TACHW Staff Profile: Meet Lecturer Kirsten Strudwick

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Name: Dr Kirsten Strudwick
Qualification: BSc, MChiro
Position at TACHW: Lecturer

Why did you choose to be a part of this industry?

I chose to be part of the industry, as I wanted to be involved in the advancing movement in anti-ageing skin management and wellness. In the growing industry market, with new and ever developing technology, and a high demand for qualified practitioners to deliver these new technologies, higher standards of education are imperative for the clinical aestheticians today.

What recent industry developments are you most excited about?

In today’s fast moving society, recent advancements in skin rejuvenation have allowed for minimally invasive procedures that are quicker, more affordable, and with no downtime. You can do them in your lunch break.

What has been the most significant shift in the industry that you’ve seen in the past 10 years?

Consumers are spending more on skin rejuvenation than ever before. This can be seen by an increase in the number of spa and laser clinics Australia wide. With a wide variety of choices, consumers are making informed decisions about the services they receive and who delivers them. Individuals are looking for the more qualified and educated clinical aestheticians rather than a therapist with minimal specialised training.

Where do you see the industry moving now, in terms of careers and study prospects?

The industry is propelling forward with vast improvements in technology and advancements in anti-ageing techniques. Greater career opportunities are around every corner, with many people choosing to study dermal therapies as their primary career path.

Why is education so important within this growing industry?

The role of the clinical aesthetician is ever evolving; there is now a demand to be more proficient and knowledgeable in the anatomy and physiology of the skin. It only benefits the industry as a whole to have an advanced understanding of the cause for correct diagnosis of specific skin conditions. Education provides an armoury of tools to ensure best practice and better outcomes for clients.

TACHW Staff Profile: Meet Associate Professor Sinan Ali

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Name: Sinan Ali
Qualification:  BSc, PhD
Position: Associate Dean ACHW and Head of Faculty of Clinical Aesthetics

Why did you choose to be a part of this industry?

I saw a need in the aesthetics industry for further training and professionalization based on sound scientific principles.  I read of too many people being injured by practitioners with little training and experience.

What recent industry developments are you most excited about?

As I see it, the industry, like most others, is advancing very rapidly, so much so that training to date has not kept up with technological advances.  While the main treatment regimens like LASER/IPL, chemical peels etc are being advanced to some degree all the time, the real excitement in the industry is around miniaturisation of the technologies.

What has been the most significant shift in the industry that you’ve seen in the past 10 years?

The realisation within the industry of the lack of training and the need to do something about it.  I personally interview all the prospective students and the overlying theme is the lack of training and how important future research is to the industry.

Where do you see the industry moving now, in terms of careers and study prospects?

From a career perspective there is no better time than the present to be in this ever growing industry.  There is a shortage of appropriately trained clinicians to service the needs of the industry.  There is a niche in the market that neither the beauty therapist nor the nurse currently fulfils.  Our degree is the first that provides training to advance and upskill the beauty therapist and the nurse to be job ready for this emerging industry.

What role will the Clinical Aesthetics industry play in the future?

In addition to their current role in the medi-spa, medical suites and cosmetic surgery industry, I see the role of Clinical Aestheticians expanding to have greater critical care of the skin.  Nurses and doctors are trusted with this kind of care however Clinical Aestheticians are better trained to care for the skin; they have that experience and knowledge of client care, and this will include injectables, a treatment that is growing ever more popular in the anti-ageing or positive-ageing industry.

Why is education so important within this growing industry? How do you see is the Clinical Aesthetician’s role in this?

Currently, the society we live in is somewhat contradictory. We live in a world drastically concerned with looking good. People have the freedom to do whatever they like to their own bodies, yet there also remains a stigma and element of judgement towards those that do.

The industry is about feeling good and some people relate this to looking good.  The latter can be achieved by non-surgical, minimally surgical or surgical technologies.  We often see the drastic changes that occur with the latter and therefore stigmatise and judge people.

However the minimally surgical, and in particular the non-surgical, technologies we teach our students as part of the Bachelor of Applied Health Science (Clinical Aesthetics) degree can help people look good without the drastic appearance changes, which in turn can have a positive effect on their inner perception of self.

Our degree program is not only about teaching high end Clinical Aesthetics techniques applied to the skin, but also about the biological fundamentals that underpin the clinical practice. We place a high emphasis on assisting our graduates in developing superior professional communication skills that enable them to transcend the traditional aesthetics practice and create an overall client experience that touches on the internal and external aspects of appearance.

Student Profile: Christine Comans

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With big plans for the future, Christine Comans, is taking her career to the next level. We chatted with her about her course at TACHW, studying by distance and where she wants to go with her education.

Name: Christine Comans
Age: 47
Course name: Bachelor of Applied Health Science Clinical Aesthetics

Why did you decide to study at the Australasian College of Health and Wellness?

A few years ago I met Ray after a conference and was interested to hear about this course. When I considered further education TACHW had an information stand at an APAN conference and what they were offering was a perfect fit with my career and lifestyle with working, having a family and being able to study at my own pace.

How did you begin your career in the Clinical Aesthetics industry?

My after school job was in retail pharmacy. This involved ongoing learning about beauty products, makeup, OTC medicines and prescription medicines. Moving from pharmacy to beauty was an easy transition and I proceeded along an interwoven pathway to end up here. I guess it wasn’t a conscious decision, it was part of a life long journey in ongoing education.

Are you interested in specialising in one area specifically?

Currently I am a Medical Tattooist and Trainer, specialising in nipple areola tattooing for women after mastectomy and breast reconstruction surgery. I work on referral from all the major hospitals including private plastic surgeons. Essentially my work is completing the journey in the breast reconstructive process.

What have you found most valuable in your education?

Personally I’m grateful that I have a better understanding of the science and how what I’ve learnt can be applied in the workplace, especially structure and function and how this amazing information can be utilised in all aspects of my career.

What has been you experience in distance education?

The distance education has been quite enjoyable; participating in live lectures allows you to remain connected and supported.

What are your short term and long term career goals?

(Short Term Goal) Recently I have written a course in Medical Tattooing and I am in the process of having it government accredited.

(Long Term Goal) In writing this [my Medical Tattooing course) my aim is to have practitioners that hold this qualification be recognised as allied health professionals and for breast cancer survivors to be able to get a rebate on this important service.

Christine is studying her Bachelor of Applied Health Science (Clinical Aesthetics) at the Australasian College of Health and Wellness.