How confident are you in taking your client’s non-invasive body contouring health history?
Truth be told we’d rather provide a service than conduct an interview.
Most of us admit we feel much more comfortable providing the service than interviewing clients for contraindications. It’s not only that. Most beauty professionals tell us they feel somewhat unprepared and lack the necessary confidence to conduct a proper medical history interview because they did not get the schooling.
You work with people with many complex medical issues whether you’re an Esthetician who treats clients for medical conditions such as acne – or specialize in “luxury facials,” or a Massage Therapist who performs “medical” – or “relaxation” massages. You therefore should have the ability to identify issues and then act appropriately, meaning
- to treat,
- to avoid treatment or
- to treat with caution.
So how can you get prepared and feel confident conducting the non-invasive body contouring health history?
Use these 3 Easy Steps:
- Know what to ask & why
- Use open-ended questions
- Develop a system to research & get answers when necessary
The What to Ask
Design your own non-invasive body contouring health history form
Most beauty professionals purchased or borrowed pre-prepared health history forms ‘designed for Estheticians’ or ‘designed for Massage Therapists.’ That’s a good start, but we recommend you use at least three different forms. At a minimum, get a copy of one forms (electronic or paper) used in a medical setting, and a copy of a couple of forms (electronic or paper) from your specialty field. Review them. Decipher what you need to know and what you don’t need to know when designing your customized health history form. Keep it as concise as possible.
Specific questions vary depending on the services and products you provide, however, here’s the must-haves for all:
- Date of completion of form
- Client identification info, i.e. name, date of birth, age, gender, ethnicity, marital status
- Client contact information, i.e. address, telephone, email, emergency contact info
- Allergies, include drug, food & contact allergies
- Current medications – names & dosage and reasons for taking the med
- History of topical creams, such as retinols
- Current medical problems and/or diagnosis
- Past surgeries with dates, list any complications
- Females – LMP, birth control method, or post-menopausal status
- Client signature and date verifying all info is complete
Additional questions we like to include:
- Referral source
- Level of education/profession
- History of aesthetic treatments, such as Botox, Peels
Optional Specialty Questions
Add additional questions customized to your practice, such as:
- Current diet
- Have you had recent sun or tanning bed exposure?
- Presence of metal implants?
The Why you Ask
If you’re an experienced beauty professional, or even a new graduate, we anticipate that you know why you need to know the answers to the aforementioned list of questions. If not, email us at info@BodyContouringAcadmy.com and we’ll let you know!
Use Open Ended Questions during the non-invasive body contouring health history interview
Many times you ascertain important information that your client did not reveal in the Medical History just by using open ended questions. Open ended questions provide you with more than a yes or no answer. They require the client to provide a narrative or explanation. You should take time to listen carefully and clarify your client’s answers.
Open Ended Questions Examples:
At what age did you stop having periods?
What happens when you eat shellfish?
Compared to closed ended questions requiring only a yes or no answer.
Closed Ended Questions Examples:
So you stopped having periods?
You’re allergic to shellfish?
Next Step: Active Listening, then follow up questions.
After asking open ended questions and getting an answer, you should practice active listening, then follow up (if needed).
Active listening builds trust. An active listener makes eye contact, uses body language to show attention and empathy, and often involves brief verbal affirmations.
Follow Up Questions
You use follow up questions to explore for further information. Caution not to use close ended questions as follow up.
Example of follow up questions:
I’m sorry you had a reaction with your last glycolic peel. Will you please describe your experience for me?
So you break out in hives when you eat shellfish. Any other food allergies?
Develop a System to Research Answers when necessary
What do you do when…?
Your client lists 3 medications you’ve never heard of.
Your client has an unusual syndrome. You’ve heard of it, but know little about it.
You need a way to get answers to your questions.
In a Medical Setting
If you’re practicing in a medical office, you have resources such as nurses and doctors. Your solution is relatively easy. Develop a system within your practice to get your questions answered.
In a Spa Setting or Your Own Practice – DIY
What if you’re out on your own or practicing in a spa or other non-medical business?
Your solution is more difficult. Unless you can find a nurse or physician willing to provide you with the answers at the time you need them, you must DIY it.
Use a reliable online medical resource.
Medication Resources to consider:
You can learn about medical conditions and diagnoses on reliable sites such as Medscape, WebMD, and Mayo Clinic by searching for the diagnosis with the site, i.e. “multiple sclerosis mayo clinic,” “lupus webmd,” etc.
After you’ve completed your research, tell your client what you know and ask the client to tell you more (if needed). If you have any doubt or questions that your service or product is safe for the client, ask your client to get consent from her physician prior to proceeding.
It’s that simple. 3 Steps. But what about Non-Invasive Body Contouring? Is it different?
Non-Invasive Body Contouring Health History
Adding non-invasive body contouring to your practice brings no new concepts regarding taking a Health History. Just incorporate questions within your Health History form to address issues unique to the body contouring service(s).
Take a look at the contraindications for each service you’re offering. Consider the technology used. Think deeply about how each device works on and within the body. You may – or may not – need to add questions to your Health History form depending on your form and the treatment(s).
To learn what other forms to include in your clients body contouring record read our blog:
Visit our website at www.BodyContouringAcademy.com for more information.