When you first start out in aesthetic medicine you need to remember you’re learning an entirely new speciality. It may be overwhelming initially, which is why your hands-on aesthetics mentoring sessions are so valuable.
We spoke about this with one of our senior clinical trainers, cosmetic nurse prescriber, medical aesthetics clinic owner and Allergan Institute faculty member, Natalie Haswell.
Nat is a Harley Academy graduate who took her combined Level 7 Diploma in Botox and Dermal Fillers with Cosmetic Dermatology with us before kick starting her successful career in facial aesthetics.
Having been on both sides of the needle, she is perfectly placed to advise on how to maximise your aesthetics mentoring sessions.
Read on for her insightful and honest guidance…
How to get the most out of your aesthetics mentoring sessions
Build your foundational knowledge beforehand
Below are some of Nat’s top tips on what you need to know before booking your mentoring sessions.
Once you have fully absorbed all this information, you can truly benefit from your mentoring sessions. You don’t need to rush your eLearning – give yourself time to take it all in before booking your practical treatments.
Our experienced mentors will, of course, run through everything you need to know with you during your sessions. However, as Nat wisely points out, “The more prepared you are when you arrive for your mentoring, the more you will understand and the quicker you will progress. Making sure you’ve done your homework is a great way to ensure you really get the most out of your mentoring.”
Learn your facial anatomy
“Complete your eLearning before you start booking your practical injecting sessions. This will make all the difference to how we can help you to progress during your mentoring,” advises Nat.
She also stresses the importance of building your foundational aesthetic medicine knowledge, particularly in relation to facial anatomy, prior to mentoring. “Have a basic knowledge of which muscles and layers you’re injecting. This should include the relevant angles and depths, as per your Foundation day and/or eLearning resources. Don’t forget to also brush up on your injection technique theory, for example when to use a retrograde linear thread or supraperiosteal bolus.”
Know your products
“Research the products you will be using during your aesthetics mentoring sessions, online,” recommends Nat. “Print the company guides and/or tables of product information. Know your needle and/or cannula sizes plus when and why you use these. For example, at Harley Academy we currently train students using BOTOX and Juvéderm fillers We use TSK 25g and 38mm Steriglide cannulas and “Invisible” 33g TSK needles – but why?”
Understand the consultation process
“From the moment the patient enters your treatment room, you will need to talk to and reassure them throughout the experience. In addition to this, you’ll need to perform a thorough consultation, including facial and skin assessments, medical history, before and after photography, and so on,” says Nat. “Ensuring you know how to perform this consultation will make the experience much smoother and more enjoyable for both you and your patient. They will feel more at ease as, plus you’ll get to take longer over your injecting, with your mentor’s expert guidance – which is what the majority of our students say they enjoy the most when it comes to mentoring!”
Work on your time management
Your aesthetics mentoring sessions take part in a real clinic where you are treating real patients. As such, every appointment has a time frame, so time management is an important consideration, just as it is in everyday practice. Nat notes, “We usually allow 45 minutes to 1 hour per patient and this time should include your consultation, obtaining consent, photos, treatment and aftercare advice, as well as answering any questions the patient may have. In addition to being able to manage your time with your patient, it’s vital that you yourself are on time for your mentoring. Start as you mean to go on and develop good habits that will benefit you throughout your career!”
Set yourself up for success
Never underestimate the power of arriving for your mentoring session in a positive frame of mind. Nat advises, “Get a good sleep the night before and make sure you are hydrated and have been eating prior to your sessions on the day.”
Pace yourself when it comes to learning
“At times mentoring can be exhausting and it may feel overwhelming,” explains Nat.
“The best way to combat this is to manage your practical approach to this new speciality by breaking it down into bite size chunks, just like it is in your eLearning. Practice something new – a new treatment or area – each week. Research it beforehand and in between your sessions, starting from before your first observation or mentoring session, if possible.”
Practice, practice, practice!
“Some students are natural injectors and some are not – and remember, it takes time to learn the correct techniques,” says Nat. “I recommend buying a mannequin head from somewhere like eBay so you can practice at home.”
One-to-one mentoring and Level 7 Diploma mentored learning
There are two separate opportunities for mentored aesthetic medicine learning at Harley Academy. Both are led by aesthetics experts who are ready to provide you with hands-on support and advice to nurture both your techniques and your confidence.
1:1 Injectables Training
For those of you who are licensed medical aesthetics practitioners of any competency, we offer one-to-one aesthetics mentoring sessions. These 1:1 Injectables Training sessions centre on dermal filler treatments and are split by area. This approach allows you to finely tune your approach as an injector thanks to highly-targeted learning. So, whether you want to master the mid-face or lick lip filler, we have an option tailored to you.
Level 7 Diploma in Botox and Dermal Fillers
Our highly respected, gold standard postgraduate aesthetic medicine course, the Level 7 Diploma in Botox and Dermal Fillers includes a number of one-to-one mentoring sessions. No need to book additional mentoring or spend time looking for a mentor as we’ve already included it in our top tier, Ofqual-regulated course.
This Level 7 qualification – devised by our founder, Dr Tristan Mehta – offers a meticulous, holistic deep dive into facial aesthetics, that pairs intensive eLearning with rigorous participatory education guided by expert mentors.
So, whether you’re a healthcare professional looking to start a new specialism, or an experienced medical aesthetics practitioner wanting to future-proof your career, our Level 7 Diploma is an excellent step towards achieving aesthetic excellence.
To discuss your aesthetics mentoring needs or to find out more about any of our aesthetic medicine training courses, simply book a call with our team.