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In order to provide suitable treatment to your clients, a successful consultation must first take place. Once your client’s expectations have been established and discussed, then it is important to consider your client’s suitability for treatment.
Suitability for treatment includes completing a medical history that will alert you to potential contraindications for treatment. This part of the consultation will also cover more holistic avenues, such as their motivation for treatment. If the treatment is to treat an embarrassing condition, the likelihood is they will be very motivated to comply with aftercare advice, and a treatment plan (additionally, assessing their expectations, and effective communication and assessment throughout the treatment plan will reinforce this). However, if the treatment is to provide a solution to an issue that ‘doesn’t bother them that much’ – the likelihood is (often dependant on results and rapport with your client) this client may not see through the entire treatment or plan. This is obviously a generalisation and depends on the issue and treatment.
Moreover, it is also worth considering the potential for clients to have been coerced into having treatment – maybe by a friend, partner or co-worker. When you complete a thorough consultation and discuss your client’s expectations, it should become evident at this point, what their motivation for treatment is. If your client is vague it is worth considering if they have been coerced. This is when it is helpful to have a ‘cooling off’ period, so the client can consider the treatment without commitment.
Clients have been known to attend appointments with someone who is coercing them into treatment, and this person may attempt to answer your client’s questions. Sometimes this may be due to extreme embarrassment. However, the relationship is between you and the client and therefore, they must be able to answer and ask their own questions. In situations like this, it may be worth asking the attending person to wait outside. It is always worth considering the potential for this client to be a vulnerable adult if they are being coerced or bullied by another person.
In addition to their medical suitability, it is worth considering other factors which will impact on the results – social history;
Once these points have been covered (providing expectations are realistic, and your client is suitable for and wishes to proceed to treatment) then a treatment plan can be outlined. This should include details of the treatment itself, cost and commitment(s), likely outcomes, aftercare advice and contact details.
Clients should be given a copy of these details to take away and review in their own time out of the clinical setting, with details of how to find further information if required.
Reassessing your client’s expectations at each appointment thereafter will serve to ensure compliance and satisfaction for both you and your client. For this, I recommend including additional time to ask questions like ‘have you seen a difference/improvement’ – and other leading questions, which will encourage your client to tell you about their perception of results (note, this can be quite different to your perception of results! Before pictures are imperative to assess this without bias). This should then follow on to discuss your clients compliance with any aftercare advice given and their healing rate etc. and the treatment plan can be tailored as required to suit your client as an individual. Thus promoting a holistic client journey, and continued satisfaction.
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