Client Relationships in Aesthetics
The practice of aesthetic medicine is a relatively new field. Unless you came into this fresh out of school in the last few years, there’s a good chance that you have a very different medical background. Maybe you took medical histories in the ER, kept records as a school nurse, or never talked to your patients because they were under anesthesia in the OR. Wherever you came from, I can promise you that the provider and client relationships in your aesthetics practice will be like nothing like anything you have experienced before. “How so?” you may ask. “I’m still an M.D., N.D., N.P. R.N., P.A.” or whatever alphabet soup fits you. “I’m still providing medical treatments.”
You are still you, but the rapport and emotional connection that your aesthetic clients will develop with you is vastly different. Remember, they came to see you for something about their appearance that is distracting to them. They haven’t had hours of chest pain, a missed immunization, or their gallbladder removed. They came to you with absolutely nothing “wrong” with them. In fact, they’re probably in excellent health. Aesthetic medicine is often more about a want than an actual need. You never had to run an ad to get that chest pain patient into your ER, the student sick as a dog into your OR, to remove a diseased gallbladder. We have to entice our clients to come see us – and balance that with preservation of their self-esteem and self-worth.
Things can get complicated. How do we get our patients in the door, let them know they’re beautiful just like they are, and still provide the services they crave? For me, it’s one of the best parts of the job. I encourage every client who sits in my chair to find something beautiful about him or herself and to love and embrace that every day. Maybe it’s her eye color, his smile, her ankles, his abs. Whatever it is, if you as a provider help them see that, you will have a client for life. Then we can help them to take care of the “11” between their brows that makes them feel they look tired, the sagging cheeks they feel makes them look older, or the dark hollows under their eyes they feel makes them look exhausted.
In aesthetic medicine, we give patients the freshest version of themselves. There is a psychological benefit to freshening the face. When we look happier, younger, and more rested, we actually begin to feel that way. You are the magician that holds that power, and you must use it for good, not evil!
Of course, we all want to make an honest living here, and there’s nothing wrong with seeking abundance, but be careful what you wish for….your biggest ad is a client who tells the world you are her injector! What happens when he or she thinks, “ if a little made me look that good, would more be even better?” Remember Gertrude McFuzz by Dr. Seuss? We’ve all seen overdone injections.
What was once available to only the rich and famous is now also seen at the gym and grocery store. Your reputation is on the line here. I tell my clients, “once I put a needle in your face, it’s like signing a work of art, and I don’t want my name on bad art.”
I have worked with a particular client for over four years. She came to me originally with overdone lips and wanted me to “fix” them. My advice was to dissolve and start over. So we did. She returned about nine months later with the same over-inflated lips for me to “fix” again.
There began the journey…I tried to fix her lips, but she didn’t want to dissolve her filler again. I also encouraged her to wait several months and let some wear off. Over the next several years, we went round and round with her treatment. Small amounts of filler, dissolving agent, more filler, more dissolving…the circle continued. She is a client I should have let go early on because I was never going to satisfy her.
Sometimes when we have such differing tastes and desires from our clients, it’s best to send them to someone who may give them what they want – especially if you don’t want to have your name on a particular look.
Fortunately, clients like these are the exception, not the rule. The majority of your clients will be incredibly grateful for what you do, will remain loyal to you forever, and many will become your best friends. I can’t say I ever went to happy hour with any of my old patients from the ER. All in all, the world of aesthetics is one of the most gratifying I have experienced in my 35+ years of nursing.
If you are wondering what the next chapter in your career might be, aesthetic nursing might just be the answer for you as well!