The most important skill in when setting up your botox and dermal filler based business.
By Dr Tim Pearce, MBChB BSc (Hons) MRCGP
When I’m training the aesthetic doctors who work for SkinViva, we spend a great deal of time working around the things we do before we get down to treatment. The single most important skill to master as you set up your aesthetic practice, is the skill of the consultation.
There is no benefit in being the worlds best injector of botox and dermal fillers, if you don’t have the ability to assess their needs and expectations, discuss and explain your recommendations, side effects and risks.
In our course we teach a full stepwise system that covers all the key aspects of a good aesthetic consultation, but the 4 key steps are really quite intuitive.
Identify the underlying need
The first is, spend time understanding what it is that the client is unhappy with. If they start (as they often do) by saying, ‘I’d like three areas of botox’ you really haven’t got a clue what they really want. Three areas of botox is simply a tool that they believe will get them what they want.
You cannot effectively manage a client until you have defined their real need. Until this is done, all of your other skills are useless.
Once they have admitted what it is they really want as a result, you can match your skills to that, and only then will you have a chance of meeting their expectations, which are the next thing that need defining.
Our treatments are expensive, and therefore people expect to see a great big difference. It’s vital to spend time explaining what to expect after the treatment. Both in terms of side effects and results. If this is done well, the rest of the process is far easier, even if you do get a side effect such as a big bruise. This is obviously all part of a good consent process, something that is legally required.
Consent process is much more than a form that gets you out of trouble in the event of being sued- indeed there are no guarantees that it will have any such effect! The consent process is something you would do even if there was no such thing as a being sued, because it’s about making sure you are doing an appropriate treatment and that the patient has been mentally prepared to some degree as to the different outcomes possible, including bad side effects.
A huge bruise that you new was possible but hoped wouldn’t occur, is much less upsetting than a huge bruise you had never anticipated was possible. The shock of a side effect that you were not expecting generates anger, resentment and litigation.
It’s vital that the words on the form you give to your patient are not left for them to read. These days we are all so trained into accepting terms and conditions that we happily sign anything just to move on to the next stage of the transaction. For this reason, you should verbalise the side effects and risks before doing any procedures.
There are also certain things the patient needs to know in terms of follow up or urgent medical side effects which I would class as safety netting. These are there to allow the patient with a side effect the earliest opportunity to have the problem treated. For example with impeding necrosis from a dermal filler injection, the first 24hrs are vital if there is any hope of reversing the filer before necrosis sets in.. The patient will normally develop rather severe pain within 6 hours of the treatment. They must be told to contact the clinic of this occurs, or a great deal of patients will assume it’s a normal side effect.