Back to School—Student Clinic: In-Session Protocols

Much of what you know about sanitation and disinfection will remain in place, but there are several new considerations, including taking a client’s temperature, and working with a mask and gloves.

Student and Instructor Preparedness

  • Hygiene protocols remain standard and customary. The CDC recommends you take steps to ensure everyone adheres to respiratory hygiene, cough etiquette, and hand hygiene. Provide supplies for respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette, including alcohol-based hand rub (ABHR) with 60%–95% alcohol, tissues, and no-touch receptacles for trash disposal.
  • Gloves should be worn throughout the entire esthetic service, while performing sanitation and disinfection of all implements and surfaces after each client session, and when handling any paperwork or payment before or after the treatment. Consider disposable gloves to be made available for optional use by the client during treatment.
  • Wear a mask throughout your entire interaction with the client, from the initial greeting, screening, and interview until the client leaves the school. To further protect staff, students, and clients, consider wearing clothing that can be changed out between clients. If this is not feasible, consider incorporating disposable gowns that can be disposed of and changed between each client. Keep hair up and away from your face. All other practitioner hygienic protocols apply—no long nails, jewelry, open-toe shoes, flip flops, or sandals.
  • Avoid shaking hands with clients or hugging.
  • Treatment table and station setup will remain largely unchanged with the exception of social distancing. Linens including table padding, sheets, blankets, and client draping are changed for each client.
  • Product should be pre-dispensed onto a product pallet to avoid cross contamination. If product bottles must be handled, allow time to wipe down all product bottles with an EPA-approved disinfectant post-treatment.
  • Consider altering your menu of services and temporarily removing treatments that may put your students or your clients at risk, such as ear and nose waxing, or extractions. If you reside in a state that requires or encourages clients to wear masks throughout the treatment, prepare a COVID-19 specific menu that provides body treatments, waxing, and lash and brow treatments.
  • If using a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) purifier, make sure it is on before clients begin arriving at the school.

Client Arrival and Intake

  • Assume Universal Precautions for all client care:
  • Use a no-contact thermometer to take the client’s temperature upon arrival; ask client to reschedule if their temperature is 100°F or higher. If the client is not wearing a mask as requested during the reminder phone call or email, offer them a cloth mask at this time before continuing.
  • Initiate doorway screening checklist questions:
    • Have you had a fever in the last 24 hours of 100°F or above?
    • Do you now, or have you recently had, any respiratory or flu symptoms, sore throat, or shortness of breath?
    • Have you been in contact with anyone in the last 14 days who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or has coronavirus-type symptoms?
  • Leave time for a proper consultation and skin analysis with new clients and updates with existing clients.
  • Ask clients to use hand sanitizer (per CDC, at least 60% alcohol) before going to the treatment room and ensure that it’s applied liberally and properly. Give instructions on how to proceed with the session, including new direction on where to place clothing, the availability of hand sanitizer in the treatment room, and the cleaning protocols you want to share to put clients at ease.
  • Provide clients with a plastic, non-porous basket or bin where clothes and personal items can be placed. Avoid having clients put items in a locker or thrown on a chair that will later need to be cleaned.

During the Session 

  • Since masks may not be worn by the client throughout all esthetic procedures, consider asking your students to use their mag light and/or a face shield in addition to their mask as a barrier from aspirations between them and their client. Before and after each client, wipe the mag light and/or face shield down (including the glass, stand, cord, or plastic shield) with an EPA-approved disinfectant. Follow personal protective equipment (PPE) cleaning procedures for face shields.
  • Before leaving the clinic, students and instructors should remove gloves, apply a generous amount of hand sanitizer per CDC application guidelines (at least 60% alcohol), and use a previously readied paper towel to open and close any doors or curtains before beginning post-treatment sanitation protocols while the client dresses.

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