Nurse Injector / Aesthetic Nursing – First Steps
Blue Water Spa Serving Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary and Surrounding Areas
At Blue Water Spa we receive many resumes and inquiries from nursing professionals interested in working in the field of aesthetics. The information below is designed to provide some tips to nursing professionals who are interested in furthering their career and possibly entering the world of aesthetic nursing.
Being an aesthetic nurse can mean many, many things. Most nursing professionals think of being an aesthetic nurse as being a nurse injector. Nurse injectors administer neurotoxins like Dysport, Botox, Xeomin or perhaps Daxxify. Nurse injectors also perform injectable filler treatments, using products like Restylane, Voluma, Vollure, and others. And nurse injectors will often perform PRF treatments, or in some practices, PRP treatments.
The scope of aesthetic nursing practice is not limited to injectable treatments. Aesthetic nurses can perform laser services like laser hair removal, laser skin tightening, or laser treatments that improve skin pigmentation. Aesthetic nurses can administer medical-grade skin care treatments like microneedling or medium-depth chemical peels. Aesthetic nurses can also work with work with plastic surgery in and out of the OR. Another important role for nursing professionals is serving patients as a PCC or patient Care Coordinator. This role can be for surgical and / or non-surgical aesthetic services
One of the first considerations for a nursing professional considering a career in aesthetics should be whether they wish to work independently or as part of a team. At Blue Water Spa, we are biased in this regard. We prefer and foster a collaborative working environment where aesthetic professionals are learning from each other every single day, and where it is easy to obtain a second opinion from a trusted colleague at a moment’s notice.
We feel strongly that formal, intensive training should be available to team members and that it should be a benefit of employment – and that ongoing education is actually a requirement of employment. Having a board-certified physician as owner and operator of the practice provides an extra layer of support and training. In the case of Blue Water Spa, Blue Water Spa, Dr. Michael Law, a board-certified plastic surgeon, is one of is one of the top facial fat grafting surgeons anywhere. BWS nursing professionals are able to shadow him in the OR during fat grafting procedures where he teaches his team about the nuances of facial soft tissue volume enhancement.
For nurse injectors, knowing that the practice has ultrasound technology for facial soft tissue and filler imaging, and a physician on site who is trained in the use of this device, is also assuring. It would also be assuring to patients, if they knew to ask for such things.
Learning is never a ‘one and done’ experience at Blue Water Spa. Learning takes place daily and in a team environment. Learning from your peers and co-workers is not only beneficial for nursing professionals – it can and should be fun and enjoyable, and foster an atmosphere of camaraderie. The ‘team approach’ also facilitates preparation for management of potential adverse events, and at Blue Water Spa we are always prepared and equipped for any emergency. Something like a simple stumble in a treatment room, or a vasovagal response during an aesthetic treatment, could turn into a nightmare if there is not an emergency button in the room, alerting other medical professionals who know to respond immediately.
So how does a nursing professional become an aesthetic nurse?
There is a LOT of information, and a lot of misinformation out there, so here are a few tips we think will truly be helpful:
1) You are here. So that must mean something about Blue Water Spa appeals to you. There is more than one right way to do things. But if you like the BWS way, which includes truly natural-looking results, a culture of patient safety, lots of training, not jumping on the bandwagon of new products before they are used widely in the US (see Qwo, Lipodissolve, Zerona, and countless more), then this businesses model could be a good fit for you, and learning more about the culture of a business like this can be as easy as reviewing social media posts and watching informational videos on YouTube.
Blue Water Spa will never promote being the first to use a new product. We would rather see what happens after any product has been in wide use. That may mean that on occasion we miss out on some revenue opportunities. But the long-term safety and happiness of our guests is more important than making every possible dollar.
Maybe you like that BWS ‘before and after’ photos are of actual patients and that photos have consistent lighting, cropping, and angles. If our approach appeals to you, please review our websites, social media platforms and especially our informational videos which can easily be found on the Blue Water Spa and Michael Law MD YouTube pages. Reviewing this information will truly provide a solid foundation for learning.
2) Read. There are many wonderful books about aesthetics for nursing professionals and physicians. A few that we keep in the BWS library are:
- A Practical Guide to Botulinum Toxin Procedures – Rebecca Small
- Injectable Facial Shaping and Contouring – Derek Jones and Arthur Swift
- Form of the Head and Neck – Uldis Zarins
- Anatomy of Facial Expression – Uldis Zarins
- Facial Volumization – Lamb and Surek
3) Join ISPAN, The International Society of Plastic and Aesthetic Nurses, and take advantage of ISPAN’s educational opportunities.
4) Take a cadaver course, or three. Cadaver courses should be an absolute requirement for all nurse injectors. But in most states, shockingly, an RN can inject filler without any formal training. A one-day training course provided by someone that is compensated by the product manufacturer is not training that one should turn down. Yet that level of training does not make a nurse injector ‘fully trained’. A more comprehensive approach is required if patient safety and natural-appearing results are the two primary goals. As they should always be.
An unfortunate reality is that the goal of many clinical trainers is to make training as quick as possible and for the trainee to use a lot of product. So if training is available, take it. But keep in mind that there are shortcuts that may be presented to you. Shortcuts could mean compromising the safety of patients.
Cadaver training is essential, but most nursing professionals will get more from cadaver trainings after they have been in practice and have some practical experience, or at least in a setting where they are receiving formal training and have observed many, many hours of filler or PRF being performed with a cannula or viewing structural fat grafting to the face in an OR setting.
5) Go online – carefully. Instagram is a good platform for a quick review. You can learn a lot about what you like and what you don’t like. At Blue Water Spa, our team has many injector experts from across the world that we learn from online and in-person. But there are often things we, and other expert injectors may not agree on 100%. The BWS approach is a conservative and cautious approach. For example, we limit the amount of neurotoxin or filler that can be administered in any single visit. Differing perspectives is part of what makes this profession challenging, and very engaging. Injectable products and treatment approaches are ever evolving. Stick with facts. Look for peer-reviewed studies and listen to your gut. Great injectors are going to have great photos, and that doesn’t necessarily mean they are ‘blow your socks off wow’ photos. Look for good quality photos that honestly and effectively communicate the truly natural-appearing aesthetic enhancement that a treatment has created.
A before photo taken in poor lighting with a downturned chin and an after photo in bright light with an upturned chin may be cause to consider the validity of an injector’s work. When eye color changes in a before and after, it is appropriate to have some concern about the integrity and knowledge of someone who presents that kind of work. Hence the words of caution. It seems everyone is an “expert”. It is sometimes challenging to know who the real deal is.
If you are interested in a career as an aesthetic professional at Blue Water Spa, or any medical spa, start learning by reviewing our websites carefully. Review our videos online and learn about facial anatomy from one or more of the books listed. That is one way to sincerely demonstrate interest and to prepare yourself for wherever your career path takes you. Finally, it may be helpful to know that at Blue Water Spa many of our staff members have sent us their resumes multiple times before getting an interview, and sometimes came back for an interview after not getting a job the first time. The same may be true for other medical spas or plastic surgery practices. So, keep learning and don’t give up!