Practice Makes Perfect
A new training institute will help medical professionals succeed in the fast-growing medical aesthetics industry
This month, Lasting Skin Solutions is opening the Midwest’s only training institute for medical professionals who want to learn noninvasive cosmetic procedures. “Having something like this in the Midwest is pretty exciting,” enthuses Kim Schuchardt, founder of Lasting Skin Solutions.
“There really is no facility in our region; they’re all in California, Arizona or Florida,” she says. “It’ll be within our clinic. We have a
beautiful space here that’s perfect for this and there’s a great need for it.”
A Popular Avenue for Medical Professionals
The demand for training is increasing—medical aesthetics is an increasingly popular avenue for nurses or other medical professionals.
“It’s a sought-after career path,” Schuchardt says. “It’s the quality of life issue as well as the income potential. I recently read that the American Academy of Dermatology reports salaries are higher in medical aesthetics than in many other practice areas, and you don’t work nights and weekends.” Uncertainty about health care reform is a factor. “Physicians are concerned about it, and feel they may have to turn to some of these practices to support insurance-based practices,” says Schuchardt.
The impetus for the institute came from the makers of Artefill, a long-lasting injectible dermal filler that smoothes out facial wrinkles. Schuchardt attended a training facility in California, “and when the Artefill representative saw my technique, she wanted me to open a Midwest educational center,” she says. “They’ll send their clients to me—health care professionals who want to use Artefill. The company is committed to training medical professionals thoroughly before they can use the product.”
Schuchardt has been in business for eleven years and started using Artefill in 2006. “What’s revolutionary is the product—it can last ten years or more—in combination with my technique,” she explains. “I’ve trademarked it and am writing a book about it.” She calls the technique the Airbrush Facelift.
She compares her results to those of cosmetic surgeries. “When you think about a successful nonsurgical approach to restoring the face, you have to compare it to surgical results, and that’s the standard I hold myself to.”
That’s what her institute will teach, too. “We’re offering medical professionals continuing education in advanced medical aesthetic techniques, including laser treatments and injectibles,” she says.
Make Processes Easy to Understand
The institute will offer physicians, physician’s assistants and nurses several different courses. “There will be a basic class on injectibles, but also an advanced class going into the Airbrush Facelift technique,” says Schuchardt. “The level of technique that’s appropriate depends on the level of the provider.”
Thanks to a couple of physicians from Chicago who piloted the program and expressed interest, there will also be a practice
management course. “It’s an approach to the entire clinic and the entire client—injections and laser techniques, but also management of the client and your staff,” Schuchardt notes. “Those physicians were interested in the way I have my clinic and my medical practice set up; it really flows well.”
A physician’s assistant with a nursing background, Schuchardt will teach all of the courses, at least at first. “In nursing you’re always teaching, and when I interact with clients here, I have to teach them every day how to understand my approach,” she says. “I’m able to break things down to simpler, easy-to-understand ideas; it comes naturally to me.”
The Tools to be Successful
Schuchardt thinks high-quality training is vital in any field, but especially one like hers that requires precision and well-honed skills. “Training is a huge issue that will become more and more important, and one I absolutely believe in,” she affirms.
Professionals in her field need critical thinking skills and creativity. They also need excellent communication skills. “That’s the nursing side, and that’s why my nursing and physician’s assistant background is perfect for this. I can be empathetic and communicate, but also be detailed and systematic in my approach,” she says.
Consistency of care
“It’s really important that we prepare medical professionals and give them the tools to make the most out of their interactions with clients and be successful in their practices,” she adds. “And quality training is really important to their eventual success.”
Schuchardt’s commitment to training permeates her clinic. “We have bimonthly meetings where I do training for all staff, and we have a designated person who trains each new staff member and makes sure they’re carrying out their duties correctly.”
— Judy Dahl