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The Importance of Advanced Education in Medical Esthetics
By: Terri Wojak
Posted: January 29, 2010, from the February 2010 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
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Estheticians must have a working knowledge of the medical treatments performed in the practice, which typically include injectable fillers, neurotoxin inhibitors, laser treatments and often, cosmetic surgery procedures. Most commonly, they will perform treatments, such as facials, microdermabrasion and superficial peels. It is important that estheticians know how to appropriately space esthetic treatments between medical services, and also know what the patient should do before, during and after medical procedures.
One of the most important duties of estheticians in a medical practice is to give primary comfort to the patient. It is critical that patients are treated more gently than usual after medical treatments and that they are constantly made to feel more at ease. This is especially important because surgical procedures can be extremely distressing for many. More often than not, patients become loyal clients and trust the esthetician because of the comfort and help received during this stressful time.
There is also a significant difference in the level of professionalism needed to work in the medical field. Patients are accustomed to dealing with medical professionals who must take everything that they are doing seriously. Patients need to feel confident that they can trust estheticians when they are performing higher-level treatments. There are also professional standards to uphold, such as Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations. HIPAA was passed by Congress in 1996, and one of its provisions concerns itself with patient confidentiality. OSHA was created by Congress in 1970, and its mission is to prevent work-related injuries, illnesses and deaths by issuing and enforcing regulations for workplace safety and health. OSHA standards relating to a medical office differ from a typical spa environment, and must be learned before starting any position in a medical environment.
A rewarding career
Working as an esthetician in a medical practice can be rewarding both professionally and financially. The evolution of the esthetic industry is still taking place at full speed, and it is the responsibility of estheticians to keep up-to-date on the latest advancements, and to continue their education as needed. The ability to perform stronger, more effective treatments under the direction of a physician can provide a sense of accomplishment. Along with this, there are financial benefits, as well. Those skin care professionals working in the medical field earn an average of $7,000 more annually than a traditional esthetician.*
Estheticians must work hard in order to be taken seriously in the medical community by upholding the highest standards of education and professionalism.