The challenges of being a nurse in aesthetics?

Kate: I think the challenge is because the world of aesthetics can often push the boundaries of what a ‘nurse’ is perceived to be..let me explain.. when I speak to people and say I am a nurse often they say to me, you don’t look like a nurse! What does a ‘nurse’ look like? And they usually don’t answer it, and make some passive deviation like well not like you.. and it always makes me wonder what correlation a profession has on the way we dress or the way we carry ourselves? Surely in 2022 we have moved passed that? Does being a nurse ultimately mean we need to dress a certain way and carry ourselves differently? Or to the contrary, does the way we look ultimately dictate how successful a nurse we are? Popular opinion needs to change.. so many nurses feel ashamed to do private work outside the world of the NHS.. so many feel like they have sold their soul or even gone to the dark side just because they have decided to embark on an alternative route.. I have had someone say to me once, ‘oh you’re one of them!’ I genuinely think this is one of the main reasons so many nurses are reluctant to tell people they have decided to train in aesthetics, or are worried about promoting their business for fear of judgement. Aesthetic nursing to me is still nursing.. Everything I do, every decision I make ultimately is focused on a positive patient journey and outcome.. I am relentless in ensuring my patients are always at the heart of everything I do and work hard to offer my patients more than an Aesthetic treatment and those who see it negative do so because they do not understand the profession..I am proud to call myself an Aesthetic nurse and definitely do not feel any shame in my decision, in fact I am confident I have a role to play and I feel a sense of responsibility to each and every patient I see and to the industry itself! #nursingandpopularculture @nursesStnKate

Grace: I think there are always challenges to being a nurse within any speciality. I can really relate and reiterate Kate’s points in her post. I have also experienced ‘You don’t look like a nurse’ – as if my appearance doesn’t quite uphold the nurse stereotype.
So I’m going to take my post down a whole different path, buckle up for the read! I’m going to go there, the hierarchy still exists outside of the NHS in the world of aesthetics. Nurses are often viewed as inferior injectors to doctors or perceived to be ‘wannabe’ doctors that do not have the grades for med school. Newsflash – this is totally untrue! I think we have all heard (At least once) ‘I will only go to a doctor for my procedures’ or ‘I only got the option to see the nurse, I would rather see the doctor’. My personal favourite being ‘oh so you’re not a doctor?’ Now, I know some remarkable doctors, but I also know just as many remarkable nurses. Some of the best injectors in the world are doctors AND nurses (as well as dentists and other healthcare professionals – not to exclude those – but this blog hasn’t the word count to jump into every profession). Why should we wear the label ‘just a nurse’? We definitely don’t deserve a derogatory label. I am proud to be an independent nurse prescriber within aesthetics. I have dedicated 10 years to the nursing profession, treating patients with dignity, compassion and respect. Keeping the core values of the NMC at the heart of everything that I do, in every patient interaction! That doesn’t end because I practise within the private sector. This is also the case for many of the brilliant nurse injectors that I know! I really hope that we can continue to challenge those outdated views, and that we can continue to show how knowledgeable and skilled nurse injectors are! So I’m going to say it louder for those at the back, yes I am a nurse and that is enough! #Iamanurse @nursesStnGrace

Picture of Megan

Megan: Nursing always has many challenges no matter what field you are in. One of the reasons I chose to leave the nhs was the typical ‘overworked,underpaid’. Aesthetics is a massive jump for an nhs nurse to make. You go from being cocooned in the bubble of nhs biscuits and toast, the consistent 37.5hours a week, guaranteed income and being surrounded by your more senior colleagues to guide you if you’re having a wobble, to being out on your own. I found being a lone worker one of the biggest challenges, as those who know me know how much I love a chat! I found I was constantly worrying if the next patient I injected would be the vascular occlusion that tries to sue me. I felt like at the start I had no one that understood what I was feeling. It wasn’t until I actually opened up to my nurse prescriber about how I was feeling that I realised I wasn’t alone. For me I don’t work in a large clinic so I felt it was vital for local practitioners to have some form of support, so I created a group for us all to share what we were feeling. Finally there was another bubble for me to fit into and this one didn’t feel undervalued or underpaid. Leaving the NHS was one of the best decisions I made. I have recently changed my mentality on working alone…I’m my own boss! How cool is that? I get to grow my business as much as I want. The hours you work are the ones you decide, the time you invest in your business is the growth you see in return. No, I’m not surrounded by more senior colleagues (some of whom I always thought should have retired LONG AGO anyways) but you know who I am surrounded by? Like minded injectors who share my passion, fears and drive. #buildingeachotherup @nursesStnMegan

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