All treatments begin with a consultation where the practitioner asks the client a series of questions about their aesthetic ideals, medical history and motivation for treatments. This is an opportunity for the practitioner to ensure that there are no reasons why it would not be advisable for the client to have a treatment (e.g. contraindications).
The consultation process should cover the following:
- Identifying patients concerns.
- Checking patients medical history, including current medications.
- Thorough examination to validate patients concerns.
- Explanation of the cause/physiology behind the patients concerns.
- Offering solutions (treatment options) to the patient, including information on costs, downtime, aftercare, frequency of visits, pros and cons of each solution.
- Check that the patient understands your key messages.
- With your assistance, allow the patient to decide which treatments to proceed with.
- Decide jointly on a treatment plan and manage patients expectations.
- It is important to keep detailed records for every patient, including updated patient record forms and consent forms. These must be updated and signed by the patient at every subsequent visit. Should there be a medico-legal complaint post-treatment, you will need these records to defend yourself.
Tips for a successful consultation:
- Always stay professional
- Be supportive, polite and respectful
- Be sensitive and empathetic
- Maintain eye contact
- Use body language
- Observe patients body language
- Positive attitude
- Follow GDPR guidelines
- Be professional when dealing with sensitive information
- Respect patients confidentiality.
- Are there any contraindications?
- Establish the clients usual skincare or medical routine.
- What are the requirements for the treatment?
- Are the client’s expectations realistic?
- Establish skin analysis where necessary.
- Fill in a consultation form, making note of relevant information.
- Explain the benefits of the treatment to the client.
- Discuss costs and any changes the client may need to make to their usual routine.
As Medical Aesthetics procedures are initiated by the patient, it is essential to recognise the complex psychological milieu. Body dysmorphia disorder (BDD) is very common in Aesthetics Medicine and many psychic disturbances can be concealed, this could affect comprehension of goals, benefits and complications.
The STEP approach for psychological assessment:
Stress: Identify patient’s stressors and their importance (e.g. Glabella lines). Ensure that you can see those stressors and make sure they are realistic, not exaggerated.Ensure you have the right treatments and can meet expectations
Target: Let the patient target and prioritise speci c treatment areas. Ensure target is realistic and achievable. Focus on one target at a time
Envision: Ask patient to envision how their self-perception, emotions and life would be different or better after a treatment. Fantasy? Realistic? Can you deliver?
Proactive: If goals are clear, realistic and achievable, be proactive and devise a specfic treatment plan for the patient.