Shikha Rishi is a consultant aesthetics practitioner at Elegant Aesthetic beauty clinic in Bournemouth.
She talks to Costanza Pearce about her successes, achievements and love for the profession
Q What do you do in your role as consultant aesthetics practitioner?
A I enhance a patient’s natural beauty through aesthetic treatments, delivering natural results to boost their confidence and to bring back a spring in their step.
Treatments I give include anti-wrinkle injections, skin care, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) facials and chemical peels, skin remodelling, dermal fillers and travel vaccinations.
Q Why did you want to go into this?
A I’ve always had a passion for it. I’ve been a make-up artist for years and became interested in the dermatology side of pharmacy [after I qualified]. Aesthetics seemed a natural progression. As someone who’s struggled with confidence themselves when it came to appearance, I found aesthetics helped my confidence and so I wanted to be able to help others.
Q Do you need any extra training to do this work?
A Yes, I had to gain my independent prescribing qualification from Reading University as well as aesthetics training at SkinViva in Manchester, starting with foundation training in Botox and dermal fillers and progressing on to training for advanced treatments. I am currently studying level seven in Aesthetics at Harley St Academy.
For every treatment I deliver, I had to do extensive training [before I could offer it to patients]. If you are getting aesthetics work done yourself, always make sure you check your practitioner is fully qualified – ask to see certificates, previous work and testimonials.
Q Why did you become a pharmacist?
A My Dad is a pharmacist. I always enjoyed community pharmacy and the opportunity to meet and help lots of people.
Q What’s the key to your success?
A Hard work and passion. Aesthetics work is never going to fall into your lap, you have to work at it and practice, practice, practice. Experience is paramount.
Q What are your biggest achievements?
A Setting up my own aesthetics beauty clinic in my home town of Bournemouth. I am also super proud of myself for gaining my independent prescribing qualification – it took a lot of hard work and dedication.
Q What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned?
A How to say ‘no’. I have to be conscious of patients who may be addicted to aesthetic treatments or who could be suffering from body-dysmorphia. You have to be able to say no if you don’t think it’s in their best interest to have a treatment.
Q Do you have any professional regrets?
A Not doing it [training in aesthetics] sooner. However, I wouldn’t be where I am today without all the experience I’ve had.
Q What are the key qualities of a good leader?
A Be passionate about what you do and instill that in others.
Q What advice would you give to women who want to be leaders?
A Work hard. Take the punches, it’s never going to be easy. Always get up again.
Q What makes you happy at work?
A Achieving results and making my patients happy.
Q Do you think leadership training should be part of pharmacy education?
A Leadership training in all sectors is important but shouldn’t be a focus at university level. Leadership comes with experience.
Q Do you think the sector needs more independent prescribers?
A Yes, absolutely.
Q How would you describe the current state of community pharmacy?
A Services wise, it’s getting better but more acknowledgement is needed for the work we do.
Q What changes would you like to see?
A Money. More funding is needed for community pharmacy.
Q Are you confident about the future?
A Not in NHS pharmacy but yes, in aesthetics and doing more pharmacist-led private services.