Frequently Asked Questions

Please choose from our categories of answered questions or view our recently answered questions below.

Recent Questions

Recent Answers

Category:
December 30, 2011

1. Could you please post a message explaining if your commission is taken from the retail price of product or if they deduct the wholesale cost first. Please take a moment to do this so that I can prove that it is paid on the retail price. Thank You!

In the spas and in our office, commission is always taken from the retail price. Most offices commission rates range from 10 to 20% (assuming your markup is 100% of the wholesale price). This allows the office to pay additional shipping and handling charges on each product and clear a reasonable profit margin.

Category:
December 30, 2011

2. Can anyone share the in’s & out’s of non-compete agreements?

When a physician or anyone hires you and you are working in their office and on their patients or clients and you decide to leave – or you are dismissed, those contacts that you have made belong to the physician or your place of employment as well as their charts or personal information. This is done to protect your boss. The compete clause may ask you not to work within a certain mile (usually 7 mile) radius of the office. This is not unusual in any line of business. A salon would not like you to take the clientele that you have worked on either-it may be the choice of that patient/client may want to follow you but you are not allowed to contact that person.

A lawyer once told me that they may not be able to take recourse on us in as much as you are not making more than that doctor or boss and are not interfering in his total livelihood.

As for the Society’s stance – non-compete clauses are between you and the physician we do not have a statement on that.

Category:
December 30, 2011

3. How can a nurse interested in skin care treatments get the training that she needs to perform these procedures?

One does not need to become an Aesthetician to perform skin care treatments but if you do want to, then you need to contact your State Cosmetology Board to locate reputable schools in your area. Most medical skin care companies have a sales rep or educational training program that they would only be too happy to come to you or you go to them and they will explain skin, product knowledge, usage and procedures necessary for you to feel comfortable in performing treatments. This is only when you have been hired by a physician. This is true when it comes to lasers or any injectables that you may want to learn the companies have educational programs. By joining and attending the SPSSCS meeting held annually, you will learn a lot more on what to implement in your new practice. We do at times offer training courses in injectables for nurses and you will also receive CEU’s for your attendance.

Category:
December 30, 2011

4. What is the consensus on tipping with in a Medical Spa? We at one time accepted them but the doctor now does not want to have her pts. feel obligated to tip. I am not talking about the nurses I am only talking about the Estheticians and spa services. I have a house full of unhappy technicians.Any comments or ideas? Thank You!

Response #1: I don’t think the patients need to feel “obligated” to tip, but certainly if the technician (aesthetician or nurse, if they perform the same service) does a good job and the patient wants to show his/her appreciation, then by all means, tipping should be acceptable. When mixing “spa” and “clinical” there needs to be a blend, especially if the facility’s decor and ambiance suggests something other than your basic exam room. I think that if the facility has the connotation of “spa”, then tipping, in “spas” around the world is the acceptable thing to do. I am amazed that physician’s want the “spa” atmosphere, but will not allow their employees to be compensated extra by the patients in the traditional sense of a salon atmosphere. After all, you can call any facility by any name, (medical spa. salon, clinical skincare) but when it comes right down to it, you are performing COSMETIC PROCEDURES in a salon atmosphere! A physician should feel complimented and proud that he/she has quality staff that the patient’s appreciate and revere as professionals in the true sense of the word, and want to show their appreciation by tipping. I would worry if the patient’s didn’t at least ask about tipping, as that is a reflection of the quality of service they are or are not receiving. Also, remember that tips need to be reported as income and must have all applicable taxes taken out of the employee’s payroll. – Bea Hunter, Past President, SPSSCS

Response #2: Our facility maintains a “no-tipping” policy in order to separate ourselves from a traditional salon/spa atmosphere. We feel that it is important for us to project the image of a medical treatment facility and that tipping does not fit in. However, I have spoken to facilities that do allow their staff to accept tips. This can become a difficult issue when adding cosmetologists and estheticians to a medical staff because “tips” are an anticipated part of their income in a salon/spa environment. Also, you run into a problem if nursing staff is added. Do you begin to allow the medical staff to accept tips as well?

I recommend that the physician reevaluate the importance of maintaining a “tip-free” environment versus keeping the staff happy. If it is extremely important to them that tips not be accepted, I would recommend raising the commission or pay base comparable to what the technician would be paid in an area salon for the same treatment including a tip. The technician will compensate for the tip income no longer given through a “tip” and the physician can maintain the atmosphere of the medical practice.

If your physician does not have strong enough conviction to compensate the technician for wages lost to the no tipping policy, then I recommend that the technicians be allowed to continue to accept the money and/or gifts offered to them in appreciation of their service. – Michelle Cox, Past President, Savannah, GA >

Response #3: While it is standard practice in most offices to not accept tips for any services, it can be difficult to stop or change an existing situation. In the new concept medical spa situation some physicians do allow tipping for “non medical” services like facials, body treatments, waxing etc.

How to deal with “unhappy technicians” is however another issue. As their perception of this change can be one of loss of income you might look at another aspect of salary compensation for them. Do they have an opportunity to receive any type of bonus program? This can be based on service, retail and performance goal achievement. Exploring ways to have your technicians not feel they have lost income and the physician comfortable with not receiving tips in the spa would be a “win-win” situation for all. – Sandra Adams, Past Board Member, Crandall, TX

Category:
December 30, 2011

5. What are the salary ranges for skin care specialists?

This is a sticky and tough question. There are a lot of different factors that are taken into account here, just like any other job we may apply for even if we weren’t in skin care. Experience is always the key. Whether we have medical skin care experience or just a new graduate will always dictate salary. It is also dependent on where you live and how busy your practice is. Do not think that because you are entering the medical skin care industry that you will make more than in a salon –that is not always true. Negotiate your salary – some are base, base plus commission, some include insurance and non-taxable benefits. Make sure you understand and feel comfortable with any contract that is given to you before you sign it. Even have your own lawyer take a look at it.

Category:
December 30, 2011

6. My membership has lapsed, is there a re-enrollment fee of some sort?

No, please submit your completed application with the membership fee and your membership will be reactivated. Remember, you must be practicing under the direct supervision of a plastic surgeon certified by or eligible for examination by the ABPS or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada to reinstate your membership.

Category:
December 30, 2011

7. How do I become a member of the SPSSCS?

The Society of Plastic Surgical Skin Care Specialists is a voluntary, non- profit organization dedicated to the promotion of education, enhancement of clinical skills, and delivery of safe, quality skin care to patients from the offices of plastic surgeons certified by or eligible to sit for examination by the American Board of Plastic Surgery or the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada. In order to become a member of this society you must be working under one of the above.

Please visit http://surgery.org/skincare/membershipinfo.php for more information on becoming a member.

Contact SPSSCS 562.799.0466 or skincare@surgery.org for a membership application or simply download an application by visiting http://surgery.org/skincare/membershipapp.php

Category:
December 30, 2011

8. I would like some advanced training in medical esthetics. What are your recommendations for schools, classes, etc.?

Currently the SPSSCS does not endorse a particular school or course for medical esthetics training. We do, however, endorse our yearly scientific program which provides 3-4 days of experts in the field of plastic surgical skin care. In addition, you have the opportunity to meet and discuss current skin care trends with individuals actively working in the field.

You may find specific dates for the SPSSCS annual meeting by visiting our website. In addition, the faculty and topics are available online prior to the annual meeting usually in January.

Until there appears to be some standardized method of evaluating medical schools, we seem to still be in caught between vendors that are training product specific and individuals teaching medical esthetics without much experience inside a medical office.

Category:
December 30, 2011

9. How do I get into the plastic surgery skin care field? Where should I go to school?

Some cosmetology schools are now including medical skin care terminology in their course load as well as have a physician or staff member from your area come in and lecture on the role of the aesthetician in the medical skin care industry. These are done sometimes in the evening or on the week-ends as extra curricular. Once you have finished your training, compile a resume and send it to the plastic surgeons in your area and follow up with a phone call to the manager of those offices. Check with your school counselors, they may also have a listing of physicians who are looking for new graduates. You can even contact some of the medical companies and they can hook you up with an office. Once you have been hired by the physician’s office you can be trained in medical skin care by medical skin care companies that the office do business with. This holds true to the laser or microdermabrasion companies also. Attend any training classes these companies or others have to offer throughout the year. Education is ongoing. If there are questions, please do not hesitate to approach your plastic surgeon for guidance in any matter – you are part of a team. You should definitely become a member of SPSSCS to gain further knowledge and support in your new field. We have an amazing group of knowledgeable people who are willing to help thru our website, newsletters and annual national meetings.

Category:
December 30, 2011

10. Where do I find a school to become an Aesthetician?

To become an aesthetician or cosmetician one needs to contact their State Cosmetology Board to locate a reputable accredited school. Even some junior colleges offer classes which leads to a degree in this area which may take a little longer. Each state has their own regulations regarding the amount of time necessary to finish your training. Once you have completed your training ,you then are eligible to sit for your state licensing exam. There are a couple of states that do not require a license, please be aware of your states’ requirements. Good luck.