• Suzi Sailer

Do you play Russian Roulette with your Injections?

How Do You Choose Your Provider For Medical Aesthetics?

A) Buy the the “groupon” or “best deal” to save money regardless of the skill set, education, of the provider (Because really anyone can inject filler, botox/dysport?).

B) Research your aesthetic provider to make sure they are skilled in the area of treatment you are interested in even if the cost is higher than a “groupon”.

****If you chose A....read on....

Who is injecting you?!?!

We all know that education, training, and experience are essential when choosing a healthcare provider in the medical aesthetic field. Unfortunately, in the United States, the laws regarding who is qualified to perform these aesthetic procedures varies from state to state. It is important for patients to know that most procedures performed in medical spas have many risks that can be devastating in the hands of an inexperienced provider. Most medical professional are trained in a general manner and then gain more knowledge and experience as they work in their “specialty” area after they graduate. Physicians often do residencies where they learn specifically about their “expertise”, which in turn prepares them to be an “expert” in their field. However, many other medical professionals do not have residencies. Aestheticians, nurses, nurse practitioners (although they do have a few specialties: pediatrics, neonatal, acute care), physician assistants, and doctors performing outside their “specialty”, require additional training, education, and experience to proficient in delivering safe aesthetic medical treatments.

So, as a patient, how do you decide who is qualified to perform your aesthetic treatments? First of all, practitioners/offices giving extremely good deals should be scrutinized. Selling product for below cost is a RED FLAG! Always rely on referrals and reviews to make sure the office is using FDA approved products that are mixed with company suggested dilution. Second, make a consultation and ask questions regarding the providers training (where they have done their training, how often do they go to trainings, what certifications they have, what degrees they have, and how long they have been practicing medical aesthetics). Third, a provider should always take time to discuss all of your options, including the risks and benefits of all the procedures, the reason for the aging process, and why certain procedures are more beneficial than others. They should also give you time to think about your options, and not pressure you into treatment. Fourth, the provider needs to be completely honest about downtime for procedures. Fifth, always ask your provider what they would do if there was a complication regarding your procedure (for example; if it is a vessel occlusion with filler, they should have warm packs, baby aspirin, and hyaluronidase/hylenex in office: 600+ units depending on the area, as well as the number for an occuloplastic surgeon on speed dial). While this is scary to think about, I can write a whole list of complications for each service I perform at the spa, and if providers are not trained or don’t have the materials readily available in case of a complication, the results can be catastrophic.

What is a Certified Aesthetic Nurse Specialist (CANS)?

This is a nurse or nurse practitioner that has to undergo a significant amount of training, education and experience. Even before applying for the exam, they must have the following accomplishments.

~Must be a RN, BSN, or Nurse Practitioner that is board certified in their state.

~They must practice and be employed as an aesthetic nurse, or plastic surgical nurse. Under the supervision of an experienced and trained plastic surgeon, or medical aesthetic provider, nurses and nurse practitioners gain training and experience essential to perform aesthetic treatments.

~After 2-3 years and 1,000 practicing hours in the above environment, the provider can test to receive the CANS certification through the Plastic Surgical Nursing Certification Board (PSNCB). There are limited practitioners with this certification, and the degree of knowledge required to pass the 4 hour exam is extremely advanced including all areas of medical aesthetics such as injectables, lasers, skin care and more.

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