid grasp of the fundamentals is key in keeping you practising safely.
3 Research and read!
Do as much reading around aesthetic medicine as possible. The Harley Academy Instagram account is a great place to start. It features a bank of comprehensive articles offering expert advice that will help your journey.
Keep an eye on Comma, the global community for medical aesthetics, too. This is a wonderful resource for case discussions and learning opportunities. Ask questions too!
Read open access articles around any topics where you would benefit from further learning. If you aren’t sure where to start, try typing your area of interest – for example, “cheek filler” – into Google Scholar. You can also sign up to newsletters for various notable aesthetics publications, including the Aesthetics Journal.
4 Put yourself out there to improve your confidence
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Where possible, attend conferences. These offer not just lots of learning opportunities, but a chance to network with your peers. They’re often fun, too!
Connect with your fellow trainees. Having a buddy to talk to is very helpful – not just for revision! Try and network locally for support from colleagues.
If you find you learn best by watching demonstrations, check out the websites and social media channels for leading aesthetic practitioners. These will often feature narrated treatment demonstrations. You can find a fantastic example of this in our article about the filler treatment training video by Dr Tristan Mehta – founder of Harley Academy – which went viral.
You can also reach out to injectors you admire and see if they would be willing to let you sit in and observe their treatments for a day. Don’t forget to explain to them why you’re asking them in particular, what your skill level is and, if you hope to work for them one day, definitely mention this too!
5 Consider where you are now in the context of your overall medical career
Remember, as medical professionals, we have all had baseline careers, where we have already proven ourselves. Whether through a medical, dental or nursing degree, there was a day one when you did not feel confident.
Now, as you begin your aesthetics career, you already have that wealth of medical knowledge and skills under your belt. Have a think about what these are…
It could be excellent communications skills, the ability to take a good history, or manual dexterity with medical procedures, to name just a few.
Acknowledge what you already bring to the table before you have even got going in aesthetics. This can help you to realise that, whilst you may be lacking confidence due to starting a new specialism, your experience already stands you in good stead.
You’re simply building on your existing foundations so allow your achievements to date to comfort you.
6 Practice doesn’t just mean injecting
Becoming a confident injector obviously requires lots of on-going practical injecting practice. Your confidence shouldn’t just come down to your injection techniques, though.
Being a successful aesthetics practitioner is about more than just procedural skills alone. Yes, everyone wants a reliable, efficient injector. However, there are plenty of other aspects that patients look for when choosing where to go for their injectables.
These are a few of the additional desirable skills which you can practice without attending training courses, to enhance your confidence.
Clinical consultations – practice consulting friends and family to increase your familiarity with all the questions and aspects you need to consider. This will also help you to get this down to a fine art and improve your bedside manner!
Look up anatomical videos online – I cannot stress enough how important it is to have a thorough understanding of facial anatomy. Really knowing your anatomy, as well as facial ageing and skin ageing considerations, will establish a solid footing on which to build your practical injecting. This is a huge strength as an aesthetics practitioner and one you should allow to bring you confidence.
Plan your patient journey – people will always remember how welcome, listened to and understood you make them feel. Good customer service is an important part of building relationships with patients and building your client base. It will also encourage great word of mouth recommendations.
Consider the bigger picture and use your attention to detail to create a patient journey plan that you’d love to experience as a client. You can find out more about this side of your business in our series of Aesthetics Marketing advice articles.
Remember that improving your confidence as an injector should always be a holistic process.
7 Have a positive mindset
Rather than letting worse case scenarios or potential mistakes predominate your mindset, actively recognise your fears. From here, address the specific areas that would help prevent these concerning situations from arising. Be as prepared as possible and, again, allow yourself to take comfort from your knowledge and success to date.
As an established healthcare professional you will have built up not only transferable skills, but also great instincts. Learn to trust them!
It’s easy to worry about what ‘might’ happen in a negative way, but don’t forget to acknowledge the best that could happen too! Aesthetics is a very rewarding area of practice and having the right mindset will allow you to get the most out of it.
Do you have any advice to add to this list? Let us know by leaving a comment on the Harley Academy Instagram account.