As a CRNA, starting your own med spa is not only an exciting opportunity, but it also allows you to make a difference in people’s lives, bringing unique skills and expertise to the growing field of aesthetic medicine. For today’s episode, we have Megan Hagley, a CRNA who has started her own med spa. She dives into the ins and outs of starting a med spa as a CRNA, the services that can be offered, and why CRNAs are well-equipped to provide these services. Megan discusses how as the med spa trend continues to grow, it’s an excellent opportunity for CRNAs who are interested in entrepreneurship in healthcare. Tune in and learn how Megan did it.
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Pur Anesthetics and Wellness Med Spa in South Bend, Indiana.
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Starting A Med Spa As A CRNA With Megan Hagley
In this episode, we have a very special guest, Megan Hagley. Megan, welcome to the show. Megan and I go way back from when I first started my CRNA career. We worked together as CRNAs. What’s cool is that Megan has started her med spa. I am bringing her on the show to talk about CRNAs starting their med spa and what that entails. Maybe I should say it’s trendy but it seems to be popping up more. It’s an amazing opportunity so keep this on your horizon. The trend is going that more services are being offered. They keep making more neat techniques in this area and field. CRNAs are very equipped to be delivering this type of service. It’s cool. Congratulations on that.
A little bit about Megan, I’m going to share a little bit of background. She’s been a CRNA for ten years. She started her aesthetics business in 2020 shortly after COVID. She has a full-service med spa located in South Bend, Indiana. It’s called Pur Aesthetics and Wellness. She also is married to a CRNA who I also remember working with back in the day. He is uniquely completing a Chronic Pain Management Fellowship and a post-Master’s NP certification. They have two daughters, Elliot and Dylan. There are those of you reading who are like, “How does Megan do this with kids?” It is possible. They’re both busy and here they are. I’m excited to hear about how you decided to start a med spa and what got you interested in that path.
It was shortly after COVID. I just had my youngest. I went back to work for about two weeks and everything was shut down. Both Ryan and I have to be up super early. Hours are unpredictable and long. It was challenging having a young family. I’m a numbers person. All of the CRNAs are like, “I’m going to get a degree in Accounting. I’ll start my firm and do that.” I started getting a doctorate in anesthesia. I did one Accounting class and I was like, “Maybe this isn’t what I want to do.”
At that time, there was another CRNA, Kelly Hermans, who started a training program. I had started getting treatments and I was like, “This is super awesome.” I love how it made me feel. I wanted to be able to have that little bit of flexibility in scheduling and also be able to bring that to other women and other moms who might not have thought that it was what they had envisioned for their life. It had such a positive impact on me when I got my tox and filler. I was like, “Everybody needs this in their life.”
Botox And Confidence
Several years ago, it was a social faux pas like, “I enjoy the natural beauty.” To be honest with you, I don’t think this is about natural beauty. It’s more about enhancing your natural beauty. The reality is it’s becoming more socially acceptable. I have made that bridge myself by getting Botox. I had it done. I was like, “I got to do an episode. People are going to know.” People did say, “Wow.” It does take a little bit of time to have that settled in.
With that being said, it is something about feeling good in your skin. Maybe you don’t want wrinkles. There’s nothing wrong with not wanting wrinkles and having fuller lips or a more youthful appearance. There’s no shame in that. It’s becoming more socially acceptable. I agree. It’s about empowering not just women but women and men to do what makes them happy and makes them feel good.
I remember the catalyst for me. It was when Ryan took a picture of me with my youngest. I was like, “That’s such a nice picture.” Moms never get pictures. I was like, “What is happening to my face?” I don’t remember who that is. It wasn’t whom I remember looking at in the mirror. I remember after I got my first cheek filler, which is not much because it was half a syringe in each cheek, I sat up and looked in the mirror. I was like, “This was my face five years ago.” I pulled up some of our engagement pictures and I was like, “It’s me.” I was crying. I was so emotional.
It was a natural aging process. I didn’t know what was happening or how to fix it. I knew that at that point, whom I was seeing in that picture and who I remember myself being, they were not it. We, as women and professionals, give so much to our husbands, spouses, children, career, work and all of those things that we don’t put ourselves first. It’s hard to be on that receiving end of putting ourselves first because we feel like we’re cheating everybody else. In reality, we’re not. We need to be the best version of ourselves, whatever that means, to be able to give the best version of ourselves to everybody else.
I’ve even heard people say, “I don’t even want to be in pictures because of the way I look.” That’s unfortunate because those are memories that you want to look back on. I’ve heard women say, “I cringe every time I see myself in a photo.” I’m like, “That’s not healthy.” What’s the harm in getting something done to help you feel more confident? This might be TMI for this episode but I don’t care. I’m going to let it out.
I was twenty when I had a boob job. My girlfriend got it done and I’m like, “I would love to not have little bee stings anymore.” That’s what I called it. I had that done and I kept it secret. My dad doesn’t know. I hope he doesn’t read the episode but I’m old now so it’s okay, dad. I still love you. I know you love me too. A lot of people think, “You’re trying to be more sexual, whatever it is.” I’m like, “No.” It’s about feeling confident in your body, whether that’s your boobs, face or nose. I’m not saying to go crazy with it. To a certain extent, you have to not shame people equally for wanting that for themselves too.
That’s what I tell all my clients I have in the chair. I’m like, “Whatever decision you make for yourself is great. You have to be comfortable with that.” I never try and push anything on anybody because I believe in all the things that we do. Otherwise, we wouldn’t do it. They have to be comfortable with their choices to be able to do that. I’m not going to push somebody into something that they aren’t comfortable with or don’t think is appropriate for them. I want whoever is in my chair to feel good about themselves and their choices.
CRNA Aesthetics Services And Training
I feel like that’s the CRNA speaking there. I was going to lead into that we’re uniquely positioned to do this type of career path as a different avenue because we have that patient connection that you develop as a nurse. As CRNAs, we spend so much time alleviating fears and anxiety and helping people feel like they’re in good hands. That suits you well for this role to talk through that with a patient.
It’s a big decision to go into having Botox and fillers because you’re like, “Am I going to look like not me anymore? Am I going to look like I’ve had work done?” There may be fear of judgment from their significant other. I’ve had my injector say that she has women who don’t tell their husbands because they don’t approve of it. I’m like, “Whoa.”
They come and they’re like, “Can I not bruise?” I’m like, “Have you seen my vascularity trophies? I can’t guarantee that you’re not going to bruise. In the advent of COVID and masking, throw a mask on.” It’s usually with lip filler that we have that conversation. Nobody comes into my chair and is like, “Do you know what I want? I want to look blown up and unnatural.” Everybody wants to look natural. I’m like, “Yes.” I tell people, “What do you think of my face?” They’re like, “Do you do anything?” I’m like, “Yeah. I do also things. I have ten syringes in my face. It’s fine.”
You said you went through someone. What was her last name?
Did you do her training program? How did you learn how to do this skillset?
I did her novice training. At the time, there were 5 or 6 weeks of didactic. I then went for a 3-day hands-on and they were 8 to 10 hours a day. Before I even went to training, I had a conversation with a couple of physicians whom I had proposed to be medical directors because you have to have that, at least in my state. I can’t speak for other states but I’m pretty sure almost everyone has to have medical directors. There may be some NP states but I don’t have the legality of that.
I had the publication with lawyers and an accountant. There is a lot of back work that I had done prior to me going and doing training. Her course prepared me with all of that information. It helped me make those connections or choices to learn how to be legal or learn about the people to help guide me to stay legal and be legal. It wasn’t like, “I’m going to go do this.” There was a lot of backup work.
A little less than a year after I did the novice course, I went back and did advance with her as well. Since then, I’ve done a lot of other training courses with other injectors across the country. As with anything, even with CRNA education, if you do your initial education, that’s not the end-all-be-all. That’s your entry-level. You’re always going to want to continue to learn new techniques and things. There are always going to be more working technologies. You want to always be training and educating yourself. If you get to the point where you think you know everything, then you’re the problem, in my opinion.Your CRNA education is not the end-all-be-all. That's your entry-level. Click To Tweet
The love of always learning should be there. That’s how you improve by always challenging yourself like, “What’s the new technique?” The space is changing a lot. There always seems to be new technology coming out.
Also, there are changes in treatment regimens. There are fats. It used to be a lot of toxic fillers. Even in the short amount of time that I’ve been in the space, it’s heading towards regenerative processes like PRP, PRF and that kind of thing. As CRNAs, we’re well-versed in anatomy, physiology and pharmacology. That’s a lot of what this is. I’m not saying that other people can’t be great injectors as well but we have a skillset that sets us up to be excellent injectors.
The hands-on skills that we developed too as CRNAs would also help. I’ve always wondered. One of the hardest parts, at least when I think about it, is making sure everything’s even, especially on lips, cheeks and things like that. Would you say it takes a certain eye to catch that or is it something that could be developed over time?
They’re both. There is that artistic portion that we still have. In doing anesthesia, there’s a science and an art about it. Over time, you learn and develop those skills that will get you that artful outcome that you’re looking for. They both add together. I have another CRNA, Jamie Davison, who is an injector with me. I have two NPs, Emilee Tehrani and Melissa Demetriou. Everybody that I have in my office is fantastic. We are a team. Everybody is awesome.There's a science and an art about doing anesthesia. Over time, you learn and develop those skills that will get you that artful outcome that you're looking for. Click To Tweet
How did you find a CRNA who wanted to do this with you? Are they technically your business partners? Is it by going to different classes that you met people along the way?
They all worked with Ryan in the ICU before everybody went to advanced practice schools. It was through him. For Jamie, I worked with her at a GI center before I had my youngest. When I went back to work and I was like, “I’m going to start this,” she had an interest in it. She was like, “Come on. Let’s do it.” In the Indiana practice center, we are nursing licensed so we’re not recognized as APRNs. I need NPs and also more people that are hands-on. We have advanced practice nurses in our office injecting at this point.
You said you knew the medical director through a family friend.
Both Ryan and I did anesthesia for him at the surgery center. He wasn’t the first conversation that I had because I didn’t know him well. He was the third physician that I had approached and had a conversation with. For people wanting to do this, don’t be discouraged if people say no. That’s fine. It’s not your person and it’s okay. I remember I went and had this conversation with him and met with him. I was like, “It’s going to be great. You’re going to love it.” I had no idea what I was doing. I still don’t.
He came on board. That’s cool.
It’s great. He and his wife are fantastic people. He is a plastic surgeon who does plastic and enhancement. We do have some cross-referral. He’s on our website. We’re very open about that. We have professional and personal relationships. They’re fantastic people but it’s nice to have them from a business perspective. I’m not saying that you can’t have good relationships with plastics outside of this but it’s nice to have that relationship where for mommy makeovers, breast augmentation, tummy tuck or LiPo, we refer to this person. He does excellent work. I couldn’t professionally work with or have a relationship with someone that I didn’t think was fantastic. It’s nice to have that professional relationship to cross-reference back and forth.
Life As A CRNA And A MedSpa Owner
As a CRNA, you do know all the best people when it comes to surgeons. It is like an insider. You’re like, “You go there to get that tummy tuck.” It’s a benefit of this career path as you tend to know all the best. I’d love to end this with this. Tell me about your lifestyle. What has it done for you? What does your typical day look like?
On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I do anesthesia. I mostly work at an ortho hospital where we live. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, I am injecting in my office from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM, 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM and 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. What this has given me is I am able to drive my children to school on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. To me, that is what life is.
Our family is the most important thing. Being able to have that flexibility is awesome. I’m able to pick them up if I need to. I had an event where one of my kids was sick and my in-laws weren’t able to watch her until the afternoon so I loaded her up and took her to the office with me. You can’t do that in anesthesia so that has been amazing, having that little bit of freedom.
I work all the time. Even if I’m not at work, I’m still managing work, ordering something or responding to messages or emails. Since we have a storefront, I have an office manager also who is amazing. She handles so many things for me. I’m unexpectedly away for a family medical emergency. All of my team has been fantastic in handling everything that I can be here with my family and focusing on that. That has been so helpful. It’s a lot of work and I couldn’t do it without a supportive husband and family. That’s where my goal is. It’s to have more time with my family.
It’s to have the flexibility of being able to spend more time with your kids during times when otherwise, we’d be stuck in the OR. Also, being able to pick your shifts.
Even if we’re both working eight hours, we both work in more independent facilities where you work until the work is done, whether that’s early or late. It’s hard trying to make appointments and be available for your children or life in general. It was challenging. It’s not that there aren’t challenging times but it’s worthwhile.
That’s very cool. This has been eye-opening. Megan, thank you for coming to the show. As a reminder, Pur Aesthetics and Wellness is in South Bend, Indiana. If you are reading this and you’re in the area, please reach out and go visit the med spa. We have Pur Aesthetics and Wellness IG. We also have your website and Facebook. That way, you can connect with Megan. Thank you so much. I’m wishing you and your family best wishes. Recover well. Thank you for taking the time to do the show.
Thank you for having me. It has been fun.
For more about A day in the life of a CRNA, click here: Typical Day As A CRNA
About Megan Hagley
I have been a CRNA for 10 years, I started aesthetics in 2020 shortly after COVID. I now have a full-service med spa located in South Bend, Indiana, Pur Anesthetics and Wellness. My husband is also a CRNA and is completing a Chronic Pain Management Fellowship and a post-master NP certification, and we have two daughters, Elliot, 5 and Dylan, 3.
Get access to planning tools, valuable CRNA Faculty guidance & mapped out courses that have been proven to accelerate your CRNA success! Become a member of CRNA School Prep Academy here:
Book a mock interview, personal statement critique, resume review and more at https://www.TeachRN.com
Join the CSPA email list: https://www.cspaedu.com/podcast-email
Send Jenny an email or make a podcast request!