I recently saw these words as the tagline for the main homepage of a concierge practice in Irvine, CA – ironically the corporate headquarters for the United States division of Allergan, the makers of cosmetic Botox.
And I thought, “That’s a very fitting and true philosophy for experienced, educated and properly trained injectors.” I also considered having the words framed and put on the wall in my office because, sadly, a good portion of my job is fixing other injectors mistakes.
I often see resumes come across my desk from candidates referring to themselves as “Certified Injection Specialist” or “Advanced Cosmetic Nurse Injector.”
Simply being certified in cosmetic nursing isn’t enough to ensure a good outcome. Here’s why: there are a variety of typical “one-day” courses one can take as a licensed Registered Nurse, NP, PA, MD, and in some states Dentists that will provide a certificate at the end of the day. Some offer hands-on training and surprisingly, some do not. Personally, I teach for Aesthetic Advancements, Inc. which offers Fundamental, Advanced, and Master level courses which allow participants to earn CEU’s (“continuing education units” or proof that you are continuing to hone your skills) and provide a certificate of completion of the course. I am humbled and honored to work alongside some of the best injectors in the country.
That being said, simply taking a course does not make one a certified specialist.
So what makes an expert, skilled nurse injector? A few things: years of practical experience, continuing education, and in the very best case scenario – supervising physicians who are board-certified specialists trained in cosmetic injections: plastic surgeons, dermatologists, facial plastics or oculoplastic surgeons, for example.
Do. Your. Research.
I can’t tell you how many times I am doing a consultation and I ask my patient what their experience with neuromodulators or dermal fillers has been and I hear this:
“Well I had _____, I think it was ____ but I’m not really sure – I was injected at a party.”
I ask, “Well, where was it injected?” – Vague pointing to facial areas.
“Who did your injections? Was it a nurse? A doctor/NP/PA?” – “Not really sure.”
“Did you get any contact information in case you had an adverse reaction?” – “No”
Trust Botox Providers Who Empower You As The Patient
Bottom line: you need to choose an injector who is experienced, has proper medical oversight, injects a variety of fillers and neuromodulators, and you need to ask the question, “How many of these procedures have you personally done in the last year?”
I always make sure to educate my patients on what I see anatomically that I could help them with to enhance their appearance; I educate them on their facial anatomy so that if they go elsewhere they will know what to ask for and what not to do. Here’s a perfect example: if someone is very heavy-lidded and their forehead is deeply lined, injecting a neuromodulator will drop their lids further and they will be extremely displeased. Understanding facial anatomy is key and empowering the patient is simply the right thing to do.
Make sure you know exactly what is being injected, how much and why.
Aesthetic injectable treatments are not a commodity – it is an art and a science. It is not “cookie cutter” – everyone is different, every face is different, and requires personal assessment and treatment. I feel I need to be absolutely honest and transparent with my patients. I’m even happy to share with them my personal injection/laser/product regimen and history.
And at the end of the day, it’s your face. Use your Groupon and Living Social discounts for auto detailing, nail salons or lunch. Because if it sounds too good to be true – it probably is.
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