DR UCHE ANIAGWU
Dr Uche Aniagwu is a leading non-surgical under-eye rejuvenation practitioner and founder and clinical lead of The Dr Uche Tear Trough Training Academy. He is also a resident injector at Beyond Medispa at Harvey Nichols, London. An industry author and commentator on medical career development, Dr Uche has positioned himself as a thought leader in helping aesthetic practitioners separate themselves within an increasingly competitive industry. Follow him on Instagram: @cosmeticeyeclinic
As the clinical lead of my Advanced Tear Trough Training Course, my primary goal is to provide practitioners with the best possible experience – one that leaves them feeling enriched and uniquely prepared to provide patients with the best possible outcomes.
Crafting this experience with these goals in mind proved a fun challenge, and one which constantly forced our group to adapt, not least of all due to covid-19. Yet even before the pandemic, many training centres simply had not done enough to adapt to a changing industry, and a lot of practitioners had begun to feel that their training had become relatively “samey”. However, in the interesting new society we now find ourselves in, training centres should take the opportunity to update their learning experiences, which would bode well for the industry as a whole.
So, what does a new-age training course look like? I’m not talking about virtual or augmented reality just yet. While I’m sure there’s a strong case for those tools becoming the centre of the learning experience in the future, for now, some small adjustments that not only serve a covid world but also enhance your learning experience can make all the difference.
AN E-LEARNING SUITE
Zoom, webinars and e-learning were the flavour of 2020 when in-person interaction became restricted. What did we learn? Well, that people learn very effectively at their own pace and in their own time, and that you’ll have your own unique absorption strategies. Furthermore, being able to learn online gives you an unparalleled ability to supplement your learning real-time with online research.
A good e-learning environment shouldn’t just provide you with theory but also practical demonstrations; think of them as live conferences in your home. Due to the change in the ways we interact you should expect to learn a vast amount online so that you can spend more time on the practical elements when you attend an in-person training event.
THINK OF TRAINING AS A MEMBERSHIP
Considering the uncertainty around today’s world and market, the ability to stay sharp whether you’re allowed to practice or not is crucial. Enrolling on a training course that gives you a lifetime of access means that you’ll always be able to refer back to your learning progress at all times. Also, in true membership fashion, you should join a course that gives you support and continually updates its learning materials so that the value you receive never stops growing with you. We’re all familiar with the community that is built following training courses; expect that to be built into a modern-day training course or programme.
“Modern-day training programmes should always seek to prepare students for real-world practice as much as they teach technique”
CLASSES NO LARGER THAN FOUR
At last, covid restrictions may finally force training providers to only teach small groups. Not only is learning in this way more intimate, but you will also have more practice time, which is what an effective course should offer. Training often falls down on teaching techniques; sadly, too many trainers fail to instil confidence, which for most injectors is the biggest hurdle to overcome. Delegates develop a far more intimate relationship with each other in a smaller group, and having a close support group is another thing that many of us feel we’re missing when we enter the world of aesthetics.
Good, modern-day training programmes should always seek to prepare students for real-world practice as much as they teach technique. Within my world of tear troughs, a prominent flaw of most courses is that the models selected are “ideal” candidates and often do not represent the majority of cases. The reality is that courses should teach delegates how to manage patients on a scale of “ideal” all the way to “nontreatable”.
By over-engineering the models at training courses, delegates often end up surprised, demoralised and doubting themselves when faced with patients not quite as easy to treat as those they saw in training, while not clearly contraindicated either. The result is a loss of confidence and turning away patients at a higher rate than should happen.
In my opinion, a training course is not complete without a 1:1 offering. Being a great injector comes down to muscle memory and time spent developing this, and one of the distinguishing features of my courses is that practitioners have a 1:1 option which gives them a chance to be shadowed. Traditionally, courses offered group sessions, and being able to shadow or be mentored was reserved for practitioners taking certain steps to create those opportunities. With the competition higher now than ever before, being able to give all delegates a path to bespoke support at non-exorbitant prices should be a programme requirement.
Many training centres sell a “holistic” training experience, but unless delegates continue being supported by a training course after the practical teaching, then there is a high chance that skills learned on the day may not be executed to the volume needed. I believe that the future of training courses will require adoption of what myself and others have begun doing; leveraging established networks to support delegates in securing business. For some courses, that not only includes promotion or re-directed customer traffic, but can also involve resources dedicated specifically to helping injectors stand out in a very crowded market.
PRACTICAL GOODIE BAGS
The days of branded pens and notepads in goody bags should have come to an end a long time ago. In today’s climate, a premier training course should seek to provide delegates with functional resources that augment the learning objectives of the course. For example, delegates on my Tear Trough Training Course not only receive samples of topical eye creams that they may want to introduce to their offering, but also a practical handbook that touches on the most crucial points when practising tear-trough rejuvenation. It should be an expectation of aesthetic courses now to send delegates home with tools and resources that can help them take their professional and business practice to the next level, even after the course is complete.
Whether or not you are a delegate looking to enrol on the right training course or the lead of your own training course, this article should provide insight as to where training courses are quickly heading and the emphasis on adding value in new and creative ways. As a delegate, be sure to commit your finances to a programme that can support you and provide more than just what you receive on the day. The journey to establishing yourself in aesthetics is not short-lived, and your education shouldn’t be either.
“A premier training course should provide delegates with functional resources that augment the learning objectives of the course”