Shelby Miller Strives to Make Her Practice an A1 Experience
Learn how she wows her patients and staff.
Like so many Medical Aesthetics providers, Shelby Miller, DNP, FNP-C, began her career in traditional medicine. With a goal of becoming a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA), Shelby began working in an ICU for the experience. Her interest in working in plastic surgery was piqued even more, and she sought out part-time work for two plastic surgeons in her area, specifically assisting them in the operating room.
“I quickly learned that first week that I’m a people person, which means I like people when they’re awake! I was actually bored in the OR, but I kept the job because I liked getting the experience even though I knew it wasn’t right for me,” she explains.
Then, as she was about to pivot into her CRNA program in 2015, she happened to work with a CRNA, who was also working as an aesthetic injector. After learning more about what aesthetic injectables entailed, everything just clicked for Shelby.
“She would show me before-and-after pictures of filler, and it blew my mind—adding volume to areas of the face with the tiniest amounts of gel! From that moment on, I was obsessed,” she says.
Finding her focus.
After discovering a passion for facial aesthetic injections, Shelby landed a job as a lead nurse with a facial plastic surgeon who had his own practice, and she dove right in. She ran the OR and began growing her injection clientele. This role gave her a deeper understanding of facial anatomy and provided a multitude of training opportunities. Working at this practice also instilled in Shelby a passion for providing excellent client and patient service.
“This is also where I started my Instagram® account and started growing my clientele and network,” she explains.
She points out the value of her prior experiences in ICU settings and the contrast between that and working in Medical Aesthetics. “If you landed as a patient in a trauma one center, it was likely one of the worst days of your life, right? Providing care for patients on days like this was extremely difficult mentally, physically, and spiritually. When I realized I could flip the table and become a part of helping patients on their best days, it was a major deciding factor in making this my lifelong career,” she continues, “And I’ve never looked back.”
Shelby also cites her advanced degrees as a benefit to her current role as the owner and operator of her Utah-based practice and as a DNP.* “I’m the owner and the Medical Director, and I’m so grateful that we have the autonomy that affords. My doctorate and my advanced degree as a nurse practitioner allow me to create the culture, vision, and experience for my patients, as well as develop the team that I want.”
“My doctorate and my advanced degree as a nurse practitioner allow me to create the culture, vision, and experience for my patients, as well as develop the team that I want.”
She encourages aspiring Medical Aesthetics providers to seek out advanced degrees. “I feel like you’ll never regret investing in your education.”
Her practice invests in creating an experience.
One thing Shelby took away from her role at a facial plastic surgeon’s practice was the importance of emphasizing the overall patient experience. Because many aesthetic treatments are elective, she goes the extra mile to ensure her patients feel taken care of at every step. “Quality is something that I will never, ever, ever compromise on,” she says.
Shelby’s practice aims to create a luxury experience to attract and retain the type of clientele she feels adds the most value to her business. “From day one, I’ve built my practice for high-end clients. We don’t do discounts, and we create a space where our team can be surrounded by wonderful, successful, inspiring patients all day long!”
She points out the importance of marrying patient safety with a luxurious experience. “Part of creating patient relationships is establishing trust. That’s why we make safety a priority and are always investing in extensive amounts of trainings for our team.”
A glimpse into the patient experience.
So, how does Shelby’s focus on patient experience come to life at her practice? It starts at the front desk and waiting room. “We hardly ever have anyone in our waiting room because we take patients straight back to their treatment room. We offer them a facial cleanse and use of our skincare products. If an aesthetician is available, she may come in and offer a mini facial or cleanse. We also offer patients a fresh beverage (hot and cold options), as well as a customized flavored macaron.”
From there, an aesthetic assistant comes in and provides an overview of the treatment and process the patient has come in for, including a frank discussion about pricing. “We try to be extremely clear when we are communicating pricing so patients never experience sticker shock,” she explains. Having the aesthetic assistants broach the pricing subject is intentional. “Sometimes it’s awkward to talk about price with a provider. So that’s another huge thing our aesthetic assistants do, and it’s been awesome for the patient’s and the provider’s experience.”
How aesthetic assistants keep her practice running.
Beyond taking patients through an overview of their treatment and discussing pricing, Shelby and her provider team rely heavily on aesthetic assistants throughout her practice.
“The aesthetic assistants in my practice are the air that we breathe,” she says. At her practice, they escort patients to their rooms, prep them for their treatments, go over treatment expectations, review the comfort menu, assist the provider in prepping the product and help during the actual treatment, review all aftercare instructions, book follow-up appointments, educate on suggested retail products, explain VIP membership options, complete the transaction, and send out any follow-up texts or emails. “It’s amazing for the providers because it allows them to focus on what they should be doing, which is assessment, creating this amazing relationship with their patients, and executing a satisfactory, natural, and safe result.”
“The aesthetic assistants are with the patients throughout the entire process, which allows them to get to know the patients as well. It really adds to the overall patient experience we are trying to create,” Shelby says. Currently, her practice employs six aesthetic assistants, which helps keep her practice running while preserving the patient experience.
“It’s not about getting people in and out the door as quickly as possible. It’s about being efficient and intentional with each patient touch point. The aesthetic assistants allow us to put those personal touches into our patient interactions, and the patients still get an incredible experience,” she says. The aesthetic assistants have a variety of backgrounds, including medical assistants, CNAs, dental assistants, and nursing students.
The employee experience needs to be great, too.
“I think you create a good work environment by being more interested in the business of growing your people, not in your people growing the business,” Shelby says.
She strives to make her practice a place where her employees enjoy working. This can be something as small as having music-streaming speakers hooked up throughout the practice and starting the mornings with a mini dance party.
When it comes to more serious ways to develop a positive culture, Shelby emphasizes the importance of a robust training and apprenticeship program. “It’s important to our employees, but also to our patients. When you bring on a new provider, your patients might be a little hesitant to book with them. But if you show that you’re invested in them, that they’re getting extensive training, going to cadaver labs and conferences, it helps the patients feel comfortable to book a treatment with one of your newer aesthetic injectors.”
“I really try hard to create emotional loyalty within our team and help each member realize that we truly want them to succeed. I also consistently try to make our workspace positive and enjoyable. We spend so much of our lives working. We need to love what we’re doing and love the people that we’re surrounded with,” she continues.
Some parting advice about the patient experience.
Whether it’s dancing to a pop anthem to get her employees jazzed up about the day ahead or stocking her fridge with tasty macaron cookies and healthy snacks, Shelby Miller is always thinking about how to make her practice somewhere people want to be.
“Personal leads to remarkable, which leads to memorable. And if people remember you and remember their experience, they will come back for more,” she says.
*Licensing and certification requirements vary by state. For more information, check out our Licensing and Certification page on Spark.
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.