PODCAST: Meet the Team – Kristen Heard, LVN

Kristen Heard is a licensed vocational nurse (LVN) at LJC who regularly floats from the med spa down to the surgery center. She helps with fillers, Botox, injections, PDO threads, and more in the med spa and works alongside all of LJC’s doctors in the surgery center assisting with pre-op and post-op appointments.
Kristen started her nursing career 14 years ago as a certified nursing assistant. She began as a school nurse and went on to work for a cardiologist at Scripps, then as a coordinator for clinical staffing operations at Scripps Hospital. Kristen discovered plastic surgery is where her passions reside early on in her nursing career, so her dreams are coming true here at LJC.

She was once a patient at LJC and noticed a position we had available within her field, and the rest is history. Kristen is a ray of sunshine at LJC with her warm smile and genuine kindness.


Speaker 1 (00:07):
You’re listening to the La Jolla Cosmetic Podcast.

Monique Ramsey (00:14):
Welcome everyone to the La Jolla Cosmetic Podcast. I’m your hostess, Monique Ramsey. And today I have a member of our staff for you to meet. Her name is Kristen Heard and she’s an LVN, which means licensed vocational nurse. Welcome Kristen.

Kristen Heard (00:31):
Hi everyone.

Monique Ramsey (00:33):
So tell us a little bit about what you do here at La Jolla Cosmetic and how you help patients.

Kristen Heard (00:40):
At La Jolla Cosmetic, I’m actually a float pull nurse. I float from the med spa down to the surgery center. I actually help out every provider at this time, whether it be with surgery or any type of med spa procedure, and we just all work together and collaborate as a team.

Monique Ramsey (00:58):
Fun. So then you get to kind of be in on some of the procedures in the med spa?

Kristen Heard (01:03):
Yeah. So in the med spa, I help with fillers, Botox injections, all different types of lasers. We also help people with the new PDO threads, which is really innovative and exciting and new. So yeah, it’s always fun here up at the med spa.

Monique Ramsey (01:21):
Yeah. We’ve got a podcast episode up about, well, we’ve got one about fillers and then we also have a few about threads where we talk about what the thread lift procedure is. And then when you’re down in the surgery center, what kind of things do you do down there?

Kristen Heard (01:36):
In the surgery center, we do pre-ops and post-ops. So patients come in before surgery, after surgery, and we also do consultations for new procedures. So anything from abdominoplasty, which is a tummy tuck itself, to a facelift, a mini facelift, a rhinoplasty. We do all the things downstairs at the surgery center.

Monique Ramsey (02:00):
That’s fun. So do you work with all the doctors?

Kristen Heard (02:03):
Right now I work with all the doctors, primarily Dr. Riedler, our new physician will be starting on Monday and we will be doing surgery downstairs and working as well upstairs in the med spa.

Monique Ramsey (02:17):
Yeah. We just recorded an episode with her last week. So everyone, you can go into our bank of podcasts and last week we did one with her to meet her and talk about some of the things she does. And she does facial rejuvenation. She’s a board certified facial plastic surgeon. So she does all the head and neck surgery. So like you say, rhinoplasties or revision rhinoplasties, eyelid lifts, facelifts necks, all of the fun things.

Kristen Heard (02:46):
Yeah. So previously we have worked together as well. Me and Dr. Riedler. So we are actually friends and we are very good together working and we’re so excited to start together again.

Monique Ramsey (02:59):
I didn’t know that.

Kristen Heard (03:01):
Yeah. It’s so exciting for us. So we’re kind of reunited and we’re going to thrive.

Monique Ramsey (03:07):
I love that. So you worked with her at her last practice?

Kristen Heard (03:11):
Yeah. Correct. ENT and she also did facial plastic surgery there as well.

Monique Ramsey (03:17):
Awesome. All right. So they might meet you in the med spa. They might meet you downstairs in the surgical center, as far as where you’re bebopping around.

Kristen Heard (03:25):
Yeah, I’ll be everywhere. Come say hi.

Monique Ramsey (03:28):
Yeah. So what made you decide to be an LVN and kind of what was your path?

Kristen Heard (03:35):
So I actually started off in nursing about 14 years ago. I started off from the very bottom. I was a certified nursing assistant. I worked for the school district, K through five, as a nursing tech with young children. I also worked crisis prevention and intervention for Rady Children’s. I worked for a cardiologist at Scripps for a few years, doing things in the cath lab back and forth.

Kristen Heard (04:00):
And I’ve also previously worked at Scripps Hospital, and I was a coordinator for clinical staffing operations. So I’ve actually done a lot of things in nursing since the very beginning. And I worked with Dr. Riedler in the past in facial plastic surgery and plastic surgery was my heart. And here I am, still here.

Monique Ramsey (04:22):
That’s wonderful. You actually don’t look old enough to do all those things, or to have done all those things.

Kristen Heard (04:28):
Thank you.

Monique Ramsey (04:29):
You really don’t. I guess you work at the right place, but my eyebrows are raised, wow, she’s done a lot of things. That’s awesome. So you started as a nursing assistant. And then to get to be an LVN, what does that look like?

Kristen Heard (04:43):
So actually I’ve taken all my prerequisites for my registered nursing license as well. So my three year plan from now will be my bachelors in registered nursing. And I’m on my way there, I’ve completed my first term. So here we are. I have about one year left for registered nursing, and then I’ll be completing my bachelors. So it takes about three years to complete all your prerequisites. And then you have to do the initial training for LVN, and then you can step up to the RN.

Monique Ramsey (05:15):
Oh, wow. Is part of your work at La Jolla Cosmetic, do they have like a practical component where you actually have to work at a practice or work with patients?

Kristen Heard (05:24):
They do. That’s during clinicals, you have clinical phases. You work in med surg, you work in pediatrics, you work in step down from ICU, PCU. You work in the emergency room. You work in pretty much all the different components of nursing during your clinical rotation. And that’s how you get to the very end when you take your state board.

Monique Ramsey (05:46):
Interesting. It’s a lot of work.

Kristen Heard (05:48):
Yeah. Nursing is fun though. Nursing is fun. I’m actually a cosmetologist as well.

Monique Ramsey (05:56):
You are?

Kristen Heard (05:57):
So yes I am. So right out of high school, I went to cosmetology school. I’ve been a cosmetologist for 14 years.

Monique Ramsey (06:06):
My goodness, look at you. So this is like the perfect spot for you then really, because you know, you understand.

Kristen Heard (06:12):
Yeah. I love beauty and healthcare.

Monique Ramsey (06:16):
Well, that’s what we’re all about. So leading you from the clinical side, pediatrics and cardiology, then what made you think, hey, aesthetics might be something I’m interested in. What did that look like?

Kristen Heard (06:30):
Actually, since I had the background in cosmetology, I’ve always wanted to do something in nursing, following that path. And I’ve always been interested in plastic surgery and obviously the healthcare component of patient excellence and safety. So it was just something that I really was interested in from the beginning. And it was my dream to become a plastic surgery nurse, and here I am. So I feel like I’m on the right path and I really love it here. I actually was a previous patient here as well.

Monique Ramsey (07:06):

Kristen Heard (07:09):
And that’s how I actually started off here. I saw that they had a job posting and here I am.

Monique Ramsey (07:16):
Well, that’s neat. It’s really funny because I’ve learned so many things. Like I know all of you guys, but I work off site so I don’t see everybody on a daily basis. But it’s like I know you guys. And then I always will find two or three things that I’m like, my mouth is open going what, I didn’t know that. And I’ve heard this story many times about somebody starting as a patient, had a great experience and then decided to apply for a job here. I just think that’s so cool.

Kristen Heard (07:46):
I really felt safe here as a patient, just from the beginning, until the end. Even when I was leaving the OR, I always felt very safe. The anesthesiologist welcomed me with open hands. Dr. Brahme is who I actually had my procedure with. And he’s the best. I love him so much. He always has a smile on his face and makes you feel at home, like you’re one of the family here. So from the beginning to the end, the patient experience is excellent.

Monique Ramsey (08:14):
Yeah. You mentioned the word family and that is such a part of what we’re all about. You know, we have our work family. And so I think patients are always blown away because they’re like, wow, you guys are like family here, I feel really comfortable. And we really genuinely enjoy what we do. And when you enjoy what you do, it’s easy to do a good job and have fun at work. And I think patients pick up on that. And you certainly, as a patient, you felt that.

Kristen Heard (08:42):
Oh yeah, definitely. And I feel like when you enjoy what you do, you never have to work a day. Especially in healthcare, it’s always ever changing. So there’s always so many opportunities, especially in plastic surgery and med spa procedures.

Monique Ramsey (08:56):
Yeah. It’s really amazing. Every day we’re bombarded with so much information. It’s like, how do we know what as a consumer, where do I start? How do I fix that part of me that I’d like to improve? And actually we have a new tool on our website called the treatment planner. And it’s really awesome to be able to kind of go in and say, okay, I want to change my, whatever. Let’s say you want to change your eyes, but you don’t know how or what. And you can with a couple clicks say, okay, this is what’s important to me and see all the procedures that you could have either in surgery or in non surgical. So it’s fun to have that tool to then be able to be sort of introduced to all the things we do. Because I think we do over almost 90 procedures.

Kristen Heard (09:46):
Right, yeah.

Monique Ramsey (09:47):
It’s a mind boggling number.

Kristen Heard (09:48):
There’s so much to learn and it’s amazing how far we’ve come, especially in this time with fillers and the different types of procedures, like the cool sculpting. I just actually went to a cool sculpting training last week and it was amazing. They taught us a bunch of things about cool sculpting, and that was something I’ve never learned before so it was new and it was so much fun.

Monique Ramsey (10:14):
So tell me something that you heard at that training that was surprising to you maybe or?

Kristen Heard (10:20):
For cool sculpting itself, I didn’t know that the new machine for cool sculpting actually scans. So you can scan your Alle points right into the machine and your patient information comes up and then you can go from there. They actually have numerous applicators now, you don’t have to do one application at a time. You can do numerous ones. So the treatment goes by quicker.

Monique Ramsey (10:44):
Oh nice. And you get the Alle points. So the Alle app, if you guys haven’t downloaded it to your phone, do so.

Kristen Heard (10:51):
Oh yeah. We love the Alle app.

Monique Ramsey (10:53):
And it’s what used to be Brilliant Distinctions, if anybody is old school. And about a year and a half ago maybe they changed it to Alle, and it keeps track of all your offers and your points and any rebates. And so it’s really nice because then it knows, okay, cool sculpting is part of the Allergan family. Then when you have a cool sculpting session, you earn points and you can use those points to take money off of Botox or anything else, SkinMedica, anything else that you might be doing within the Allergan family. Tell us something that you’ve learned from listening to patients during your career or especially your career at La Jolla Cosmetic.

Kristen Heard (11:34):
Working at the hospital, our main priority was keeping everyone safe. You always have to listen to your patient and make sure you understand how they’re feeling, what they’re going through. I always just make sure that my patients have a great experience. Whether they be really sick or just going in for a minor procedure, you always want to feel comfortable in your environment.

Monique Ramsey (11:55):
Yeah. And then at La Jolla Cosmetic, in terms of listening to patients, what do you find that maybe is something that they’re the most concerned about before surgery and how does that change after?

Kristen Heard (12:13):
When a patient initially comes and talks to the coordinator regarding the procedure they want to have done here at La Jolla Cosmetic, sometimes they’re a little scared or just don’t know how to explain exactly what they want. So that’s when we take the time to go over everything with them. We show them pictures of previous procedures from other patients that have signed off to let us show their work, so that we can see exactly maybe what they want or what they’re going for, and then we kind of create their own look and outcome from there.

Monique Ramsey (12:44):
So now let’s talk about you in a personal way.

Kristen Heard (12:48):

Monique Ramsey (12:48):
So tell us about yourself. Where did you grow up?

Kristen Heard (12:52):
I actually grew up in San Diego. I was born at Palomar in Escondido.

Monique Ramsey (12:58):
Oh nice.

Kristen Heard (12:59):
Yeah. So my dad’s a senior scientist and my mother’s a nurse as well. Yeah. So I was actually like kind of born in this path. I was an avid softball player growing up. I played travel softball my whole life, played in college and I actually played up until the age of 30 on a traveling softball team for a bat company. So I love softball. I’ve previously been married. I was married in August at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

Monique Ramsey (13:34):
Oh fun.

Kristen Heard (13:34):
Yeah. We actually got married in the reef tank, in the shark reef. Yeah. So our whole wedding was like in the reef. It was really pretty. On my free time, we live on the lake in Canyon Lake, so we go out on our boat a lot. We do all the desert things. We have a side by side. We just have fun. I love enjoying life. Obviously, I’m a beach girl, San Diegan.

Monique Ramsey (13:59):
Yeah, exactly. I love meeting a fellow native San Diegan. And so softball, what position did you play?

Kristen Heard (14:07):
Growing up I played pitcher and I also played second base. And then later on in life I played outfield. So I’ve played all the positions.

Monique Ramsey (14:17):
That’s awesome. I have a sister who was really into softball and she’s a catcher, and her poor knees. Oh my gosh.

Kristen Heard (14:23):
Oh yeah. I’ve had two knee surgeries.

Monique Ramsey (14:26):
Have you?

Kristen Heard (14:27):
Yes I have.

Monique Ramsey (14:27):
Oh my goodness. Yeah. So it’s a fun sport.

Kristen Heard (14:31):
Yeah. I love it.

Monique Ramsey (14:32):
So getting back to sort of the La Jolla Cosmetic family, I have a question for you, not about our family, but about yours. So what are your favorite family traditions?

Kristen Heard (14:43):
Well, we always do Christmas together. So no matter what, we always get together for Christmas. My mom always has the whole buffet going on. They always cook the turkey and do all the things and we open presents. So I really value that family time.

Monique Ramsey (15:01):
Yeah. That’s nice. I’m thinking about doing a holiday cookbook from our staff. Like if everybody-

Kristen Heard (15:06):
Oh, that would be awesome.

Monique Ramsey (15:07):
If everybody shared a traditional family recipe and we put it together and maybe we even have like a party where you bring that item. I’m super into Christmas, because it’s my birthday.

Kristen Heard (15:18):
Yeah. We love Christmas.

Monique Ramsey (15:19):
I’m like you, I’m always thinking like, ooh, what can we do? So before we wrap it up, I want to let everybody know that if you are a subscriber to our podcast, we give $25 off any product or service of 50 or more. So let me ask you, Kristen, if you were going to use that $25 towards anything.

Kristen Heard (15:40):
Oh my goodness.

Monique Ramsey (15:41):
Tell us what product or treatment would that be?

Kristen Heard (15:45):
I think I would probably use the $25 towards my every four month Botox, because you pay per unit. And make sure everyone that you sign up for our GLAMfam membership and you get to save on all of our procedures and products.

Monique Ramsey (16:04):
Yeah. That everyday savings, the everyday low price, is always fun. That really adds up. And especially like you say for Botox, your per unit cost is much less. And then also we talk about, you know, our brand promise is where dreams become real. And tell us about a dream of yours that has become real.

Kristen Heard (16:23):
Honestly, in nursing my dream was to work in plastic surgery and for a med spa. And this was my number one dream growing up, along with getting married and having a family. So I feel like I’m on the right path here. And that was my dream in life.

Monique Ramsey (16:42):
That is so nice. Now when you guys meet Kristen, you’re going to love her because she has the warmest, most genuine smile.

Kristen Heard (16:48):
Thank you.

Monique Ramsey (16:49):
And she’s always got the smile on. You do. Every time I come in, it’s like you’re such a little ray of sunshine, I love it.

Kristen Heard (16:55):
Life is fun.

Monique Ramsey (16:56):
Well, that’s true. Might as well have fun while we’re here, right? So for everyone in the audience, thanks for listening. And if you have questions about our services or you’d like to set up a consultation with Dr. Riedler or any of our surgeons or med spa providers, our contact info and links to everything we talked about today are in the show notes. So thanks again, Kristen.

Kristen Heard (17:19):
Thanks everyone for listening and come see us in the med spa and or the surgery center. And don’t forget that Dr. Riedler starts on Monday for all your facial plastic surgery needs.

Monique Ramsey (17:30):
Awesome. Thanks again, everyone.

Speaker 1 (17:38):
Take a screenshot of this podcast episode with your phone and show it at your consultation or appointment, or mention the promo code PODCAST to receive $25 off any service or product of $50 or more at La Jolla Cosmetic. La Jolla Cosmetic is located just off the I-5 San Diego freeway in the Ximed building on the Scripps Memorial Hospital campus. To learn more, go to ljcsc.com or follow the team on Instagram @ljcsc. The La Jolla Cosmetic Podcast is a production of The Axis.

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