At the start of your new pathway into higher education you might often stop to wonder if you are actually on the right course (literally) for your longer-term goals. What began as a plan to follow a general medical career might now be beginning to take shape in one specific direction or industry sector. It might be that you have always been certain about the type of role you see yourself in but are now having doubts. Well it’s ok! Exploring new options is always good and because the world is changing so fast it is really healthy to keep an open mind about all the opportunities available to you as a newly qualified worker with a medical background.
A rapidly growing area that many health care professionals are finding hugely rewarding is the world of aesthetic treatments. Without needing to complete full surgeon qualifications you can easily train up to administer the increasingly popular therapies such as BOTOX®, Dermal Fillers and laser treatments. With your Level 6 qualification (Bachelor Degree or equivalent) you just need to complete the relevant course for each discipline eg. injectibles, laser light technologies etc. A good training course will offer you everything you need to know about each treatment: how to administer, patient care and industry/supplier developments. And, if you are serious about running your own practice, you will want on-going business support too.
If money is your driving force – you might want to make a quick calculation about the potential earnings difference between the public and private sector. A typical newly qualified nurse earns c£24k. With a little bit of time and money you can train up to earn in the region of £50k per annum just by focusing on treatments like BOTOX®.
Non surgical, low invasive treatment methods – especially the anti-ageing procedures – are making a significant impact into the cosmetic and aesthetics sector. Despite an all time high in 2015, there was a 40% drop in the demand for more serious cosmetic operations such as breast enlargement and tummy tucks. There is no official line from the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS), as to why the drop has come about, but the fact is the non-surgical options are continuing to rise.
Many see these therapies as risk free but there are not without risk. Therefore government legislation is tightening the controls as to who can perform them. The law states that only those qualified at Level 6 (Bachelor Degree or above) plus completion of training in each of the main disciplines, can administer the likes of injectibles to paying patients. These courses are not for beauticians unless they have also achieved a Level 6 education qualification. This means those ideally set to get trained up to perform these types of procedures are doctors, nurses, nurse prescribers, dentists, hygienists and consultants.
As an outline example, here is what you should expect to learn on a good injectibles course:
At a foundational level, you will have a thorough online section covering all the theory you need to understand the procedures and the industry. You should then progress onto tutorage with demonstrations and practical applications. Typically this course will take around 100 hours but much of the theory should be self-paced to work well with your other studies or work schedule. Specific areas covered are:
- Facial anatomy
- Products and suppliers
- Methods of treatment
- Patient assessments, consents and medical histories
- Advising on contra-indications
- Complications and how to deal with them
- How to deal with complaints
- Post-treatment care
- Marketing and business support
A course offered by an academy style of training organisations will provide you with the option of an advanced level. This is aimed at the more experienced clinicians and those wanting more detail on addressing particular aesthetic needs such as brow lifts. This course should take around 200 hours including all of the above built in through the foundation level.
When doing your research on training courses you need to ensure the companies running them are commercially unbiased – make sure they promise not to sell you products or equipment throughout the time you are registered with them and afterwards.
So you can see how easily you could make a diversion or even complete change to your medical career. With minimal investment in training and equipment you will be technically equipped and confident to start you own practice and see the financial rewards very quickly. And for those who dismiss these treatments as not being “serious” enough or valued – you just need to think about how good it is to see all those patients leaving the clinic feeling so much better about themselves. This is reward in itself!