22 Feb Interview with Caron Vetter
As a leading pioneer in the field of medical tattooing, we were thrilled to have the opportunity to talk to Caron Vetter directly about her personal career journey and to find out a little more about what it’s really like to work alongside eminent plastic surgeons and renowned NHS hospitals, providing life changing micropigmentation procedures.
1. As the owner of Features For Life and Director at both the Whitethorn Fields MediClinic and The Belmore Centre , your work in both private healthcare and with the NHS has enabled you to provide a diverse range of highly valued medical tattooing procedures to patients ranging from; scar camouflage to areola restoration, hair-line enhancement, burns treatments, cleft lip, vitiligo, alopecia and other paramedical tattooing services. How did your personal career journey lead to you becoming a highly respected and recognised leader in this niche field?
I trained as a Beauty Therapist 38 years ago, and then did my teachers training in 1984, going on to teach within further education colleges. It was at this time that I also began my first business, which has now been running successfully for 25 years. The Belmore Centre now employs 18 Beauty Therapists as well as having 20 Complimentary Therapists, a Hair Salon and a Fitness Studio.
10 years ago, after the continued success of The Belmore Centre, I went into Partnership with a Cosmetic Plastic Surgeon who was at the time head of the burns unit at Stoke Mandeville
Hospital. Together we established Whitethorn Fields MediClinic, a private aesthetic and cosmetic surgery clinic. The clinic has a fully operational surgical theatre, laser room and three treatment rooms and we are registered with the Care Quality Commission. We offer treatments such as Medical and Cosmetic Tattooing, Nurse Led Aesthetic treatments and Laser Hair Removal. Alongside this I have been teaching medical tattooing to nurses and surgeons both within the NHS and privately for the past 17 years. More recently I now provide my training to qualified Semi Permanent Makeup practitioners and am proud to be one of few courses recognised by the Royal College of Nursing.
2. What personal advice would you give to any PMU Technician who have been working in the industry for several years and want to get more involved in the clinical side of the industry?
To get referrals from surgeons for medical tattooing you really need to work from a medically recognised clinic and you need to have a good portfolio of photos. This will help you greatly when it comes to building relationships for referrals as surgeons and their teams will often overlook an SPMU.
3. At the 2017 UK PMU Conference, you’ll be demonstrating live on stage an areola restoration, which is a procedure that you’ve specialised in for nearly two decades. What made you decide to offer this highly skilled service as one of your primary treatments and have there been any memorable moments along the way that you’ll never forget?
I will always remember dealing with such a diverse group of patients who all carry their own personal back story and have been through a tough journey by the time they reach me! For me it is the best job in the world, to be able to help such people and really bring back their self-esteem and self-confidence, it is the icing on the cake. My most memorable moment was back in 2007 when we were teaching six breast care nurses within their hospital and we had 15 models over the two days. As the first model lifted her top she had had no nipple made, nor the second, nor the third and so on. Not ONE of this hospitals models had had their nipple reconstructed because the surgeon was unaware of how to do it. This astounded me, as in my world this is just a simple step in the procedure, however to others, it was still the unknown. This spurred me on to spread the knowledge and availability of this whole process even more! Back in 2007 we did not teach 3D nipples within the course content, but the nurses on that day soon got a quick lesson!
4. What has been the best business advice that you’ve ever been given?
To keep up-to-date with the latest training and keep moving forward or you will get left behind.
5. With technological and scientific advances, always being at the forefront of any respected industry, what changes do you personally envisage will take place over the next 3-5 years in the field of medical tattooing and what enhancements to the profession if any would you personally like to see taking place?
I think that pigments will improve Areola Restoration work leading to them staying in the skin longer, we already have one range that are made in a different way and I think this will continue
to improve. I would personally like to see medical tattooing offered within all NHS hospitals nationally so that everyone is being given the same service, no matter what your post code. Also to make the public more aware of the other uses for medical tattooing and how it can help them, for example to help hide scarring after a breast augmentation or reduction. For the launch of my new association; P.A.T – Paramedical Association of Tattooists, to bring us all together within the industry and help those starting out in the business to gain recognition by all insurance companies by their membership to the association. P.A.T will be ensuring all medical professionals have the confidence and the resources to refer on to our database of P.A.T members.