Are you planning to reopen your office?
As it was predicted four months ago, we are today going through one of the most challenging moments in history. A moment where we are facing death closer than ever, but at the same time, returning to work is essential to prevent an economic crash.
Now that we need to coexist with this virus and we Permanent Makeup artists are at a high risk of acquiring and transmitting COVID 19, it is imperative to learn how to do it safely. This is why in this Blog I have summarized, rearranged, and added some points to the recommendations made by the Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals.
Important: We should not admit clients to our office until local authorities have granted permission. Take into account the geographical location where you are so you can assess your possibilities, click here to see a map with COVID-19 cases by state.
PREPARING FOR REOPENING YOUR OFFICE
Consider offering only brow tattooing and avoid other procedures, especially lips, due that this procedure poses the highest risk of transmission.
- Consult with an insurance company regarding COVID-19 liability as it concerns artists and businesses, employees, and clients.
- Avoid paperwork while in the office.
- Get an e-sign system.
- Prepare all paperwork for electronic usage, including the aftercare instructions.
- Add information to the informed consent form with the precautions taken by the office regarding COVID-19.
- Determine a payment structure to avoid handling cash, checks, or credit cards—preferable prepaid on your website.
- Update your website information with all changes you made.
- Send emails to existing clientele explaining your protocol changes and what clients should expect.
- Ensure there is a sufficient supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) and cleaning/disinfecting supplies before accepting clients
- You should use N95 or KN95 face masks. The client can use the same ones or facial masks with three layers. You must review the correct use of the face masks.
- Acrylic face shields.
- Disposable aprons, caps, gowns, and shoe covers.
- Paper towels
- Plastic bags (for clients’ items if they are not leaving these items in their car)
- Small ziplock bags (for the client’s reusable mask)
- Hand soap
- Hand sanitizer
- EPA-registered disinfectant wipes and liquids.
- Prepare an area for cleaning face shields.
- Establish written protocols for cleaning and disinfection.
- Make sure that the facility has a handwashing sink with soap, available to both artists and clients.
- Some are considering the use of an air purifier with HEPA filtration to reduce the level of exposure in the procedure room; they should be effective for viral filtration.
- Remove all brochures and magazines from tables in waiting rooms.
- Conduct consultation virtually
- Create a client checklist to include their personal and family members’ health, quarantine, travel, and COVID-19 exposure history, including the results of any testing performed.
- Provide the information packet and informed consent with the precautions that you are taking within the office to prevent the transmission of COVID 19.
- Clients can complete forms online with an auto sign and prepay in your website if available.
SCHEDULING THE APPOINTMENT.
- Schedule clients with enough time between procedures to have time for cleaning, disinfecting, and preparing the office between clients.
- Confirm the client with anticipation to prepare all materials before she arrives.
- Make sure to inform the client that she needs to come alone and wait in her car until called and wear a mask before entering the office.
- Twenty-four hours in advance, confirm appointments personally by phone and review current and the past 14-day health history, including possible exposure incidents.
PREPARING YOURSELF FOR THE PROCEDURE
- Take care of any phone calls necessary before your client arrives.
- Do not use phones while clients are present.
- Wash your hands for 20 seconds with warm water and soap.
- Use one disposable apron, cap, and mask per client.
- Do not wear long sleeves.
- Wear a face shield.
- Do not wear jewelry.
- You can wear exclusive-use shoes in the office or use disposable shoe covers
- Use gloves during all faces of the procedure, change them accordingly to prevent cross-contamination, not only with COVID 19 but also with other bloodborne pathogens.
- Do not shake hands or kiss the client.
- The client should place all belongings, including purses, cell phones, into a plastic bag.
- Complete paper forms if not using an electronic signature.
- Instruct the client to wash her hands for 20 seconds with soap and warm water.
- Then she needs to change the mask that she wears for the one provided by you, and she needs to wear a disposable gown and disposable shoe covers.
- Take your client’s temperature. An increase in average body temperature of 98.6°F (37°C) is considered fever.
- Take the before pictures.
DURING THE PROCEDURE
This is one of the moments of the highest risks of contagion because you are closer to your client’s face for at least 40 minutes.
- Make sure that your nose and mouth are covered as well as your client’s.
- Talking should be kept at a minimum.
- Avoid touching the face shield and mask.
- Keep all protocols on how to conduct procedures safely.
AFTER THE PROCEDURE
Discard materials used during the procedure and change gloves.
Take the pictures.
The second-highest risk of contagion is when removing the mask, the disposable apron, and the face mask. So you must do it in the order listed as follow.
- Once your client leaves your office, remove your face shield, put it in the proper place for cleaning, then remove the disposable apron without shaking it, roll it up gently, and discard it immediately. Remove your gloves.
- Wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and warm water.
- Remove your mask: Do not touch the front of the mask with your hands, bring the head forward and down, take the two straps with your hands, gently remove it and discard it immediately.
- If you work with other people, wear a new mask.
Using a new pair of gloves, clean /disinfect your office, including door knobs, clipboards, pens, sinks, restrooms, and procedure areas.
Return to work safely is very important for you, your family, and your clients. Do it responsibly.
Dr. Sandra Cardona