Trish: Hello again Podcasters. We’re here again today and today I’ve got something really, really different for you. We’re going to be talking to Ekta. Now Ekta actually works for a company that’s just been started called Aesthetics CPD and basically what it is, it’s part of the Australasian Academy of Cosmetic Dermal Science and they deliver a Graduate Diploma of Cosmetic Nursing and Dermal Therapies and that’s to doctors, nurses and dermal therapists. We’re talking to Ekta who is the Programme Manager for the Aesthetics CPD and we’re gonna talk about what it is and why we need it and a few other things that will be quite exciting. So welcome Ekta.

Ekta: Thank you Trish. Thanks for having me.

Trish: Yeah thank you so much taking the time. So Ekta now you’re an RN and I know you’ve been in the aesthetics field for 13 years and you lecture at the AACDS for the graduate diploma. Now what’s the new Aesthetics CPD? Tell us a little bit about that programme.

Ekta: Sure, so Aesthetics CPD is a new venture by Niche Education. Niche Education owns the Australasian Academy of Cosmetic Dermal Science, the Australian College of Beauty Therapy, specialist makeup, et cetera and we realised that after being in the industry for about 12 years now a lot of our past students, alumni, current students were asking us about continuing support after they graduate or a networking event. So even ways that they could up-skill and get advanced knowledge and education in this field.

And hence, we thought about an initiative so that was Aesthetics CPD and being a registered nurse myself in this profession, so for doctors and nurses, we need to legally have continuing professional development every year. So we need about 20 hours of CPD like they call it every year. And honestly as a nurse I was struggling because there’s heaps of CPD programmes, courses, lectures around for medical staff, GP staff or regular nursing in hospitals et cetera, but for cosmetic medicine and aesthetic nursing, there was really nothing. And hence we now have this opportunity for all the cosmetic nurses who graduate as well as cosmetic physicians, doctors who want to gain more skills and education and some advanced knowledge in current industry topics as well in this field.

Trish: Yeah because I know that some … I didn’t realise that nurses need it as well, but I know that in most professions, people do need to have CPD and what that is, that’s kind of the commitment to continuous learning and development and that kind of ….

Ekta: Absolutely.

Trish: … Yeah it kind of keeps them up-to-date with what’s going on in the industry, what they should know that’s new and just make sure that their skills are still up to standard.

Ekta: Exactly. And especially with, you know there’s new technology every day. This field is so dynamic. The laws change, the regulations change so quickly as well so we really need to be up-to-date with everything that’s going on and really keep up with our game.

Trish: Yeah, that’s so true. And look, I know as well that this is all available through an online education portal isn’t it?

Ekta: Yes. So we wanted to keep it as flexible as we could. You know with everyone so time poor. So we have this as a very flexible online learning platform, where a student just logs-on, listens to the lectures online and these lectures can be heard from their smartphones, iPads, tablets, iPhones, at any time and from any place. All they need is just log-on, listen to the lectures and once they’re done, give a simple quiz online. Once that’s done, even a certificate doesn’t need to be, you know, you don’t have to wait for weeks to get a certificate mailed out to you. Automatically it just gets downloaded with your name, with how many ever points of CPD you’ve achieved into your portal directly and you can just save that as a pdf and there you go with your, you know, as a legal requirement as well. You’ve got that in your portfolio.

Trish: Fantastic. And now I know that the courses have been accredited by some colleges. Can you tell us which ones they are?

Ekta: Sure. So for the two for GP’s and cosmetic physicians, so we’ve got Royal College of GP’s, which is the Royal College of General Practitioners, RACGP. And for nurses we’ve got them accredited by and endorsed by the Australian College of Nursing, that’s ACN. So both these bodies have endorsed our lectures online.

Trish: Oh fantastic. So even if you were like an RN wanting to get into aesthetics, can this kind of help you to just look … Like say for example even if you just don’t do it for the points. Can you do the courses just for, you know, just for the fact that you will increase your knowledge?

Ekta: Absolutely. So with our … if the user logs on to our website, we have three sections. CPD for doctors, CPD for nurses and CPD for therapists, so anyone who’s interested in the field. So with nurses, once you are registered with AHPRA, whether you’re a cosmetic nurses or not or you know, don’t know anything about the aesthetics field but just want a taster about it and be like, “Oh you know, let me try this out. I’ll get my CPD points plus I’ll learn something exciting and new as well.” Absolutely they can go in and they can get that certificate in the nurses section.

If you’re a therapist, a beauty therapist, dermal therapist or someone who wants to just learn about this field, they can still go into the portal, listen to the lectures, download the lectures, purchase the lectures and then their certificate would be exactly the same. But their certificate would not have the ACN stamp on their certificate. It would just be Aesthetics CPD is awarded, say Samantha, you know, for this lecture on antioxidants and skin health for two hours.

Trish: Okay. So on that, can you tell us a little bit about like what sort of topics are covered and how you choose those topics?

Ekta: Sure, so all the topics for the lectures are based on current hot topics and current industry trends. So I also work as a practise nurse and a cosmetic nurse with a cosmetic physician in a medical centre. So I’m lucky and privileged that I get to travel and I attend all the conferences, like the major conferences every year and that way I can see what’s current. What the current trends are as well. And we also have an industry expert panel where we are constantly in-touch discussing what the current trends are.

So our contributors for Aesthetics CPD, they’re all leading plastic surgeons, pharmacists, psychologists, nurses, therapists and they’re very experienced in the field of aesthetics. And they are the one who have written the lectures. So some of the topics, and we have normally got the … what the topics by what the current conferences are presenting as well. Just to get an idea. So we gauge the demand as well in that way.

So some of the topics right now off my head, which are one the website are Menopause and Vaginal Rejuvenation with the Fractionated Micro-Ablative Laser, which is a very hot trend with a lot of clinics offering this treatment for women and almost every clinic have these with their laser attached. Every conference teaches about this as well. Then we also back that up from the psychological point of view, what are the motivations for labiaplasty as well.

Then we’ve got something completely different about the role of your dietary intake and how that links to common skin conditions. So whether the link between rosacea and your gut could be prebiotics, probiotics and your skin. What are the links between diet and acne and your lifestyle and acne, so all that comes under that lecture.

Then we’ve also got something on theories of anti-aging medicine, which is a brilliant topic for someone who’s starting in this industry and just wants to have an insight into the anti-aging medicine model as well.

So we’ve got different varied topics as well in this, so I’m sure everyone would find what they would like. And in saying that, we constantly keep upgrading. So our hurdle is just the timeframe to get the lectures recorded and get them written by the right people and then get them up and running. So we still … I think we’ve got three more, which should be added by the end of … maybe after Easter. And that’s something about Melasma and Hyperpigmentation as well.

And there’s another one for therapists that we wrote, which was introduction to cosmetic medicine. So someone who’s brand new, wants to know and wants to become a dermal therapist probably a cosmetic nurse later, would be ideal for that topic.

Trish: Okay so basically you’re keeping up-to-date with the latest things that are happening and then you’re bringing that to people by their CPD?

Ekta: Yes. Absolutely.

Trish: Just bear with me one second I’m going to have to have a little cough. Hang on a sec. Sorry I’ve got a frog in my throat. And I think what I like about it is the fact that to get your CPD’s, because I’ve done CPD for my course as well over the years and usually it’s quite boring … just do … well at least this way you can actually pick something that you’re interested in …

Ekta: Yes absolutely.

Trish: … on a personal level and learn about it. Yeah and get your CPD points at the same time. Fantastic. It sounds like it’s a great solution. I can’t believe that it hasn’t been done before. So it’s such a good idea.

I just wanted to ask you, are there any other benefits that Aesthetics CPD offer? Like I know there was like articles and stuff like that. Are there any other benefits to people that join up?

Ekta: Absolutely. So we found with the membership, with your enrollment, you automatically get access to our journal club. Our journal club is an interactive forum, which gives you access to about five lectures, five articles from the Journal of Aesthetic Nursing. Now out of all the nursing journals, aesthetic journals I’ve come across, I thought the Journal of Aesthetic Nursing was a very informative and applicable to all cosmetic nurses and dermal therapists as well. And I thought that it should be something that the therapists should also gain value from.

Trish: Yes.

Ekta: So because there’s so much over there for doctors and nurses, but really not much for therapists and that’s why we chose the Journal of Aesthetic Nursing. I also feel the topics tie in well with what we present. So they do get an access to the Journal of Aesthetic Nursing articles and then at the end of the article we have some CPD reflective questions, which just again stimulate some discussion. And then it might just be like your experience with so-and-so chemical peel, what are you know or what do you, do you agree with this article et cetera, et cetera. So that way they can pick off other people’s brains as well and it just gives them that to have that discussion on a larger scale from people all over Australia or even the world really.

They also hold a networking event. So all members are always invited into networking events where we’ve had them in Sydney, and Melbourne and Perth. We also continue to do that for this year as well where people can come together again and learn about a topic. So the last time we had Doctor Jayson Oates in Perth and he spoke about a topic as well about [inaudible 00:12:49] and then we had networking opportunities for people in clinic or nurse to all come together and meet.

Trish: That’s such a good idea, so it’s like a little … Like it’s … It’s almost like having a support group … that’s online as well. I’m presuming it’s all online or are the meetings are also in person?

Ekta: No, so the networking nights we had in Perth and we had them in Melbourne and Sydney and in Perth we’ve had one each and they were all in person and they were free and everyone came and got together, ex-students, alumni. We also had like a launch for CPD as well at that time and just to inform them about this initiative.

Trish: Oh that’s great. That’s a great idea. I absolutely love it, you know and I think that’s something that’s very needed because I know that in the past people have had to go to conferences to get this information. So this is a way of actually doing it in your own time, when you can, on a topic that you like.

Ekta: Exactly. Exactly.

Trish: Oh that’s great. So if you could just let our listeners know so how they can actually … like if they’re interested, your website is aestheticscpd.edu.au?

Ekta: Yes, so they would just log on to our website. They would choose their profession, so if they’re a doctor, a nurse, or a therapist. Then they would just go in and choose … So they come in a pack of five lectures. So they would choose any five and add the lectures to their carts. So it’s just like shopping online and then once they’ve paid up, so it’s about $305 including GST for the five courses, which give them access to the CPD material as well as the Journal of Aesthetic Nursing forum as well.

Once they do that they would be then sent an automated username and password that would enable them to log on to the student portal and then they can just start accessing the lectures through a voice-over presentation, pause them, re-listen to them. They could access for about six months. So they can log in anytime and finish the lectures or leave a lecture, come back to it, et cetera, et cetera and finish that off. Once they are done, take the quiz, attempt the quiz. It’s a very simple multiple choice questions just to confirm their understanding. Once they’ve achieved, I think it’s 60%, then … which is really simple to achieve because it’s just a simple multiple choice question exam and once they finish that they just download the certificate onto their portal. That’s about it and save their receipt online, which is again saved automatically into their tax invoice into their portal. So you know, for tax purposes they could use that as well. And that’s it.

Trish: And that’s it. Oh it sounds so easy. Such a seamless way to do it and I was actually reading a little testimonial that someone said and I would like to read that out. It’s basically, “Finally a CPD programme enabling my clinical staff to easily maintain CPD points relevant to aesthetics in a cost-effective and timely manner. This is a big win for all cosmetic clinics.”

Ekta: Oh yeah, so …

Trish: Yeah.

Ekta: Yeah, that was from a user. I also wanted to add that we really want to get the clinic, encourage clinic owners as well to send their staff and get their staff CPD compliant as well. And hence for clinic owners we also have packages where if they send two staff members or more they receive a discount code as well in their email in which they can use for their staff members as well.

Trish: Fantastic. So it’s the perfect way to make sure that your staff are up-to-date and you can get it all done through the clinic and you’ve got special packages available for more than one staff member.

Ekta: Yes.

Trish: Lovely. Well that sounds nice and easy Ekta and thank you so much for your time today. I think it’s definitely a game-changer in the aesthetics industry. Great idea, fantastic concept and absolutely needed for people that just can’t get to conferences or might be far away or just it’s you know, a bit hard for them …

Ekta: Absolutely.

Trish: … to get their CPD’s. Yep. Awesome well thank you so much.

Ekta: Thank you so much Trish. Thanks a lot.

Trish: No worries. So if you’re listening out there and you want to find out a little bit more, you can go to aestheticscpd.edu.au or if you have any further inquiries just drop us an email to trish@plasticsurgeryhelp.com.au and I’ll pass you on to Ekta. So thank you so much Ekta.

Ekta: Thank you Trish.

Trish: No worries. Have a lovely day. Bye.

Ekta: You too. Thanks.

Trish: Bye.

Trish

Trish is a plastic surgery blogger. She is passionate about wellbeing, health and beauty, and doesn't mind a little bit of 'help' from the amazing cosmetic and beauty procedures that are available today. Trish spends her days talking to women and men who are looking for suggestions and advice on procedures that are available to them. Cutting through the sales pitch and hype, a down-to-earth response on general information is what you will get.

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