ATA Faculty Dr Paula Mann BDS.MFDS.MFGDP recently spoke to Aesthetics Journal about how she has adapted to life in lockdown.
In The Life of Dr Paula Mann
The aesthetic practitioner and Merz Innovation Partner talks hosting webinars and life in lockdown.
Fresh air to start the day…
Like most people with kids, I find it’s good to get up and out before everyone else! I enjoy a cup of tea first thing, before taking our boxer dog Pepper for a walk in the countryside near our home. It can be difficult if it’s cold and dark, but I always feel like I’ve achieved something before the hustle and bustle of the day.
We’re currently in lockdown but I usually practise at Clinetix in Glasgow, one of Dr Emma and Dr Simon Ravichandran’s four award-winning clinics across Scotland, where I focus on injectable treatments and teaching. for their training school; Aesthetic Training Academy. As much as I miss seeing the team each day, it’s nice not having to drive into the city! Breakfast is usually something healthy – porridge with some fresh fruit. It’s a little bit of a joke in the clinic that I always have food on me – I hate being hungry! There’ll always be a banana on my desk or a granola bar in my drawer.
My mornings are currently made up of virtual consultations and reviews. It took a while to get used to this and was a bit of a challenge technically, but now I’m really enjoying it. They’ve added a real efficiency to the patient journey, making life easier and safer for all – a real positive to come out of the pandemic and something we’ll carry forward in the clinic.
Demand doesn’t stop…
For treatments or for training, which usually fill my afternoon! In regard to treatment, despite the pandemic, people still want to look their best and feel confident. When the clinic reopened after the first lockdown, everyone followed the new regulations appropriately and were so appreciative of the new systems we had in place. It was lovely to get feedback that was not only complementary to the treatments given, but also that we made patients feel safe.
I noticed a big demand for aesthetic training last year, particularly from dentists. This is due to the difficulty they’ve had in being unable to carry out much of their usual work; they’ve now got time to explore new paths. As a previous dental surgeon, I personally believe dentists are really well-placed to practise aesthetics. They’ve got the clinical environment and a patient base already set up, as well as transferable clinical skills. Its’s also really nice to move into a field where patients actually want to see you! Similarly, there’s been a lot more demand from nurses but for very different reasons. In my experience, it seems many are, quite frankly, just tired. The stress of their roles and difficult working environment is taking its toll and many seem to be looking for an exciting new challenge. It’s fantastic to be part of new practitioners’ journeys and help them develop their skills in aesthetics!
Adapting to teaching online…
Was nerve-wracking! I’ve been a Merz Innovation Partner since 2019, training and supporting practitioners in how to get the best results with the company’s injectable products. Despite plenty of experience teaching in-person, I was really apprehensive moving to webinars. You can’t read the room, so it’s more difficult to tell how many people are engaged or even if they’re still watching, as well as the challenges of ensuring you’ve got a good wifi connection!
Merz has been brilliant, though; the team quickly worked with Partners to ensure the training was suitable for webinars, creating fantastic educational slides and videos of practical skills. We rolled out sessions throughout the year and have loads more ready for the next few months. There’ll be webinars on all Merz’s injectable products. Last year, I found that people especially loved the BELOTERO® Lips sessions. With two products – Shape and Contour – there’s lots to learn and everyone’s really engaged. I’m looking forward to hosting more!
As well as introductory webinars, we run Masterclasses for those who are a step ahead and ready to advance their learning. A big focus of these sessions is on treating multiple facial areas and creating holistic results for patients, which is so important.
For me, teaching has really helped give me a much-needed boost throughout lockdown so I’m looking forward to doing more for Aesthetic Training Academy, as well as Merz, this year!
I love reading…
Anything by neurologist Professor Oliver Sacks – his work is fascinating, Or some good crime fiction for something a bit lighter. I use my Kindle as it makes it harder to indulge in my habit of flicking to the end of a book to decide if I like the ending!
I’m currently listening to…
This American Life podcast while walking the dog. They’ve got a great mix of short stories about real people – they can be really thought-provoking, which I love.
When lockdown’s over…
I’m looking forward to going to my favourite champagne bar in Glasgow, which is great for people-watching and a glass of fizz with friends!
Taking a break is important…
The team and I always have time blocked off for lunch – it’s a small thing, but something that can often be ignored if you don’t set time for it, making you feel drained of all energy by the end of the day. I think everyone’s realised just how vital self care is in recent years!
You can join a Merz webinar every Monday until the end of February. For more information visit www.merzwebinars.com.