What advice would I give myself if I could go back?

Kate: The best advice I would have given myself when I first started out would have probably been, be critical and always question things! As nurses we are encouraged to think critically and yet I think sometimes that gets lost in aesthetics! At the start I was so influenced by trends, reps and popular narratives that I often went along with it … My journey to me was organic.. first a business woman, then a teacher and then a nurse and now I love that I can amalgamate all of those parts of my life in an incredibly rewarding career but I think if I am honest sometimes I had a touch of imposter syndrome and probably felt my opinion didn’t matter .. I was so keen to establish myself that it seemed a sensible route.. now I definitely question and approach every decision I make systematically.. I feel confident in my abilities to walk away from anything that doesn’t align with my values. I feel empowered to have my own voice and stand by the decisions I make and I encourage all my staff to do the same! My road ‘to fit in’ has definitely been overturned by my journey to be authentic! My mission to be true to my own personality, values, and spirit, regardless of the pressure I may feel to act otherwise #authenticdoesntmeanpopular and I am now okay with that!   @nursesStnKate

Grace: My biggest piece of advice to myself when first starting out.. I could have written a hundred different things as I truly consider that we’re always on a journey of re-evaluating and evolving. However, I think my biggest piece of advice would be – to not waste so much time worrying! I worried about what would my ICU colleagues & family would think of my new career choice, did my patients like their results, had I followed the procedure exactly how my notes had taught me, and if I had altered a step, was it now going to go drastically wrong and my patient would be queuing outside of the no-win no-fee solicitors office. God, I look back and realise I lived those first years in a state of worry about everything and everyone – other than myself. Did it matter whether my ICU colleagues thought my new role wasn’t ‘proper nursing’? Truthfully, no not really. I was totally hooked on the speciality of aesthetic medicine. I lived and breathed the industry and my passion for it drove me to want to be the best. Surely finding something that gives you a fire to be the best you possibly can only be a positive? The comments soon came that aesthetics was superficial, a waste of a nursing degree and had no longevity. I should have held my head high and explained the scope of aesthetic medicine, the extent of my pharmaceutical & anatomy knowledge, and the positive impact it has on physical, mental and emotional well-being. Aesthetics isn’t just ‘jabbing Botox for wrinkles’ and I continue to be (and always will be!) a ‘valued nurse’.  Additionally, when I wasn’t worrying about opinions, I was worrying about my patients. Did I have enough knowledge to give them the quality treatments? I spent so much time over-analysing both pre and post treatment images – I would obsess over whether one lip corner was always paler or if a right eyebrow was always higher than the left? I am sure that there are practitioners reading this who are still in this cycle now. Whilst it is normal to worry, it’s what helps us to strive for better because we truly care – it’s important to remember ‘worrying takes away today’s peace and not tomorrow’s troubles’. I wish I had believed in myself and my abilities more, ignored other’s opinions and enjoyed my patients journeys instead of worrying I had done something wrong. On that note; yes that right eyebrow was always higher than the left, the pigment on the lip corner was naturally paler pre procedure, and no aesthetic medicine isn’t a fad which won’t last long. Aesthetic medicine is here to stay so if you are just starting out or considering the jump.. believe in yourself and enjoy learning in this ever-growing speciality! #believeinyourself @nursesStnGrace

Picture of Megan

Megan: The biggest piece of advice I would love to give myself is manage clients expectations and learn how to say no. When you first start in aesthetics, any booking is like gold dust, you couldn’t dream of saying no or turning away business. You are practically bowing down at your patients feet for choosing you to inject them! I would find myself doing most treatments just because ‘the customer’s always right’. Little did I know that in aesthetics this is not the case and it would come back to bite me in the behind! I found that I would get messages a few weeks later that ‘my toxin hasn’t lifted my brows’ or ‘my one forehead line is still visible’. I instantly blamed myself, I must’ve done something wrong. Running back to the textbooks and paying for more training. I quickly begun to realise, actually it wasn’t that my treatment was wrong. I hadn’t managed my clients expectations of their treatment, no I can’t lift your brows 10cm without a microscopic brow lift, actually that one line was already there and won’t be fixed with toxin alone. A lot of this comes from injecting lots of faces and learning that blunt honesty is key and that saying “no” can actually be in a client’s best interest (which ultimately underpins our practice as medical professionals) but I still can’t help but feel we should be better equipped with the ability to manage our clients expectations when we train. Yes we are taught how to inject but no we aren’t told what to do if it doesn’t work or the results aren’t how the clients wished… #honestyiskey @nursesStnMegan

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