Helping Patients Overcome Needle Phobia
- - April 4th 2014
In all your years of practicing medicine, you have probably never met anyone that actually enjoys getting needles. Most people look at needles as a necessary evil. However, for about ten percent of the population, the dislike of needles goes even further, becoming a phobia. Patients who are actually afraid of needles to this extreme may avoid even necessary medical procedures, vaccinations and blood tests just because they cannot handle having a needle inserted into their skin. As you can imagine, these patients are much less likely to volunteer for cosmetic procedures like BOTOX® and dermal filler injections. Think about it: that's about ten percent more business you could have in your clinic if you could just help these patients overcome their fears.
For most people, the thought of getting a needle in their face is even worse than the thought of getting a needle in the arm. Even patients who can grin and bear it as they get arm injections will balk at the thought of getting a needle in their face. This could send that ten percent number soaring even higher when it comes to cosmetic procedures.
One of the most important ways you can reassure your patients and potential patients about getting cosmetic injections is by assuring them they will not feel anything. Even though a needle is only a small pin prick, it does cause some pain. Some cosmetic injectables come with an anesthetic already in them, but many do not. This could include your favorite products and the products that are needed for a specific application. In these cases, you can apply a separate anesthetic to your patients' skin, in the form of an EMLA™ cream.
EMLA™ contains both lidocaine and prilocaine, two effective anesthetics. They block the nerve signals to your patients' brains so they cannot feel the injection pain. Your patients will feel much more relaxed knowing that although they will be getting injections in their face, they will not be able to feel them.
You can also help your patients relax when they are facing their needle fears by playing soft music in the background or by giving your clinic a more spa-like rather than a clinical atmosphere. You can tell your patients to close their eyes during the procedure so they do not see the needle coming, or even give them dark glasses or goggles to block out the sight. However, it is best to consider this for each individual patient, because for some the fear of what may be coming could be even worse than what is actually happening. Assess each patient one-by-one.
Once you find your current patients are more relaxed during their cosmetic procedures, it is time to reach out to the needle-phobes in your neighborhood. Advertising painless cosmetic treatments can give you an advantage over your competitors for the average customer, and it could bring in some of the the timid needle-phobes you want to reach. That ten percent of missed potential business could be a big boost to your clinic's bottom line this year.
Relaxing music CD? Check. Seaside art on the wall? Check. EMLA™? If you don't have any in your clinic, it's time to pick some up. Use this clinical must-have to improve patient satisfaction with all your clinic's cosmetic procedures. Happy customers? Check!
You can buy EMLA™ from Medica Depot HERE.