Lovely to virtually meet you. I’m Tracey, Nurse Director and Practitioner at East Riding Aesthetics (also Aesthetics Trainer, Mentor and Coach), popping by to ruminate on the current challenges and opportunities we’re seeing as a result of Covid 19 and the UK lockdown.
Aesthetics (in my case) relates to facial injectable treatments; dermal fillers and the like – not something which is particularly feasible to do (or teach) in the current climate …. Unless anyone can tell me how to inject via skype! As a result, the clinical side of my business closed mid-March. At the end of the day, I am a nurse and one of our guiding principles is to ‘do no harm’. Taking the decision to close this side of the business was easy, doing it was emotional but absolutely the right thing to do for patient safety and that of myself and my family. It won’t be forever, but it is for now and whilst I miss it, health comes first.
So, what to do in uncertain times with no face to face appointments? Well, plenty actually! I have always maintained an NHS caseload and current demands being as they are; I have increased my hours to full time (and the rest!) as you would expect in the current situation. There is still time, however, on my days off from the NHS to invest in my business.
I’ll be honest, how best to do this was something I wrestled; it turns out, it’s really not that tricky! It was simply returning to first principles which guided my path. Essentially, I’m a nurse because I love to help people, to support them, to help them achieve (whatever their health target is related to). Bringing these principles into my business in a non-clinical way has brought new opportunities to connect with my patients on a more personal level. I’ve also been able to lighten the tone on my social media posts and am currently doing a series of informal videos introducing different members of the East Riding Aesthetics team in a fun and chatty way. We’re trying to reach out, offer support, bring a little fun and happiness to an otherwise scary situation as well as encouraging people to follow the rules, stay home and keep as safe as possible.
There are options I’m using now which we hadn’t accessed before which are quite exciting. We’re doing some video consultations (please note all consultations in Aesthetics which require a prescription to be dispensed must be face-to-face). It’s a bit of a challenge, but actually working better than I thought it might. I’m currently running a 7-week workshop in my coaching group which I have continued throughout all of this and taken the opportunity to develop with guest speakers and preparing for the return to clinical practice after all this is over. Supporting others through this process is tricky (none of us have ever done this before) but we’re all learning and working on this together, I’m learning along with everyone else!
I consider myself to be one of the lucky ones in all of this. Financially, NHS employees are some of the most secure at the moment whereas many other businesses are really struggling. Although, I can’t pretend I’m not scared with what we’re up against, I know my private patients are loyal and we can hopefully come out of the other end of this with the business in tact and bookings coming in.
My take-home, so far, in all of this is to reach out, to connect with people on a different level, to support, uplift and build relationships. I think this can probably apply to most businesses facing these difficult times. It certainly won’t do any harm to try and will hopefully make us ready to fly when the world is back open for business.
Take care everyone, be safe and do everything you can to reduce the risk of this terrible illness spreading even more.
Very best wishes,
East Riding Aesthetics