Medical Spa MD: It's the Cook's Fault... Not the Stove!

Throughout Medical Spa MD you can read posts from dissatisfied patients on their procedures and disgruntled employees on their previous place of employment.

The most recent post I read tonight was from "Warning Others", a former employee of American Laser Centers, and there seems to be quite a few on that chain of medspas! These types of reviews can be found anywhere on the web including the most notorious site, RealSelf, who banishes all practitioners not deemed worthy of performing aesthetic procedures (i.e., non plastics and non derms), and  Plasmetic Forums, to mention a few.

In the American Laser Clinc employee's post, they made one statement that really should be expanded upon and that was the comment that "VelaShape does not work".  They went on to say that "all (of) the customers were very unhappy with their results - even after the recommended 6 treatments". In the same paragraph, W.O. stated they "didn't see any customers who were completely hair free either. Yes, some did see hair reduction, but no complete hair loss. I also saw my co-worker burn a lot of customers (and the clinic manager wouldn't report it!)".

This really concerns me and it should you too if you are a practice owner or director.

Equipment in the hands of a practitioner is only as good as the practitioner is trained to be. It doesn't matter if it's a laser lipo unit or microdermabrasion machine. I know, for a fact (as it has happened in my own practice) that the VelaShape does work. Really well, actually. I've seen it with the technicians who studied the technology and worked hard at obtaining positive results for their patients. We had to fire an employee who didn't take the treatment seriously and didn't strive to be the best at what she did. Not only does your technician need to be trained and enthusiastic, they also need to be monitored by YOU (the owner or director). Patient results need to be sampled and individual charts reviewed to assess the technician's skill and clinical outcomes.

Take, for example, our VelaShape technician. She is a massage therapist knowledgeable of musculature anatomy, and possesses strong hand techniques required to perform an optimal treatment. She is responsible for maintenance on the unit giving her a sense of ownership of what she does. She is also the liaison between the company, the rep, and our medical spa. Everything goes through her (with me being cc'd of course). On top of all that, I review her patients from time to time even treating them myself to make sure her techniques are where I feel they should be and patient satisfaction is high. Ownership and teamwork make VelaShape successful in our practice.

The same philosophy is even more true with laser hair reduction/removal. Many estheticians are afraid of burns, so they step back on laser settings sometimes not even following the skin typing requirements and standard parameters. While they may feel "safe" from a burn, they aren't treating the patient at the therapeutic level for optimal results. In the end the patient won't be happy either way, whether they were burned, or whether they obtained poor results. Bottom line is, it looks bad for you.

If you're not doing so already, any technician handling any device should be constantly monitored and retrained to ensure they are operating the devices as safely and efficaciously as possible. They should attend company sponsored courses or the rep should be brought back in to ensure policies and procedures have not changed, or treatment modalities wavered.

If your technicians can't comprehend the fundamentals and technology of the procedures they perform and the repercussions that could arise should they operate equipment improperly, perhaps they would benefit from the materials soon to be offered here on MedicalSpaMD, The Medical Spa Aesthetics Training Course and Study Guide or an advanced aesthetics course offered in a beauty academy.

One final comment, any technician who feels they are not being properly trained and that their clients are being cheated out of a good result for their procedure should walk like W.O. did. 

Author: Paula D. Young RN runs internal operations and training at Young Medical Spa and is the author of the Medical Spa Aesthetics Course, Study Guide, and Advanced IPL & Laser Training course for medical estheticians and laser technicians.

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