Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner
Q: Walk us through your story!
A: In 2013, I became a Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner. My husband and I recently moved to Los Angeles as he was starting his Oral Maxillofacial Surgery residency program. I had intentions of working in an emergency room. I quickly got acquainted with another Nurse Practitioner, Leila, who was working in a local ER. She told me that there would be open positions in her ER in a few months and that she would give me a call regarding employment opportunities. However, the next day she called me and told me about working with her in the medspa she worked at in Hermosa Beach—Skin-Medix. She explained to me what job duties Nurse Practitioners perform in aesthetic medicine and I informed her I knew absolutely nothing about this industry and didn’t think I would be able to assist. She encouraged me to come to the clinic, check things out and see what I thought. All I thought about Botox was that it was used by celebrities and reality tv stars and made people look unnatural. Reluctantly, I went to shadow Leila the next day. I was surprised to see every-day women at the clinic getting treatments. Working women, stay at home moms, single, married, all ages. Women were saying that they get aesthetic treatments because they (are the oldest at their job, don’t look the way they feel, want to slow down the aging process, love looking their best and refreshed self). I was still hesitant about taking a job in aesthetics because it seemed absolutely daunting to take on learning something so unfamiliar to me. Leila reassured me that the team would assist me in training and that the industry was continuing to grow. I took the job part-time and got immersed in the world of aesthetics. I was fortunate to have several one-on-one hands-on trainings with some of the top injectors in the industry. We arranged for my friends, family, and co-workers to be my models at the trainings and I dove right in! I spent any free time I had immersing myself in learning more about the industry, safety protocols, anatomy, injection techniques, and connecting with others in the aesthetic space. To this day, I continue to refine my skills, always seeking to learn and grow.
Q: What has been the most rewarding phase of your career?
A: I am very happy with where I am at in my career currently. What I find so rewarding is having cultivated long-term friendships with my patients. Some of these patients I have been with since I began injecting in 2013. I have heard their stories throughout the years—successes, challenges, aspirations. I know (and often inject!) their families and friends. We have long chats, laugh / cry together, and really just connect. It is this deep human connection that brings so much life and purpose into what I do. It is this that helps me aspire to continue learning, growing, and developing my skills so that I can serve all of my patients to the absolute best of my ability—helping them to look and feel their best selves always.
Q: Who has been the most inspirational person in my life and at what stage?
A: I am more and more inspired by my mother the older I get. Her faith is unrelenting and she has never failed to be there for me. From praying with me daily, encouraging me, being my biggest supporter (besides my husband!), to being my confidant and workout partner— I really can’t imagine life without her. She is the rock of our entire family, stops to talk with every random person she comes across, sincerely loves and prays for all those she encounters, and really enjoys life. I admire her joy and peace and strive to be more like her daily.
Q: What advice would you give someone wanting to pursue a career similar to yours?
A: Reach out to injectors and ask to for opportunities to shadow, meet/phone/zoom interview, take continuing education courses (there are several that are online and free (or very low cost) right now — medscape.com, x-medica.com, paletteresources.com). Take your resume to medspas/aesthetic offices and inquire for job opportunities. If you’re in school training to become a nurse/waiting to take your board exams, ask to volunteer or work as a medical assistant at a medspa/aesthetic office. Get some treatments yourself! Inquire about job opportunities, advice during your conversations with your injector.
Q: What are the best resources that have helped you along the way?
A: One of the most beneficial and underrated resources for me launching in the aesthetic industry were the product sales representatives. The reps have a wealth of information about the products and the (news?) In the aesthetic industry. Through the reps I have received one-on-one training, business strategy tips, and have been connected with the scientists who understand the product in such detail. Whenever I see them in the office, I try to make time to listen and learn from them! Additionally, having great mentors and friends in the aesthetic industry has been invaluable. Connecting with people who are willing to share their knowledge, challenge me to see something in a different way, and encourage me to pursue excellence—has helped to excel me in the aesthetic space. I think that it is so important as injectors, sales reps, product developers—we work together to continue elevating our industry and bring our patients the best possible outcomes.
Q: What are your top self care routines?
A: Sleep! I love naps (we have a full house—3 kids and I am due with another baby February 2021!—so I usually feel the need for nap). Exercise! I feel so much happier and accomplished when I exercise. I love walking, and currently obsessed with my Peloton bike and tread since I’m away from OrangeTheory due to covid restrictions. Hanging out with my husband. I love overnight dates or even just our quiet time connecting throughout the week.
Q: What is the most challenging part about what you do?
A: Managing patient expectations can be challenging. We live in a world of social media where people have instant access to photos and videos of beautiful people any time of day. Often, photos are beautifully curated with perfect lighting, photoshop, filters. Patients then have a highly influenced perception of beauty. Sometimes they expect to have the most contoured cheeks, lifted eye brows, angled jawline, perfect pout—and to top it off, all done without any bruising or swelling. I have to explain, prior to treatment, what can realistically be achieved with nonsurgical interventions, and what to expect with post care. Sometimes patients don’t like to hear the realities about the limitations we can achieve nonsurgically, but I am always here to provide the truth.
Q: If you could step into my shoes, what would you have asked yourself that I didn’t?
A: In addition to your work, what else do you do? In addition to being an Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner, I am so grateful to be a wife and mother. My husband and I have been married since 2012—we began dating at Stanford, our alma mater. We have a 6 year old son, are fostering-to-(God willing) adopt 3 year old twins, and I am pregnant and due with another baby February 2021. Our hands and hearts are full. My husband and I somehow juggle work, the kids’ schedule, and making time for one another. I feel overwhelmingly blessed to have him as a partner in life. If anyone ever has any questions about the foster care system, please feel free to reach out!