Saturday 11th September 2010 will go down as the defining conference in the annals of the history of Aesthetic Nursing. The inaugural conference of the BACN was a truly a turning point when aesthetic nurses found their voice and approached the next chapter with renewed confidence.
It was a very early start for many and initially registration was worryingly slow. We felt like hosts of a party whose guests had chosen to do other things. There was no need to worry, as by the time our first speaker took his place the lecture hall was full.
Our second and internationally known speaker, Apollonius Allen set the pace. A practicing dentist with a passion for anatomy, he charmed the nurses with his unique style of teaching and quirky wit. Never was anatomy made more interesting and he had the nurses wanting more. This is something the BACN will follow up on and we have already had an offer of sponsorship for a full day workshop.
We then heard about the difficulties the nurses had about accessing nurse prescriber courses. The requirement of evidence to study at degree level was identified as an issue, and a solution was immediately generously offered to all BACN members. This will appear on our web-site.
Wendy Lewis gave us a comprehensive review of current trends in the market place with her customary flair and vision.
Because of a last minute programme change my presentation was repositioned to the ‘grave-yard’ slot. No-one was caught napping. ‘Power, politics and prejudice: the role of the aesthetic nurse’ sparked constructive and passionate debate. Among the many points covered, the IHAS scheme was placed in its historical and contemporary context. There was however a collective sharp intake of breath at the cost to the nurses of the voluntary self-regulation scheme, and a look of total dismay on all their faces.
The afternoon continued with a range of excellent speakers. Florence Barrett Hill who had flown in from her native New Zealand reminded us about the importance of knowing the science behind skin care. Customer care was covered, and Rachel Fox gave us tips on how to avoid the elephant traps in our specialty. Constance Campion gave an overview of the evolution of aesthetic nursing and encouraged us to go forward with conviction and confidence.
Finally Emma Davies, Chair, closed the day with our raffle draw. The first prize was £100 voucher to be spent on an educational book from Amazon.
The mood throughout the conference was upbeat and positive and the atmosphere buzzing with enthusiasm. It was a memorable day and for those who missed it, come and join us next year.
To conclude I would like to thank our team on the Management Board, all our sponsors who supported us so generously, and the staff at the Royal College of Physicians.