3 Great Takeaways from ISPAN’s Annual Meeting

From a workshop on the challenges facing nursing entrepreneurs to an advisory board on a promising new neurotoxin and lessons learned in a cadaver lab. Yes, there was a wealth of knowledge to scoop up in California and bring home to Canada. All for improving patient safety and service!

With an all-encompassing annual conference that draws attendances in the thousands, the International Society of Plastic and Aesthetic Nurses truly backs up its mission to promote “the education, competency and professional development of licensed registered nurses who are dedicated to the practice of plastic and aesthetic nursing.”

This year’s conference in San Diego was no exception. There were literally dozens of first-rate lectures and sessions to choose from. Here are three events that I attended and will benefit both my own medical aesthetics practice and the training at THMA Consulting.


Nursing Roles, Rewards and Roadblocks

It was fascinating and enlightening to listen to three dynamic nurses in a lively discussion on becoming aesthetic entrepreneurs. Connie Brennan RN, Jill Jones RN and Haley Wood NP shared how they paved their own paths in nonsurgical aesthetic medicine. They took on the financial risks and overcame self-doubt to become very successful today.

I know from my own experience it’s not easy starting out on your own. There’s the investment of time and money, proper training, getting liability insurance, learning business acumen, and so on. But these nursing panelists put into words for me the biggest challenge we all face in working for ourselves: the confidence to do it!

That’s the question as you consider that big step forward. Can I do it? The answer is YES. But it does take hard work and a ton of self-confidence. It helps to receive a guiding hand and a pat on the back along the way, too!

At THMA Consulting, we have had a good many nurses come through our training courses with visions of working for themselves. Most have the same trepidation. The men and women who reached for their goals were the ones committed to patient care and were dedicated to in helping people feel good about themselves. They knew that about themselves. And built a career on that foundation.

As Connie, Jill and Haley said in San Diego, that conviction is what will always push us to raise the bar, to work hard on our education and skills, to excel as medical aesthetic practitioners.

Also Read: Nursing Friends Proudly Begin Their Own Business

Nurses can’t and shouldn’t go it alone. Having a network of people to learn from, bounce off ideas, support your goals, is very important. ISPAN does that extremely well in a global way. I strive to do the same in a local way at THMA Consulting for nursing entrepreneurs in Ontario and across Canada.


Dissecting Ongoing Education

I have organized and participated in about a dozen cadaver labs, and must say every single one has been beneficial to my medical aesthetics practice.

That was the case again at an impressive cadaver in San Diego with close to 100 participants.  As outlined in the ISPAN briefing, this hands-on workshop would promote safe and effective aesthetic procedures by focusing on facial anatomy.

  • Identifying facial muscles of expression commonly injected with neurotoxins, including origination and insertion points
  • Describing the proper depth of injection, and indicate surface landmarks for injection of neurotoxins and fillers

Instructors Julie Bass Kaplan RN and husband Dr. Jory Kaplan were simply awesome! We prepped the heads ourselves and they walked us methodically through the facial anatomy, helping us identify muscular structures and danger zones.

We would inject our cadavers with both needles and cannulas. The cannulas were for tear troughs, a good experience in itself.

We dissected after the injections to see where the products were placed. This was very instructional, even for someone as long in the business as me.

You learn something different, something helpful, with every cadaver lab. Whether for patients or clients, accrued knowledge is always incorporated into enhanced practice procedures and training points.

I highly recommend that practitioners sign up and participate in as many cadaver workshops as possible.  You can never learn too much!


Game Changer on the Horizon?

I had the great experience of participating on an advisory board discussing an impressive new neurotoxin now undergoing clinical trials in the U.S.

I sat with a group of well-regarded nursing professionals, studying the science behind this product and sharing ideas on how it would be accepted in a very competitive field.

I can’t report here on the product’s name, but can say it’ll be different than other neurotoxins on the market. As tests have shown, this neurotoxin will last six months rather than four, meaning patients might only need two treatments a year.

If approved in Canada, as expected in early 2021, this elite neurotoxin could be a game changer.

Stay tuned!