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What patients should consider before getting Botox by a nurse

Question: “I recently saw an online advertisement for botulinum toxin (Botox) injections. What should I know before getting Botox by a nurse?”

Because administering Botox is a cosmetic procedure, it may seem as though it is a low-risk activity. This is not true. Administering Botox requires nurses to perform a controlled act. Controlled acts are procedures that can cause harm if the nurse does not have the knowledge, skill, and judgment to perform them.

While all nurses (Registered Nurses [RNs], Registered Practical Nurses [RPNs], and Nurse Practitioners [NPs]) can administer Botox, RNs and RPNs can only perform this if they have the proper authorization, such as an order or a directive, from an NP or a physician. NPs can administer and order this prescription drug and procedure.

Questions you should ask your nurse before getting Botox:

  • Do you work in a practice setting or collaborate with an NP or physician?
  • Do you have an order to administer Botox?
  • Do you have the knowledge, skill and judgment to administer Botox?
  • What is the nature of the treatment?
  • What are the expected benefits of this treatment?
  • What are the potential risks and side effects of this treatment?
  • What are the alternative courses of action?
  • Is the procedure routinely performed in this practice setting?
  • What safety measures do you have in place to support the procedure (for example, in the case of an emergency, or to prevent and control infection)?
Page last reviewed September 23, 2019