What If I Make My Patient Look Worse?

Today we’re exploring a common new injector concern: “What if I make my patient look worse?”

A recent poll conducted in the Harley Academy Comma – our exclusive online student support and networking platform – asked about new injectors’ fears. Making your patient look ‘worse’ came second, ranking just behind causing a vascular occlusion.

We asked our director of education, the experienced cosmetic doctor and qualified life coach, Dr Kalpna Pindolia, for her advice.

What if I make my patient look worse - Harley Academy medical aesthetics course Level 7 injectables training aesthetics practitioner uk

“What if I make my patient look worse?”

She starts off saying “It is highly unlikely that you will make someone look worse. Remember, these treatments are temporary and do not last forever. Starting with small amounts and building up gradually will usually mean all will be ok.” 

Here are Dr Kal’s five top tips for ensuring you have the right mindset – and skillset to make your patients look and feel great!.

Explore why you think you might do this

Firstly, consider why you think you may make your patient look worse. Is it a gap in your knowledge or practical experience? In which case this is easily remedied with additional research and further aesthetics training or mentoring

Or is it a psychological confidence issue?

In order to fully understand the assignment when consulting different patients, you need to get yourself in the right mindset. If you’re genuinely scared of making your patient look worse, it’s likely you will feel overwhelming anxiety. As such, you’ll need to rationalise why, in order to achieve your – and your patient’s – goals.

Remember what you already know about ‘beauty’ and aesthetic proportions

When treating patients, you’re dealing with aesthetic ideals of beauty – ratios and proportions. 

Examine lots of varied faces to understand facial shape, proportions and dynamism. Remember you also know what you perceive as beautiful – that’s a reasonable place to start.

You can learn about ‘beauty’ and what is generally considered attractive from various perspectives, including cultural, societal, and taking into account ethnicity, gender and age-related considerations. It’s a fascinating area for further study.

Just remember, never ‘push’ your beauty ideals onto your patients keeping in mind that people come to you knowing the type of ‘look’ you are known for. Therefore, as long as you are true to yourself and your training in planning how to achieve your patient’s goals, you’re on the right path.

What if I make my patient look worse - Harley Academy medical aesthetics course Level 7 injectables training aesthetics practitioner uk1

Treat each patient as an individual and space out treatments if necessary

Whilst you learn about how to achieve ‘ideals’, keep in mind that being an aesthetics practitioner is not about making people all look the same. It’s about bringing out the best in each unique face and treating every patient as an individual. 

This involves exploring your artistic side and looking at objective evidence, which I find one of the most interesting concepts in aesthetic medicine.

When multiple treatments are involved, you can also space appointments out if you find you’re still worried that you’ll make your patient look worse. That way, both you and your client have a cooling off period. 

This approach can help to build your confidence as a new injector by giving you time between treatments to pause and reflect. You can also use this time to seek advice from your support network if you find this helpful.

Forget aesthetics trends

Don’t be tempted to start offering the latest treatments or performing the newest injecting techniques, especially without proper training. 

Forget trends – especially when you’re starting out in aesthetics. If anyone asks for these types of treatments, such as Russian lips or razor sharp jawlines, feel free to refuse treatment. 

You do not have to deliver anything you are not comfortable with. This includes treatments you are simply unfamiliar with or are not yet confident in delivering, whether trending or not.

Your practice can be about timeless, classical beauty and enhancing your patients’ look in subtle, elegant ways. There is a huge market out there of people simply wanting to maintain their current look as they age, despite what the likes of Instagram may lead you to believe!

Clinical consultation What if I make my patient look worse - Harley Academy medical aesthetics course Level 7 injectables training aesthetics practitioner uk 3

The better the consultation, the better the outcome

Listen to what your patient wants to achieve and why. The ‘why’ is often the most important factor as it can provide insights into their true motivation for treatment. You can then explore this with them and tailor your recommendations accordingly. 

The more you listen and allow your patient to open up, the more appropriate the outcome is likely to be. So never scrimp on your consultation time!

In the end, getting an outcome that pleases both you and your patient is about shared, responsible decision making coming from an in-depth consultation. Should you decide to treat, the outcome for you, as a new aesthetics practitioner, should include experiencing the joy of surging self-confidence after achieving their goal. You did that!

Interested in finding out more about how to forge a successful career in aesthetic medicine? Join our Open Evening for live advice from our founders, including how they made the jump from the NHS to full time aesthetics roles and the mindset you need to have to make it in this industry. They’ll also answer your questions as well as providing information about our training options and how to find the best aesthetics course for you. 

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