The Importance Of Managing Patient Expectations

A vital skill all aesthetic practitioners need to perfect is managing patient expectations. Whether your client is a relative, a friend, or a stranger, this is the key to having happy patients. The last thing any of us wants to do is overpromise and underdeliver with medical treatments like dermal filler, so developing this ability is pertinent to running a successful clinic.

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The Benefits of Managing Patient Expectations

While it may feel like you’re disappointing your patients when they expect too much, the benefits of managing their expectations heavily outweigh the negatives if you don’t refuse treatment.

Attempting a treatment you don’t have the appropriate training for hugely increases the risk of experiencing adverse events, and treating a patient who is expecting facelift results from minimal cheek filler is only going to lead to an unhappy client.

On one end of the spectrum, you have the possibility of garnering negative reviews; on the other end you have complications that could damage the health and wellbeing of those you treat.

Patients will appreciate honesty, and are more likely to recommend you to their peers or review you positively if they feel you are mindful of their emotional and physical wellbeing. While they might not be ecstatic at being told their expectations are not realistic or reasonable, it is infinitely more important that they are safe and well.

Dealing With Unrealistic Expectations

While it might not happen everyday, every practitioner will encounter clients who have unrealistic ideas about treatment at some point. Managing patient expectations here is vital so as to avoid an unhappy patient and potentially negative reviews.

When you have a consultation with a patient who has inflated ideas about what 1ml of filler or a syringe of Botox can do, it’s really important that you are able to explain clearly what results they can expect to achieve within their budget, availability, and preferences. It may be helpful to have a book or document that contains your previous results as a reference guide, and to make the use of patient explainer videos.

In some cases, the only way to achieve a particular outcome is via surgical intervention. In this circumstance, be upfront with your client and don’t be afraid to refer them to another practitioner if necessary.

What To Do If You Don’t Feel Comfortable Providing A Treatment

If you don’t feel comfortable performing a treatment for a patient, saying as much may feel uncomfortable. Whether this is an advanced technique you haven’t mastered yet or your patient has contraindications, the most important thing here is to be honest.

If you feel your patient doesn’t need bigger lips, you aren’t prepared for an upper eyelid hollowing treatment, or they’ve approached you soon after seeing another professional, say so. Try to stay calm and collected and explain why you aren’t able to do the procedure; if you are able to, offer a compromise, like referring them to another practitioner or recommending an alternative treatment with which they may see better results.

Managing Patient Expectations In Consultation

You should always see your patient for a thorough consultation prior to treatment, and this is the perfect way to mitigate situations where they have unrealistic expectations. Get to know your patient, what they want from treatment, their budget, preferences, and most importantly, what their expectations are. This way, you can refer them to another clinician or draw out a long-term treatment plan to help them achieve the results they are looking for.

At PHI College, we advise against performing same day treatments, and recommend that a consultation appointment should be between 30 and 60 minutes in order to have enough time to properly consult your client.

Aesthetic Training

Managing patient expectations is a vital skill for any practitioner, and is one that can be developed as you practice. You can also get advice on this and many other clinical topics on any PHI College course, as each training day offers a Q&A session with the leading instructor.

For more information about our offering, you can head to our courses page or get in touch via social media or our contact form.

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