A patient of mine, knowing I write weekly blogs, came in the other day with a suggestion. He felt an important topic is the time and effort an esthetician puts into each and every patient. He related his story to me, and I had to agree that I have heard similar stories over the years.
I think it may be common practice to spend little time on a consult with a new patient, perhaps not really hearing the concerns and even fears they may have. I have a tendency to run over my allotted consult time on a regular basis, but I feel there is no use treating a patient who is neither well informed nor comfortable with me or the procedures I am recommending.
It is important to find out the history of the condition, find out what has been attempted so far to rectify the condition, find out what they are currently using for a home regime, and even make sure their ability to cleanse, moisturizer and protect their skin is appropriate. I ask them to visually show me how they wash their face, whether it is in the shower or not and how they apply post cleansing products. Although there are some hard facts, customization when it comes to home care is essential to each patient.
Also important is the patient’s lifestyle. I won’t recommend a home care regime that is more than 3-4 products if they aren’t the type to follow through. Likewise, if they live far away, they won’t benefit from treatment where they need to be in the clinic every other week. It is my responsibility to find the right course of action to suit the condition and the patient as an individual. If I get stumped, I can ask one of our wonderful dermatologists or one of the other medical estheticians.
Along with lifestyle come financial restrictions. Certainly in an ideal world, I would choose the best treatment for each condition. However, a patient may not have the means, and an alternate suggestion appropriate for the health of their skin must be considered. Where some clinics may try to influence the patient to purchase beyond their means, creating a sense of buyer’s remorse, I try to work within the restrictions they may have, to instill a confidence that I have their best interest in mind. The bottom line: treat every patient the way you would like to be treated.
My patient felt he was just being pushed around, rushed into treatments where he wasn’t exactly sure what they were, and felt more like a number instead of an individual. My goal at TDC is to treat every patient like my only patient and when they are in the room with me, they are!
~ Sheri Roselle, Medical Esthetician at Toronto Dermatology Centre