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SparkFacial Injector Training: Safety First With Shelby Miller

Facial Injector Training: Safety First With Shelby Miller

Learn why this expert trainer protects her license to help keep patients safe.

6 minute read

Shelby Miller, DNP, FNP-C, has shared her passion for creating a first-class patient experience and how that patient-centric approach comes to life in her practice and her staff culture. From getting started in Medical Aesthetics to owning a specialized Medical Aesthetics practice today, her commitment to her patients and the providers on her team also shows up when it comes to safety. Let’s dive in.

Medical Aesthetics safety is for patients and providers.

Along Shelby’s journey to owning and running her own Salt Lake City–based practice, she worked as an ICU nurse and also as the lead nurse at a facial plastic surgeon’s practice. She draws inspiration and insight from those past experiences when it comes to her own practice’s core values. As she transitioned into practicing Medical Aesthetics, Shelby explains that some of the places where she worked along the way were not owned by medical providers, which led to some differences in priorities.

“Having a medical background, I was extremely focused on patient safety and education,” Shelby says. “It’s fine if a practice isn’t owned by a medical provider, but it can mean that medical perspective doesn’t have as much of a voice when it comes to executive decisions.”

“Experiencing the different types of ownership and executive teams in charge really helped shape the vision for my own practice and its values. The first one is safety,” she continues. “Meaning patient safety, but also my safety as a provider, and protecting my license.”

“The first value in my practice is safety. Meaning patient safety, but also my safety as a provider, and protecting my license.”

How patient safety shows up as top priority day-to-day.

Patient safety is one of Shelby’s core values for several reasons. One of those is because of her background and experience in different medical settings, including getting her doctorate degree as a nurse practitioner.

“My advanced degree definitely influenced my focus on safety, because it was so ingrained into the process in a hospital or ICU environment,” Shelby explains. “I treat my aesthetic patients with the same amount of attention to their safety as I would in any other medical setting.”

Additionally, prioritizing patient safety helps to elevate the overall experience, which is a cornerstone of Shelby’s practice and perspective. Part of that elevated experience is ensuring the patient feels taken care of and confident about whatever treatment or procedure they are getting.

“We spend significant amounts of time educating our patients on the procedures and what we’re doing with different products, so they can help them feel safe and comfortable throughout the process,” she says. “This includes lots of follow-up communication as well, to answer any questions they might have. At my practice, the patient knows what the next step is and how it works.”

Why protecting your license matters.

At one time, Shelby worked at a day spa that was beginning to develop into more of a med spa. The lack of experience and expertise of the executive team in the unique requirements of running a med spa was apparent to Shelby, especially in the lack of safety protocols. The Medical Aesthetics field was also in its infancy, which meant less clearly defined regulations.

“I was an RN early in this industry, and not as aware of the rules,” Shelby explains. “But when I did take a deeper dive into the industry regulations, I quickly learned that how this practice was operating put my license in jeopardy. I raised the alarm with the practice’s leadership, and it wasn’t as much of a concern to them as I felt it should’ve been.”

This ultimately led Shelby to strike out on her own, and the experience, although challenging, taught her the importance of protecting your license. To Shelby, this means knowing the licensing and certification requirements for your state and making sure your practice, procedures, and employees are compliant with industry regulations.

“Protecting your license protects your patients, too,” Shelby says. “That means making sure you’re providing a safe and well-controlled medical environment for your patients. These are medical procedures, after all. So we all need to be following the rules.”

Shelby’s firsthand experience protecting her license.

Just three weeks after starting her Medical Aesthetics practice, Shelby happened to get audited. “I was in a room treating a patient, and three investigators from the State Board of Licensing walked in,” she says. “There was a nursing investigator, a pharmaceutical investigator, and a cosmetology investigator, and they all drilled me with different questions relevant to their respective practice areas.”

At first, Shelby was anxious about the idea of being audited, but she was able to shift to a positive mindset. “It was a great test for the practice because there was really no way to know if I was compliant until I was audited. So I invited them in and showed them everything, from how we mix and store products to how we conduct a patient evaluation.”

The investigators were pleasantly surprised at Shelby’s openness once they realized she was doing everything she could to be compliant. “They signed off on everything,” she continues. “And we were good to go. I was actually grateful for the experience because, within three weeks of starting my business, I was able to know definitively that we were compliant, and that we were providing a safe environment for our patients.”

Shelby handled the challenge of her licensing audit with a growth mindset. “It isn’t always easy to seek out your critics or to take criticism, but it’s one of the best ways to grow professionally,” Shelby advises. “So value and learn from critiques, take them with grace, and take the high road.”

Learn more from experts in patient safety.

At Spark, we think you can never learn too much about safety. Check out our other Facial Injector Training series articles to get Julie Bass Kaplan’s, FNP-BC, NP-C, MSN, CANS, CPSN, HCMT, PHN, advice about making safety a whole mindset and Leslie Fletcher’s, MSN, RN, AGNP-BC, unique take on the role mental health screenings play in patient safety.

Facial Injector Training: Safety First With Shelby Miller


About Shelby Miller, DNP, FNP-C

Shelby Miller is the founder of a growing med spa in Lehi, Utah, with an extensive following. She is a board-certified nurse practitioner with a doctorate from Gonzaga University. Shelby is a skilled aesthetic injector and is well known in the Medical Aesthetics industry for producing natural results. Shelby is a national trainer and has educated hundreds of medical providers in the aesthetic community. She founded a training program through her practice and conducts many private one-on-one trainings. Shelby is continually trying to learn, grow, and improve her aesthetic skills. She attends industry conferences and trainings as often as possible. She has a passion for helping her patients achieve their goals and takes pride in treating all her patients with kindness, inclusivity, and respect.

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