Medical estheticians combine expert knowledge in skin care with advanced skills in medical practice. While the esthetician may not be licensed to perform invasive procedures, she provides an amazing support system for patients undergoing medical procedures and is instrumental in the healing process.
Most medical estheticians work in hospitals or with plastic surgeons or dermatologists. These medical professionals perform laser hair removal, give injections, conduct major surgeries, etc. that are considered more invasive than topical skin care.
Estheticians become licensed after a certain amount of training, and medical estheticians receive additional training—in school or on the job—that gives them extra knowledge about medical concerns. Not only must the estheticians be trained in the usual procedures, but they must have specialized knowledge to work in a medical setting.
What Do Medical Estheticians Do?
Depending on where you work, your clients might be recovering from trauma, skin cancer treatments or major medical procedures. The esthetician might perform laser hair removal or laser skin rejuvenation, or might give patients medical facial peels before or after surgery.
If you work with an oncologist, your patients will be recovering from cancer or undergoing chemotherapy. You’ll teach them how to care for extra-sensitive skin and how to maintain their appearances during treatment. If you work in a hospital burn unit, you might teach patients how to apply makeup to cover scarring. If you work with a dermatologist, you’ll help patients suffering from skin and hair diseases.
You’ll most likely be working to restore the patient’s appearance or maintain the skin at the highest level possible. Your most important job as a medical esthetician is to work closely with patients to help them reduce stress and feel more comfortable after a major change in their lives. This requires an understanding of what they’re going through medically and personally, and skill in handling whatever comes up in these stressful situations.
Benefits of Working as a Medical Esthetician
Medical estheticians have access to advanced technologies and tools in a doctor’s office or hospital. You’ll have the opportunity to perform highly-effective procedures that can’t be done outside a medical setting. You’ll learn new techniques as they’re introduced, and have access to products that aren’t available to mainstream estheticians. This brings a fascinating complexity to your work as you learn new things and enhance patients’ lives.
When you work with a plastic surgeon or licensed dermatologist, you’re more than an employee. You’re a collaborator in patient care. Your knowledge and experience matter, and your opinions count. This kind of close working relationship shows you’re a person the patient can turn to for understanding and support, which may be even more important than your skills with equipment and procedures.
No matter where you work or how you specialize your training, your job as a medical esthetician is sure to be exciting and satisfying. You’ll be an important partner with both patients and with medical professionals, applying your esthetician skills to unique challenges.