Aesthetic nurse prescriber Jackie Partridge details the various medical roles she has undertaken and her love for aesthetics
Aesthetic nurse prescriber Jackie Partridge began her nursing career caring for premature babies in the Neonatal Unit at Simpson Memorial Maternity Pavilion in Edinburgh. It was a difficult and emotionally-draining job, dealing with lots of deaths and working late nights. “I wanted to work with babies, and ideally wanted to be a midwife,” says Partridge, adding, “But there were no spaces available on the midwifery course once I had qualified as a nurse, so I got a job working with premature babies, which was the next best thing. However, it was very challenging and I soon realised there was more to life than working nights and weekends!” Partridge decided to take on a very different role and went into medical sales at Convatec (Woundcare) medical device company and then Molnlycke Healthcare, and won many awards for her sales ability. Here, she gave advice to hospitals on wound care products. This was before landing a sales job in 2007 with ColBar Lifescience, where she finally discovered aesthetics. “With ColBar I was selling collagen dermal filler Evolence to aesthetic practitioners. Within six weeks of joining that company, I was doing incredibly well and achieving all my sales targets. I got a company car and was earning good money, and it was at that point that I turned around and said to my husband, ‘I want to set up my own business’,” she says.
Through selling Evolence, Partridge met doctors and nurses who had their own businesses in aesthetics; suddenly, she realised that she had the skillset to do what they were doing. “I knew I had a head for business, a passion for sales and a love for caring for people. So, for me, it was a bit of no-brainer,” she explains.
Partridge left ColBar, completed her ‘return to practice’ to regain her nursing licence and began building a business. In a short space of time, Partridge was running a peripatetic service out of 60 different locations across Scotland, providing injectable treatment. “I was running around everywhere; covering three locations a day, just to meet the demand,” she remembers. Partridge worked like this for three years, but knew the business couldn’t grow without a premises of its own. “My husband, who was a national sales manager, joined me and we found a place to rent in Edinburgh that had three treatment rooms and a consultation room. But we soon grew out of it, and in 2014, we decided to purchase our own clinic. We now have seven treatment rooms, a minor operations room and 17 people working there,” Partridge explains.
As well as running a busy clinic, Partridge has key roles with the British Association of Cosmetic Nurses (BACN) and pharmaceutical company Galderma. She sits on the programme board for Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) and the Scottish Government, representing the BACN. Partridge explains, “There are a lot of regulatory changes happening in Scotland and it is taking a lot of work and time to try and put forward the best possible solutions we can. I felt that some form of regulation was very important as we previously never had the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in Scotland, and it was completely unregulated. But to now be in a position to have another body we are accountable to I think is really important.” Partridge’s work with HIS led to the Secretary of Health thanking her for her passion and enthusiasm.
Partridge has especially enjoyed her role with Galderma, explaining that she got involved with them when they invited her in 2009 to attend anatomy training in Nice. “Galderma really took me under their wing; I ended up going through their country mentor training programme, which was an intensive three to four days of learning speaking and presentation skills, and, from there, I was asked to be part of the global nurse faculty.” She adds, “It has really allowed me to establish myself as a speaker and presenter.”
The most important thing to be aware of as a practitioner today, Partridge explains, is ensuring a thorough consultation. She says, “If a patient is determined they want a treatment, they will actually be quite deceptive in the consultation process. I think it is down to us to be very inquisitive, to probe and to ask more questions, or ask them in different ways. It is important to make sure there isn’t some form of body dysmorphia underlining their desire to have treatment.” When asked what career advice she would pass onto others, she says:
“Never stop learning. I haven’t, and I don’t think a year has gone by where I have stopped learning.” “You’ve got to keep pushing yourself to be the best that you can be. You owe it to yourself.”
Which treatment do you enjoy giving the most?
I love injectables! I really enjoy doing botulinum toxin and dermal fillers – you get such a buzz out of doing it and getting hugs from your patients because they are so pleased with the results.
Do you have an industry pet hate?
Unqualified, uncaring practitioners who are just in it for the money. Also, medical colleagues who prescribe for non-medics.
What do you enjoy the most?
I think we have many amazing colleagues in aesthetics. It is an ever-changing, dynamic industry, and there are always new things coming.
What do you predict will be the next big thing?
Plasma technology. I think it will develop further as it is minimally-invasive and people want results without risks and downtime. I also think we will see an increase in male patients.