Never have I been prouder of my fellow nurses and our medical aesthetics profession. In the face of a serious threat to our livelihoods from Core Specialists in Ontario, we stood as one and roared back.

We were loud and clear that a proposed change to the Delegation Act, which among other injurious objectives would “require the supervising physician to own and operate the facility where injections are performed,” was unfair, unwarranted and unnecessary.

Professionally trained. Professionally proud.

We bonded together to protect our jobs and our profession, knowing full well we are working within our scope of practice, that we do an excellent job, provide safe and effective medical aesthetics procedures to patients in professional environments.

And thanks you, it worked!

The College of Physicians and Surgeons, in a statement, said they were removing a proposal to seize control of the medical aesthetics marketplace from current discussions on the Delegation Act .

“I can assure you that we have no plans to restrict individuals from performing procedures that are within their scope of practice and we are currently just evaluating whether the requirements of the delegation policy are working and are appropriate. We are in the very early stages of the policy review process at this time. If, as a result of the consultation, the decision is made to propose updates to the policy, that proposal would be shared with the public (including stakeholders in the aesthetics industry) and with Council for consideration later this year.” – Craig Roxborough, CPSO

Needless to say, we were all happy and relieved to get that news.

 “One small step for Injectors, one giant leap for Medical Aesthetics!” That was the celebratory reaction to the CPSO statement from the Canadian Aesthetic Medical Practitioners.

We owe a ton of gratitude to CAMP for spearheading official opposition to the proposal through petitions, a Facebook campaign and lobbying of medical associations. Speaking on behalf of all aesthetic nurses about the delegation proposal, CAMP said the core specialists were “wearing their greed on their sleeves.”

“The specific objective is to monopolize the lucrative market of cosmetic medical treatments including Botox, facial fillers, and other cosmetic therapy devices … in order to limit independently-owned practices run by GP’s, nurses and entrepreneurs who perform these treatments.”

Lip Service?

Nurses raise the bar on patient care

Your reaction was swift and strong. The proposal, most everyone agreed, was insulting and disrespectful of all of us in nursing, purposely ignoring the high level of knowledge and expertise we’ve acquired, the training we do, the compassion we have for patient care and our dedication to patient safety.

The core specialists tried to hitch their wagon to patient safety, without offering any evidence or any research indicating that having a physician on site and overseeing the practice of trained nurses would be any better for patient safety.

Thumbs up to all of you who took issue with that perceived hypocrisy in letters to the CPSO and on social media.

Heather C. This has absolutely nothing to do with patient safety, quality of care or scope of practice. They are not great at hiding the business/profit motivation behind this proposal.

Michelle G. This is insulting to nurses who are very able and capable to run a business. And has nothing to do with safety. Nurses are bound to provide safe and ethical care by their governing bodies.

Patricia P. The requirement for physician ownership is an incredibly poorly disguised motive for greed. I am embarrassed for the entire delegation who has written this and would urge them to be honest and truthful regarding their true motives.

Barb W. This demand by physicians to impede the success of professional nurses who go above and beyond to provide safe aesthetic procedures is nothing but a money grab! I have watched as the incredible nurses of Canada have raised the bar on optimal patient care and safety for their patients all while developing incredible training for not only nurses, but physicians on these important topics.

It is interesting to remember that when nurses like me first started doing Botox and filler injections 20 years ago, the plastic surgeons couldn’t care less. They wanted nothing to do with needles. “We’re surgeons! That’s not for us. That’s for nurses to do.”

So, we did. And we got very good at it.

We worked hard and trained hard to carve ourselves a nice niche in an honourable profession. Today, the products are better and treatments are even more effective. We are not just filling in lines. We can now contour faces in a way that doesn’t require going under the knife.

“This will help me become a better doctor.”

The result is fewer people these days getting cosmetics surgeries, while the the numbers opting for non-surgical treatments are rising significantly. So, those same group of specialists who once dismissed medical aesthetics now want in on the action.

What’s even more ironic is that core specialists trying to muscle in on our practices might be receiving training from the same people they want to put out of work.

At THMA Consulting, we have trained several plastic surgeons and dermatologists. One plastic surgeon praised nurse-led training, saying he came to us because only nurses have the skills and experience to do injection treatments.

It’s Not Over Yet

CAMP warns that this unveiled desire by specialists to take more control of our profession won’t be going away, noting that the CPSO is “merely evaluating whether the requirements of the delegation policy are working and if they are still appropriate.”

We should use this as an opening for more discussions on cosmetics issues that truly do affect patient safety.

We need to encourage the CPSO to work with us and crack down on fraudulent and unlicenced operators and practices, including the so-called basement Botox parties. (This is a topic we’ll talk more about at our Professional Development Symposium on June 13.)

We all work for the same person. The patient. None of us in medical aesthetics – the trained and skilled nurses and doctors – take that responsibility lightly. It shouldn’t be too much to expect the same dedication to patient care and safety to be shared among all medical professionals.

However, this is a work in progress and we shouldn’t let down our guard. Given all I’ve read and heard from hundreds of proud nursing professionals this past month,  I’m pretty sure that won’t be happening!