I seem to get a lot of questions asking how I got started in the field of cosmetic injecting. There is no clear or direct path so navigating your way through if you are interested in pursuing a career in the field can be a bit difficult. So, I’ll tell you my journey through and hope that it can help some of you wanting to do the same.
I started my journey doing a Bachelor of Nursing because I wanted to be able to do cosmetic nursing. Most places of practice require you to be a Registered Division 1 Nurse (RN) in order to administer anti-wrinkle or filler and this is because they are drugs that need to be prescribed by a doctor. Once prescribed by a doctor they can then be administered by a RN. Some clinics and practices will allow Enrolled Nurses (Division 2 Nurses) to inject as long as they are certified to also do injections. This is relatively uncommon; however I definitely know of enrolled nurses that do cosmetic injecting and are also very good at it. In my personal opinion I think they probably got lucky, as most places now require you to have your RN as a prerequisite.
In recent times regulations surrounding the safety of patients has really tightened up within the field, I think it would be naïve to think that this won’t continue. Therefore, I think at this point in time if you want to enter the industry your best option is to start off getting your qualification as a RN. It is a 3-year course and you do 800 hours of placement. Killer. Particularly if your end goal is to just do injectables. Completing the degree was one of the hardest things I have ever had to push myself through, but incredibly rewarding now that I am on the other side.
Actual footage of me on nursing placement
Once I finished my degree, I had the piece of paper that signed me off and stated that I was a registered nurse. This meant I had ticked everything off that I legally needed to and I could now inject people with all the fillers and all the anti-wrinkle. YAY. The problem now though, who in their right mind would allow a new nursing graduate with zero experience to inject real drugs on real people!? I had no training in administering cosmetic injectables or any real knowledge of facial anatomy. Cosmetic injecting is a specialised area, and I had none of this valuable experience. This is where it is a bit tricky, trying to convince a practice or a clinic to hire you, or teach you can be challenging. You have all the documents signed off, but no experience, and most clinics want a well practiced injector.
I knew this before I entered the degree, and I knew I needed to get my foot in the door somehow. So, whilst studying, I worked part time doing reception at a Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Practice. I think they gave me a chance (with once again no experience in the field) because in my interview I told them I would do anything to get the job, I’d even vacuum for them…. which my manager still occasionally makes me do- haha. Anyway, four and half years later, I am still there. I work for the surgeon who I had my breast implants done with almost 10 years ago! (Graeme Southwick- you are the bomb diggity, for realz) (I will probably do a post on this at some point too). Once I had my paperwork signed off I hassled everyone in the practice to help train me. A company that supplies one of the leading anti-wrinkle and filler product to clinics (I’m not allowed to say what company it is due to Australian regulations) agreed to do some training with me at the clinic. So I got to learn the basics of injecting here at the plastic surgery practice. Having the most incredible team of surgeons and cosmetic injectors here meant I had access to learn from the very best straight up. Having such well respected surgeons like Graeme Southwick or Morris Ritz help you with learning your injecting is invaluable and is something that I am very grateful for. This helped set me up, I was doing lots of models under the guidance of the surgeons and our super talented injectors – Richelle Poswell and Benjamin Schreenan.
From here it meant I had learnt the basics and I could approach other practices demonstrating a little bit of experience. After many months of continual training at the surgeons clinic and building confidence within my abilities I started a new role at another clinic doing injecting. I do a lot of training and seek a lot of guidance from Graeme, Richelle and Ben. Fortunately at my new clinic I am now blessed with another amazing injector who I can learn a great deal from, Kathryn Khoo at Australian Skin Clinic Emporium. A seriously talented cosmetic injector. I'm now about to enter the injecting world full time doing 5-6 days of injecting every week. I am super excited on what is to come and how much I will learn over the coming months and years.
The best advise I can give to others aspiring to get in to the field is to get your foot in the door with a clinic/practice or someone who will take you under their wing and who will mentor and guide you. This type of training and learning is so valuable. Some clinics will offer complete training to registered nurses, I would just advise to be careful of contracts and how long they stipulate that you must stay at the clinic if they do train you. Other places may ask you to do a course. They are expensive and from what I have gathered are not always worth it. Get your RN, and hustle your way in to practice, don't give up, keep up your learning and ask as many questions as you can. I am still new to the area but so far, that is what has worked for me.
It can be a bit of hard one to find your way through, but once you get there I can guarantee you will love it, just as much as I do!
As always, please reach out if you have any questions, I am always here to help if you need.
Lots of love,