By Megan Hayes, BSN, RN
I distinctly remember signing up for my Level 1 Botox® and Filler course with the American Academy of Facial Esthetics, and being slightly terrified to go beyond my comfort zone and learn brand new skills to be used in an area of medicine that was entirely new to me. Prior to the course, I immersed myself in the didactic and videos. But, I still felt nervous about injecting a live patient for the first time. Fortunately, I was surrounded by great instructors that eased my fears by answering my questions, and helping me adapt my injection technique. The instructors were certainly experts in their field, and gave countless helpful tips and tricks to get the best products and tools, stay organized, remember muscles, give appropriate doses, and in the end, have an extremely satisfied patient.
I carried the confidence that my instructors gave me as I injected my first patients in a clinical setting and then furthered my education through advanced training. And, I continue to carry that confidence in my new role as an instructor at the same courses that truly changed my career path and life.
When instructing Level 1 courses, I am always certain to tell my attendees that what they get out of this course directly correlates to the effort they put into their course. The attendees that leave feeling confident in beginning their journey into the world of injectables are the ones that ask questions, listen intently, actively engage, take notes, and pay close attention to other injectors as they are being guided by the instructor.
At a recent Level 1 course, I had one attendee who I was particularly excited to work with. In chatting, we found that we come from very similar backgrounds, and share the same passion for creativity and critical thinking. It was apparent that this student was well studied, and ready to learn, but she was still nervous. While injecting her first patient, she was slow and hesitant. She listened intently as I helped her change her grip, angles and position. She finished up and felt a little discouraged, and stated that she did not think she would get the hang of injecting anytime soon. She stuck around and watched as the other attendees injected their models. When the time came for her to inject her next patient, she was blown away at how much more comfortable she felt the second time around. She was beaming with confidence, and left ready to inject her first clinical patients the coming Monday!!
It can be both intimidating and overwhelming when learning a new skill, especially one that has the potential to change the course of your career. However, when you study up, pay close attention to detail, actively engage, focus in and push yourself past the limits of your comfort zone, you’ll make the most of an excellent opportunity. Fortunately, when you begin your injection education with the AAFE, you’re given the tools and training to succeed!