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Patient consent in the aesthetics industry – are you protecting yourself?

While the UK has traditionally lagged behind the US when it comes to medical litigation, this appears to be changing. Litigation rates in the NHS and Private Practice are now reported to be rising by 20% every year.

Needless to say, this affects all of us working in the aesthetics industry. If you’ve been practising for a while, you’ve probably noticed the gradual increase in your indemnity costs year on year.

So in this climate of increasing litigation, what can you do to protect yourself?

Improving the patient consent process

A substantial proportion of medical litigation cases hinge on the issue of patient consent. So examining and, if necessary, improving the way you manage this crucial part of your practice is essential to safeguard yourself against future problems. 

Broadly speaking, in medical litigation cases the proceedings will focus on two questions:  

  • Were the risks of the procedure fully explained to, and understood by, the patient?
  • Were the risks, and the patient’s understanding of the risks, recorded accurately in the patient’s notes?

So it’s important that your approach to both these parts of the process is as efficient as possible.

Approaching patient consent for non-surgical procedures 

Taking a sufficiently thorough approach to patient consent will benefit both you and your patients.

For your patients, a better understanding of the benefits and risks of a treatment will help them to make a more informed decision. And for you, detailed, accurate and – importantly – legible consent will reduce any risk of litigation.

Here are five steps you can take to protect yourself and your business:

1. Information packs

Send out an information pack when patients enquire about a particular treatment. This should outline the treatment process, recovery period any possible complications, and include contact details they can refer back to should they have any concerns after treatment.

2. Discuss and document

During a consultation, take time to discuss all the pros, cons and potential risks of the treatment, and crucially, make sure you document this in the patient’s notes.

3. Seek specific consent for photos

Under standard medical practice guidelines, practitioners must not show before and after photographs to other patients or publish them without specific written consent from the patient. If photographs are taken, obtain specific consent from your patient to use them – ideally on a dedicated form.

4. Detailed patient consent form

Make reference to your information pack in your general patient consent form. On the form, specifically ask the patient to confirm they have read and understood the information pack. And make sure you ask patients to sign a new consent form before each and every treatment. 

5. Detailed patient notes

A patient’s notes should reflect the detailed discussion that took place before their treatment, so be as thorough as is practical. Patient notes should also be used to document the completion of each stage of the consent process.

As aesthetic professionals, we need to ensure we spend sufficient time educating patients about the risks and benefits of treatment before going ahead – and documenting everything we’ve discussed.

Rushed and incomplete consultation notes leave us vulnerable to litigation (warranted or not), so it’s impossible to be too thorough when it comes to keeping patient records. New technology (apps, tablets) has allowed many of us to streamline the process, and this may be a good investment for your practice. But whichever tools and methods you choose, diligence and detail are key.

Cosmetic Courses provides all delegates with access to downloadable consent form templates and other useful documentation. For information on training with us, give the team a call on 01844 390110 or email ask@cosmeticcourses.co.uk.

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Posted on January 26, 2015 by: CosmeticCourses

Microdermabrasion training – how it could boost your business

As someone who wants to build a successful business, you need to be sure your aesthetic training will be a good investment.

Most medical professionals we train start with basic Botox and dermal fillers. And if you’re thinking of making the move to aesthetics, this is absolutely the best place to start.

As the two most popular non-surgical treatments in the UK, Botox and dermal fillers are likely to form the core of your business. Learning how to perform Botox and filler treatments safely is essential if you want to hit the ground running in your aesthetic career.

Some of our delegates decide to stop there. Huge demand for injectable treatments means it’s perfectly possible to make a great income from offering Botox and fillers alone.

But if you want more from your practice, you’ll want to diversify.

Why train in Microdermabrasion?

Microdermabrasion treatment makes a great addition to any aesthetic practice. As a deep exfoliant, it complements injectable treatments (rather than doing the same job), which allows you to provide a more comprehensive service to your existing patients.

You can also use microdermabrasion to attract business from a whole new client base seeking minimally invasive rejuvenation treatments.  

Microdermabrasion is also an extremely cost-effective treatment to perform. Once you’ve trained (£350 + VAT) and invested in your microdermabrasion machine (prices vary, but are usually very affordable), the consumables used for each treatment are very inexpensive.

The treatment is usually charged out at around £60 per session, and many patients will want to book a course of three or six treatments with you in order to get the best results. 

As an added bonus, at Cosmetic Courses our Medical Microdermabrasion training is offered in combination with Chemical Peel training, so you learn two new techniques in one session!

How often do our Microdermabrasion courses take place?

Our courses usually take place once a month. Our next available date is January 22nd.

Where do we offer Microdermabrasion training? 

We currently offer Microdermabrasion training at our fully equipped aesthetic clinic at the Paddocks, Bucks but we may be able to offer training at other centres in future. Keep an eye on our Facebook page or Twitter for updates.

For any more information on our Microdermabrasion training courses, please contact the team on  01844 390110 or email ask@cosmeticcourses.co.uk.

 

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Posted on January 15, 2015 by: CosmeticCourses

Advanced Botox and filler courses – what’s covered?

Are you a medical professional considering offering Botox and filler treatments to your patients? You may be thinking about, or have already undertaken, foundation Botox and filler training.

But if you’d like to offer a more comprehensive service and be able to perform more specialist techniques, advanced training will help you take your career – and your earnings – to the next level. 

What techniques are covered in advanced Botox and filler courses?

Stage 1, or foundation, Botox and filler training offers a comprehensive grounding in the techniques for performing upper face Botox treatments and peri-oral dermal fillers.

These are the most popular applications, so once you’ve completed training you’ll be equipped to offer basic anti-wrinkle treatment to your patients straight away.

But deciding to take your training a stage further with an advanced course allows you to broaden your repertoire and perfect more specialist techniques.

Different training providers will have different approaches to their advanced training, and specific course programmes will vary. But to give you an idea of what you can expect, here’s a brief outline of what we cover on our advanced Botox and filler courses: 

Advanced Botox techniques

  • Chemical brow lift
  • Mentalis treatments
  • Treatment of platysmal bands
  • Cheek and jowl lifting
  • Upper chest treatments
  • Hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) treatment

Advanced dermal filler techniques

  • Vermilion border enhancement
  • Cheek augmentation
  • Cross hatching techniques
  • Extended linear threading techniques
  • Advanced peri-oral sculpting
  • Combined filling – using different strengths of product to achieve optimum results

The emphasis of our advanced training is very much on practical hands-on experience, letting you focus on any areas requiring extra guidance and tuition.

The goal of advanced training is to equip you with the necessary skills to take a more holistic approach to treating your patients. Rather than simply targeting lines and wrinkles, you’ll be encouraged to pursue complete facial rejuvenation using more nuanced techniques. For example, adding volume to the mid-face area, sculpting the jaw and cheeks, or giving a subtle lift to the eyebrows.

Cosmetic Courses is one of the UK’s most established aesthetic training providers. Since 2001, our expert trainers have offered a wide range of aesthetic training, including Botox and filler courses, microdermabrasion and chemical peel, Dermaroller, PRP Therapy and more. For information on our training courses, please contact us via ask@cosmeticcourses.co.uk. You can also join us over on our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter for updates.

 

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Posted on January 9, 2015 by: CosmeticCourses

Top 10 tips for marketing your aesthetic business

If you’re thinking about making the leap and setting up in business for yourself, it’s important to consider how you can differentiate yourself from your competitors.

Here are 10 key steps that, if you do them well, will help your aesthetic business stand out from the crowd.

1. Optimise your website

Your website will often be the first point of contact prospective clients have with you. In this regard, it’s  your ‘shop window’, and a reflection of your business. Think about the impression you want people to have about your business. Distil it down to a few key adjectives that you’d like to define you – knowledgeable, competent, professional, friendly, helpful, etc – and make sure your website is all those things.  

2. Make the most of social media

Whether you’re a fan or not, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, etc are great tools for building a personality for your brand. Posting regular and relevant content is great way to keep in contact with your clients, and encouraging them to share and interact with your posts is a great way to broaden your reach – and potentially find new clients.

3. List in directories

Well-written directory listings that really showcase your business, and make it easy for people to contact you, are a must. Make sure your business is listed in all the most important directories, including the generic (Yellow Pages, etc), but also any good industry-specific directories you can find.

4. Consider joint ventures

Think about which kinds of companies may be open to opportunities to work together, and make contact with them. For an aesthetic business, companies that work within the beauty industry but offer different treatments are a great place to start (nail bars, hairdressers, etc). Organising joint events or having reciprocal offers for your respective clients are two simple ideas you can both benefit from.

5. Create extra special offers

Everybody likes to feel they’re getting a good deal, but it’s easy for people to feel jaded by the same old 10% off deals. Create unique and irresistible promotions – perhaps taking the opportunity to introduce people to a treatment they haven’t had before – and market them wherever you can. 

6. Advertise wisely

Whether sticking to local printed publications or investing in online and other media, make your message count. People are bombarded by advertising all day, every day, so make yours memorable! Striking imagery goes a long way in print, so if you can afford to use a great designer it should be well worth the investment. Consider including a special offer code so you can track the advert’s success.

7. Encourage referrals

This is something that many of your less marketing-savvy competitors may not consider. Think of some great ways you can incentivise your happy clients so they have even more reason to recommend you to people they know. 

8. Use emails

Maintaining an up-to-date client mailing list is free, yet extremely valuable for your business. Sending out regular updates and offers by email (but not so often that people unsubscribe – around once every two weeks is a good guide) is a great way to stay in touch with your clients and let them know about any new treatments they may be interested in. 

9. Embrace blogging 

Posting weekly content on your own website not only lets Google know your site is being regularly updated, but also provides plenty more information to help the Google bots when it comes to ranking your site for relevant search terms. Blogs are a great way to easily add new content, and if you can, try and make yours so interesting that people feel compelled to share them!

10. Post in forums/information sites

Creating profiles and making regular useful contributions to aesthetic forums and information sites is a great way to build your credibility as an aesthetic professional, and boost the reputation of your aesthetic business.

 

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Posted on December 18, 2014 by: CosmeticCourses

3 great reasons for dentists to take a Botox training course

Are you a dentist looking for more from your career? Perhaps you’d like to continue using your practical skills and aesthetic eye, but in a new way – and increasing your income in the process?

At Cosmetic Courses, we’ve spent the last 12 years training dentists and other medical professionals to perform non-surgical aesthetic techniques. Some were looking to offer aesthetic treatments part-time alongside their existing practice, and others were looking for a complete career change.

If you are a dentist thinking about your next move, read on to find out what aesthetic training could do for you.

The top 3 ways a Botox training course could enhance your career

 1. You can offer Botox treatment as an additional service to your dental patients

Some dentists we train are looking to add Botox and dermal filler treatments around the mouth to their existing portfolio, so they can enhance the dental service they provide. Treatment to add volume to lips, improve nasiolabial folds and reduce marionette lines can be combined with dental treatment to give patients a more dramatic improvement to the entire mouth area. This is probably the ‘easiest win’ as it represents a brand new revenue stream from your existing client base.

 2. You can attract a whole new clientele looking purely for aesthetic treatments

Non-surgical procedures like Botox and dermal fillers can attract new patients who would not have come to your practice for dental treatment alone. These patients may come to you for aesthetic treatment in the first instance, and once they have built up a relationship with you, may also choose you for their dental treatment. Expanding your aesthetic repertoire further to include treatments that complement Botox and fillers, for example Dermaroller and Chemical Peels, will give your patients even more reasons to keep coming back to you. 

 3.  You can train up colleagues within your practice to perform the techniques

When you have completed your own Botox training course, you will be able to instruct your fellow dentists in the techniques. Lots of our dental delegates at Cosmetic Courses have gone on to train other dentists and hygienists within their practice in non-surgical treatments.

Having more colleagues trained in the techniques will not only increase your capacity to offer aesthetic treatments at your practice, it’ll give you the flexibility to go off and learn more aesthetic techniques while your colleagues ‘hold the fort’. You’ll also be better placed to respond to patient demand, adjusting the balance of your dental and aesthetic appointments to meet patients’ needs. If more people are looking for aesthetic treatments than dental appointments, you’ll be able to accommodate them – and crucially, have a constant revenue stream.

For more information on our Botox training courses, or any of our programme of aesthetic training courses, please contact the team on 01844 390110 or email ask@cosmeticcourses.co.uk.

 

 

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Posted on December 12, 2014 by: CosmeticCourses

Spotlight on Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy

Before it came to prominence as the ‘Vampire Facelift’, Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP Therapy) was quietly being used for other applications in general medicine.

The technique has historically been used for a surprising number of clinical treatments and surgical procedures. These have included treating problematic wounds and facial bone defects, as well as cosmetic surgery.

In its latest incarnation, as an increasingly popular non-surgical aesthetic treatment, Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy uses the regenerative properties of a patient’s blood plasma to induce skin rejuvenation. 

What does Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy involve?

The first part of the treatment involves taking a blood sample from a patient’s arm. This sample is then spun in a centrifuge to isolate the dense platelet-rich plasma that will form the basis of the treatment.

A numbing cream is liberally applied to the patient’s face, and the specially isolated plasma is injected into the face. This can be all over, or targeted at specific problem areas. After treatment, the patient’s skin may be slightly red, but this is usually all.

The reinjected platelets are rich in beneficial growth factors, which they release into the skin. This encourages the fibroblasts to produce more collagen and elastin over time, which helps to stimulate repair and regeneration of the skin.

After a course of Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy (three sessions is recommended), a patient’s skin will gradually begin to look more radiant and youthful as the treatment continues to work.

How about the side effects – are there any?

The beauty of PRP Therapy is that because it uses no synthetic products, just the patient’s own blood cells, it is extremely safe to administer. Most patients tolerate the treatment very well, with the overall risk of side effects such as bruising or swelling very low.  

The benefits of Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy for your practice 

PRP Therapy is a safe, effective rejuvenating treatment backed up by clinical data. Several studies, including one in the Annals of Dermatology in November 2011, have concluded that the treatment can activate fibroblasts and lead to new collagen formation.

It is a very low-cost treatment to perform once you’ve invested in a centrifuge, as it requires minimal supplies for each patient. A course of three PRP Therapy treatments is usually charged out at around £600, making it an extremely profitable addition to your practice.

Training in Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy can be completed in one day and costs only £295 + VAT. To find out more about adding PRP Therapy to your repertoire, please contact our team on 01844 390110 or email ask@cosmeticcourses.co.uk.

 

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Posted on December 2, 2014 by: CosmeticCourses

Want to pay less for non-surgical treatments? Model for us

Would you like to receive the highest quality non-surgical aesthetic treatments at a discounted price?

At Cosmetic Courses, we train medical professionals in a wide range of non-surgical treatments. In order for these doctors, dentists and nurses to learn the techniques, we require models who are happy to receive treatments in a training environment at very reduced rates. 

We’re always looking for reliable people to add to our model database. Would you like to join them?

Becoming a model

We recently added a Models section complete with online Model Registration Form to our revamped Cosmetic Courses website. Everyone who is interested in non-surgical treatments is welcome to apply by completing the form.

On the registration form, you can specify which non-surgical treatments you’d like to model for, and which centres you can travel to, and if chosen to attend a course you’ll receive your treatment for a very reduced fee. All treatments are performed in a clinical setting by medical professionals under expert supervision. 

What are the benefits?

Registering to become a model is completely free. As well as receiving a huge discount on a wide range of anti-ageing and rejuvenating non-surgical treatments, you can also benefit from flexible dates and times which often include last-minute appointments, and receive expert advice from our experienced trainers. 

How much does treatment cost?

You can typically expect to pay around 50% of the usual price for any treatment. 

Which non-surgical treatments are available?

We currently have the following treatments available: 

Where can I have treatment?

Treatments are available at each of our three training locations: Princes Risborough in Buckinghamshire, Alvechurch in Birmingham and Stalybridge in Manchester.

Who will perform my treatment?

Treatment will be performed by one of our medically qualified course delegates (doctor, dentist or nurse), under very close supervision by our expert trainers. Our courses take place in fully functioning clinical environments, so you can be completely confident you will receive the very safest treatment.

How many times can I be a model?

There are no limits to how many times you can model for us. Once we know you are reliable, we’ll be happy to contact you whenever we have a requirement.

If you’re interested in non-surgical treatments, and would like the highest quality treatment without paying a premium price, it’s well worth adding your name to our list of models.

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Upcoming Courses

We are currently looking for models for the following courses in Princes Risborough:

  • Friday 28th November – Lip fillers 
  • Wednesday 3rd December – Anti-wrinkle injections and facial fillers
  • Thursday 11th December – PRP Therapy
  • Friday 12th December – Dermaroller
  • Friday 12th December – Lip fillers
  • Saturday 13th December – Hyperhidrosis, cheek and lip fillers

If interested in any of these dates, please register your interest here. Alternatively, you can contact us on 01844 390110, email ask@cosmeticcourses.co.uk or get in touch via our Facebook page.

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Posted on November 26, 2014 by: CosmeticCourses

We’ve improved the Cosmetic Courses website for you

If you’ve visited the Cosmetic Courses homepage lately, you’ll notice it looks a little different. Our redesigned website was finally launched on Friday 7th November.

The new site launch is the culmination of many months of planning and good old-fashioned hard work by our team, so we hope you like it!

Our aim with the site was to provide you with easy access to useful information and resources to help you at every stage of your aesthetic career.  

What’s new?

Here’s a quick summary of the changes we’ve made:

a) Members Area

Our brand new Members Area is a private area accessible only to our delegates. It’s the new home for our downloadable support materials, which includes patient and treatment information, as well as handy template forms that are ready for you to print and use in your business.

There’s also a section with job listings for new delegates. We always say our relationship with our delegates doesn’t end when their training does. So we’ve included a jobs board to offer practical help for new delegates to kickstart their careers by landing their first role in aesthetics.

We’ve also created a new forum which will act as a community for our delegates, allowing you to network, exchange ideas, ask and offer advice, discuss business opportunities, and more. Because it’s new, there’s not much activity just yet – so feel free to go over and start the ball rolling!

Finally, a ‘My Account’ section allows you to view your recent orders, manage your shipping and billing addresses and edit your password and account details. 

b) New Downloads

To make it easier than ever to find out more about our courses, you can now download a Cosmetic Courses Brochure, as well as our individual Course Programmes, with a click of your mouse.

c) Models Section

One of the things that sets us apart from other training providers is our commitment to provide live models for all our courses. To help us maintain a great pool of reliable models, we decided to create a specific section where prospective models can find out more about us and our training. If they’re keen to go ahead, we’ve made it easy for them to register their interest with an online registration form.

d) Information on the National Cosmetic Network

The NCN websiteThe National Cosmetic Network (TheNCN.co.uk) is our sister website. We developed this clinic finder site to give all new delegates who have set up in business a way to let their prospective clients find them. Everyone who trains with us is entitled to a free 6-month listing on the NCN after completing their training. If you haven’t yet claimed your listing, see here for more information on how to get listed.

We’d welcome your feedback on the new site. You can let us know what you think by emailing ask@cosmeticcourses.co.uk, or leaving a comment on our Facebook page. 

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Posted on November 20, 2014 by: CosmeticCourses

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