With all the ‘waiting and seeing’ for level announcements and healthcare provider policies, this month’s newsletter is a little late!
We are still waiting on industry guidelines for reopening for cosmetic treatments in a Covid endemic environment, which should be coming out next week. We have the authorisation to see medical patients on a case by case basis, so I may start seeing patients for migraines, Bell’s palsy and jaw pain/teeth grinding next week.
In the meantime, you can book for virtual consults with our skin team or medical team – if you’re an existing patient you’ll book for a 30 min ‘chat’ and if you’re new to that part of the clinic, please ask for a virtual initial consultation. This is a great chance to chat about any new concerns, treatments or changes in your skin plan that you might have been considering – we are able to send out skin products in L3 – and will mean we can focus purely on treatments when we do reopen, so we can accommodate more appointments (as we will also need to leave time between appointments for cleaning) – so virtual appointments will help us too!
If you haven’t updated your consent forms in the last year, you can speed up the process by completing them online when you receive your appointment – you can also go to the My Face Place app to read and complete them!
We are excited to be seeing you again in clinic once we can reopen, with the appropriate protections in place to keep you (and our team) safe. In addition to protective gear, social distancing and signing in, we have gone next level with our safety (of course 😹) and installed an air filtration technology at each clinic that kills viruses and bacteria – including > 99.9% of the Covid virus – in the air and all surfaces within 3 min (for a space up to 180m2). This is a technology developed for the NASA space station and is non-harmful to humans (and pets!) The NZ Olympic team used it in their living quarters at the Tokyo Olympics, and it has been endorsed by a leading NZ microbiologist. You can find out more about the technology here.
Our amazing admin team are working on systems for how to reschedule and rebook those who have had appointments displaced for the lockdown period, and as soon as we have some clarity about reopening, we will let you know!
Once we reopen we will be working in clinic bubbles from now until Xmas, to give certainty of available days as we can’t yet predict when we will transition to L1. So, I will be at the Takapuna clinic along with Camille, Eve and Raechel, while Esme (our wonderful NP and medical team leader) will be leading the medical team at Britomart with Marilou (if she hasn’t gone on maternity leave), Hannah, our new nurse Beck (see below), Lauren, Bhavna and Bryony. Some of our team have offered to increase their hours from now until Xmas to improve availability, and once we reopen you’ll see that reflected in our online booking system. I’m super grateful that we have such a willing, supportive and cohesive team – please know that everyone is doing their best to help!
For many of us, our lockdown period has not been idle. For me, it’s always a reminder that I have a whole extra job outside injecting, and then another one again with teaching! We have some exciting projects coming to fruition over the next few months, thanks to the time we have dedicated to them over lockdown, so keep an eye out! Our medical and skin teams have been doing regular online training and webinars, and our admin team have been manning the inbox and answering queries, along with sending out skin products once we hit L3. I’ve also been involved in some projects as part of the Allergan Teaching Faculty for Australasia, as a trainer for Juvederm and Botox, and those will also be coming to fruition over the next six months.
I’m beyond excited to announce we have another experienced injecting nurse joining our team! We welcome Beck Parker to our team from 28 October (🤞🏻🤞🏻we’ll be open!). She is highly experienced in both basic and advanced cosmetic Botox, along with cheek and lip filler. Her favourite treatment is lip filler for the impact it has for her patients. She is an excellent injector, very gentle, and the usual TFP mix of fun and professional. She will be tag-teaming with our lovely Advanced Senior Injecting Nurse, Marilou, who is currently in her final trimester and will be going on maternity leave from 30 October. We welcome Beck and wish Marilou a safe and easy delivery, and a wonderful journey into motherhood.
We are also celebrating our GM, Dee, who has been with TFP for 10 years this week – a quarter of her lifetime! Dee started as my PA on a six-month contract, and quickly moved into a leadership role. We were her first job back after a breast cancer journey, and she has been my biggest support through some of the toughest periods of my life. She is the glue that holds our team together, and I can’t imagine TFP without her! So it was a wonderful coincidence that our new marketing team leader, Yvette, started work on Dee’s 10th work anniversary!!
I was interviewed for One News in relation to new regulations on cosmetic injectables for young people in the UK. New Zealand still has a way to go and it’s a topic I feel passionate about bringing light to. You can watch the full story here. I was also challenged by the marketing team to create my first ever TikTok video which was good fun but also took me about 16 takes! Check it out here and let us know what you think!
A few weeks ago we celebrated Mental Health Awareness Week, and this year it seems even more significant with the increased uncertainty of looming community Covid and multiple lockdowns resulting in even higher levels of stress, burnout, anxiety and depression. It’s great to see mental health awareness being promoted and actively destigmatised in the workplace.
I’m so proud of our team at our full team meeting that week, where each team member shared their journey with mental health and the impact of mental health on people they love. Many of us have been affected by someone close to us committing suicide, and if we can make it easier for those who are struggling to talk about their mental health issues, hopefully, we can prevent that in the future.
I’ve personally been through burnout twice – once when training in surgery, which motivated me to shift gears and shift careers, and essentially start a whole new industry (cosmetic medicine wasn’t a thing when I first started TFP over 20 years ago!), and I experienced a second burnout in 2010-11 after the GFC left my ex-fiancée and I with a failing property portfolio that posed the risk of me losing everything I had worked so hard for. Fortunately, with the second burnout, I had a GM who recognised the signs and made sure I was supported, and I was able to recover a lot more quickly. I only recognised recently that I had experienced burnout, after watching an excellent webinar by Suzy McAlpine on her book ‘Beyond Burnout’, where she describes the key signs to watch for in yourself and those you love, and how to manage it.
Three key indicators of burnout are chronic exhaustion, cynicism/depersonalisation, and professional inefficiency. There are a lot of myths around burnout that Suzy debunks (one is that it’s people who are lazy or slow – it tends to be high performing A-type personalities) and one of the many factors that can help prevent it is destigmatisation in the workplace.
I feel fortunate I can look back now at those two periods of my life, and recognise the gifts they gave me in terms of 1) a whole new career, and 2) some great learnings. Hopefully, it also means I will avoid getting back there again!
After the first lockdown last year we implemented an EAP (Employee Assistance Program) to ensure an extra level of support for our team, and we are incredibly blessed to have a tight-knit work family where no conversation is off the cards.
It’s tough right now with all the uncertainty and the loss of balance with working from home. If you have been struggling please reach out to someone you trust to just listen. There are also excellent resources available at the Mental Health Foundation (@mhfnz on IG, or mentalhealth.org.nz). Shameless plug – both Botox in the frown and LED light treatments have been proven in research trials to help improve mood!
As we start to reopen and start the ramp up to Christmas, please be gentle with yourself. Now, more than ever is the time to focus on your mental and physical health. The world needs you. You are here for a reason. Be kind – to others, and even more importantly to yourself!
Sending you so much love as we navigate these next steps together,
Dr Cat 😻💓