I recently interviewed my dear friend, Becky Kuehn, who provides advanced oncology training for estheticians, salons, and spa owners so they can confidently care for clients who are battling cancer or experiencing side effects from treatments during all stages of cancer. If you’re looking to advance your esthetic career – I highly recommend becoming an oncology trained esthetician. Milady’s sought Becky out to write the oncology skin care chapter in the advanced edition. Yep, Becky knows her stuff and is all about helping estheticians advance their education.
One thing you need to know about Becky – she is one of the most compassionate, loving, knowledgeable people I have ever met.
During our conversation, Becky shared what brought her to oncology, what estheticians need to know when working with cancer patients and survivors, and how you can become a successful oncology-trained esthetician:
Why Get Oncology Trained As An Esthetician?
It’s no coincidence that Becky gravitated toward this specialty. She was diagnosed with cancer a long time ago and personally experienced the physical and emotional journey a cancer patient has to go through.
She has been doing oncology esthetics work in one hospital for nine years, and in another for almost seven years.
Becky understands the needs of her oncology clients to feel beautiful and cared for, despite the struggle so they can have the courage to take the next step forward.
She finds it tremendously rewarding to help her oncology clients move through that emotional space of feeling down, unseen, and unheard. By making them feel “taken care of,” she changes the situation for her clients so they have a more positive outlook. It’s about making a difference. It’s about kindness.
For Becky, becoming oncology trained is not just about picking a lucrative niche. She’s passionate about oncology esthetics and truly cares about her clients. Becky is a cancer survivor herself and this makes her stand out and distinguishes her from similar courses. Becky remains humble though – she encourages you to take as many classes on the subject as you can. I can tell you from my own experience – if you are interested in getting oncology trained, Becky’s three day class is a life changer. I have taken her class three times and learn something new each time. The take-aways from class will improve your skills with other health related issues that effect the skin. It’s an eye-opening experience about other auto-immune diseases and skin. I personally love the way Becky teaches. She is honored and respected in the esthetic industry.
What Estheticians Needs To Know About Oncology
If you’re considering working with cancer patients in your practice, there are a few things you need to know.
Oncology is actually not as “niche” as you might think. There are 14.2 million cancer survivors in the US in January 2017 – so it’s highly likely that some clients who walk into your practice are battling or have survived cancer regardless whether you specialize in oncology or not.
When such clients walk into your spa, there are specific questions you need to ask to help customize a treatment for their specific needs.
Since many of these clients are undergoing cancer treatments, which takes a toll on the body, you’ll need to pay attention and ask a lot of questions to avoid contra-indications when delivering skin treatments.
Besides physical conditions, we also need to be mindful of the psychosocial and mind-spirit-emotion aspects when delivering facial treatments to cancer patients.
Remember, a person diagnosed with cancer is going through a lot. That precious time spent in your treatment room or spa gives them a reprieve from their challenges and an opportunity to relax and recharge.
How To Introduce Estheticians To Doctors And Cancer Patients
Becky’s organization has been working hard to bring more awareness on how our work as estheticians is bringing positive changes to cancer patients.
Since founding Oncology Spa Solutions in 2013, she has worked tirelessly to pave the way and open doors so more estheticians can now work in hospitals and cancer centers. Estheticians are also getting more referrals from doctors and medical professionals. Becky will help you align with doctors and hospitals in your community once you have completed her course.
In addition, Becky has recently been asked to teach Continue Education classes for doctors and nurses, further raising the awareness on what we do.
These medical institutions and professionals are very open and excited about introducing estheticians to their patients because we can help them in ways that conventional medicine cannot.
Not to mention, the side effects of many cancer treatments can be so debilitating that some patients could lose their will to fight because of the many physical changes. Our work helps make them become more positive in their psychology.
It’s our job not only to treat our oncology clients but also to help spread the awareness so more medical professionals know what we can do for their patients.
As industry leaders, it’s our responsibility to raise the bar, make our services part of the culture, and let consumers know how we can help create positive impacts in their lives.
How To Become a Successful Oncology-Trained Esthetician
So what can we learn from Becky and her success as an authority in oncology esthetics?
Regardless of what you specialize in, you need the basic business skills – I recommend taking classes and training so you will know how to become profitable in your business.
Next is to make sure you’re constantly working on yourself. Do an esthetician success audit to see where you need improvement. Your outer world won’t grow if you don’t expand your inner world.
The more you know yourself, the more you have the ability to know others. Being empathic and compassionate are definitely positive attributes for us estheticians so we can better connect with our clients and build trust.
That’s particularly true if you’re working with cancer patients. By listening and showing your care, you’re giving them the emotional support that will effect amazing changes at the end of a one-hour treatment – and that’s the best reward you can give yourself.
In our conversation, Becky said, “You love, you give, and you do, and hope that it has the meaning that it needs to.” The ability to help others in all stages of cancer, gives us the passion and reason to be better at what we do.
Of course, you need to learn the specifics about the different oncological treatments and conditions, so you can ask the right questions and avoid contra-indications during your treatments.
Thankfully, you don’t have to do your own research, hunting and pecking from different sources and then translating the information into esthetician talk.
Becky and her wonderful trainers at Oncology Spa Solutions have done the legwork for you.
Check out their upcoming training courses as they share their knowledge all over the country.
I’m truly grateful for the work Becky is doing through her organization. I hope this post has helped you expand your understanding and knowledge to get inspired and become an oncology-trained esthetician!