There’s a bunch of new safety measures that clinics around Australia are adopting. To assist surgeons, clinics, practitioners, nurses, therapists and all other staff to ensure a safe clinic, a number of societies, institutes, colleges, and the like have created guidelines, checklists, decals, images, and other material to help clinics transition into their new norm.
The Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS) and the Australian Society of Cosmetic Dermatologists (ASCD) have joined forces and devised several guides, including a comprehensive COVID-19 SAFE COSMETIC INJECTING GUIDE 2020 for clinics that provide injections. The Cosmetic Physicians College of Australasia (CPCA) who had put out an initial guideline for doctors to get ready to return to practice are now reviewing and making additions to protect the public and protect the staff more, as the easing of restrictions has come about. The President of the CPCA Dr Michael Molton stressed “we should now become more vigilant than before and not allow complacency to set in. This should include the use of the COVIDSafe App and documenting more about the types of deep-cleansing that is happening between patients.”
There are also many educational resources that have been released and are available for clinicians and salon owners. The ones that we know of is the Safe Clinics initiative by The Australian Dermal & Laser Institute (TADLI) and the COVID Pack by the Aesthetic Practitioner Advisory Network (APAN). These include courses and Checklists with processes that need to be adhered to ensuring that patient safety and consultation is of paramount importance in these changing clinical times.
The New Normal at Beauty Spas and Clinics
While the various states will implement their own plans, it should be safe to say that the safety measures outlined below, would have a lot in common regardless of the state.
Plastic Surgery Hub visited a well-regarded clinic in New South Wales to observe these new measures in action and we can say that the new measures are both practical and reassuring.
What New Measures You Can Expect
Your appointment will be made in advance, with all your relevant contact details recorded. You can attend the clinic with or without a face mask, as this is a personal choice. When you arrive at a clinic, you can expect to be encouraged to disinfect your hands and that your temperature be taken.
As a guide, you would want your temperature to be under 38 degrees. If you do record a high temperature your cosmetic treatment will be rescheduled. You would then be strongly encouraged to contact your medical provider, or nearest fever clinic or Covid-19 testing centre.
Assuming your temperature is within the normal range, the appointment should proceed. The other obvious change you would notice is the waiting room, or reception area as it should be markedly less crowded. Unnecessary clutter should be cleared, and the seating is noticeably more spaciously arranged. Personally, I’m loving that!
The New Look Clinical Reception Area Experience
The reception staff will then provide you with a printed form containing a range of questions. If you don’t have a pen to fill in the form, you will be handed a clean pen to use. The questions will include asking if you have experienced or are currently experiencing any of the symptoms of Covid-19. These symptoms include (though are not limited to) a sore throat, shortness of breath, any other respiratory symptoms, or a recent loss of sense of smell.
You are then asked if you have recently travelled overseas or if you have had any contact with a known or suspected COVID-19 patient in the past two weeks. You will also be asked if you reside in, or have visited a known high-risk area with a cluster of cases. You will also be asked if you have recently tested for COVID-19. If you have, then you would need to specify the: Date, Time and Result of that test.
With Your Injector / Clinician
Once consulting with your injector, he or she will be wearing a face mask. You will be asked to thoroughly clean your face, or it will be swabbed clean for you by your practitioner. As the vast majority of cosmedical clinics in Australia practice a very high level of hygiene, your treatment will then be as usual. You should also be asked not to touch your face for a given period of time such as 30 minutes to one hour after your treatment.
The Perspective From An Injector & From A Plastic Surgeon
According to Registered Nurse and Injector Brooke Francisco from the Layt Clinic, her clients have found the new measures extremely reassuring. “For staff however, there is a much greater effort and amount of time that goes into carrying out the detailed safety plan. But these measures are obviously very important and entirely sensible.”
Dr Nicholas Moncrieff, Specialist Plastic Surgeon at Hunter Plastic Surgery says that the team is so happy that life is gently returning to a ‘new normal’. “When this started none of us really knew how long we would be closed but we took a guess of reopening on 1 June… and it turns out we were bang on!”
“The government and industry guidelines around the resumption of surgery and non-surgical services are measured and appropriate,” added Dr Moncrieff. “The last thing any of us wants is a second wave. So we are steadily working towards the 75% limit of clients for the next month or so and hopefully Australia will continue to keep that curve flat so we can go to 100%.”
“A gradual return means I’ve got a few more weeks to get my surgery fitness back up, without the gym it has been hard to stay as strong as I need to. It might sound strange, but as I perform so much liposuction for fat transfer in breast surgery or sculpting in body surgery, I have to make a bit more of an effort with weights at home. I’d almost forgotten what a work-out surgery can be!”
Loving these changes
Personally, we are loving these changes. Makes us feel safe. Not sure when my first appointment, but I cal feel a lash extension coming on.