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The author, Silvia Sanchez, graduated from the University of Alberta with a B.A. in Psychology and has over 15 years of experience in the career-consulting field.

careers and employment,ego defense mechanismss,mental health,personal growth,psychology,work issues

Don’t take it personal! It was just an Ego Defense Mechanism

Take a closer listen…

Emotions run high during times of stress, unfortunately, not everyone has good communication skills. It is important to understand why those around you may be dealing with stressors differently than you.

Take a look at the different Ego Defense mechanisms you or others may be employing to deal with current events.

1. DENIAL: The refusal to accept reality or fact.

Example: People refusing to isolate post travel.

2. REPRESSION: blocking unacceptable thoughts, feelings or impulses.

Example: Temporarily stepping away from all social media accounts.

3. PROJECTION: Putting undesired thoughts, feelings, or impulses onto someone else.

4. DISPLACEMENT: Taking your feelings or impulses about one person and putting them on another person or object.

Example: Having a fight with your friend when you’re frustrated by an unrelated matter.

5. REACTION FORMATION: A situation where a person saw their true feelings or thoughts to be unacceptable and reacts by taking the opposite stance.

6. RATIONALIZATION: Changing your view in the face of a new reality.

Example: Changing your views as we learn more details about COVID-19. Last week you were not practicing social distancing, this week you are.

7. SUBLIMATION: Channeling unacceptable impulses into acceptable ones.

Example: Jogging to burn off negative energy.

8. REGRESSION: Reversing to an early stage of development in the face of unacceptable thoughts, impulses, or circumstances.

9. INTROJECTION: This happens when a person takes on the ideas or voices of other people .

10. IDENTIFICATION: This occurs when a person changes facets of their personality to be more like others.

11. COMPENSATION: This occurs when people overachieve in one area to make up for failure in another.

Ego defense mechanisms at work.

These sometimes-ugly reactions can appear at work. The thing to remember is that ego defense mechanisms are unconscious ways of dealing with stress, so when you recognize them in others, don’t take it personal! Instead, show them you understand their fear and your relationship will grow.


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Personal Services Standards Review Section 2- Personal Services Workers’ Duties

Canadian spa industry standards

You are now at Section 2 of the Personal Services Standards and Regulations by Alberta Health. Section 2 deals with worker hygiene, hand hygiene and glove use, service assessment, cleansing service areas, and post care instructions.

The review of Section 2 could not come at a better time with the outbreak of the coronavirus. We are all responsible to prevent the spreading of disease.

Section 2- Personal Services Workers’ Duties

Personal Services Worker Skills and Knowledge

2.1 Personal services workers must be familiar with, and be able to demonstrate an understanding of:

2.1.1  the requirements of these Standards, as applicable to the personal services and activities the personal services worker performs;

2.1.2  injury and infection risks related to the personal services and activities they perform;

2.1.3  manufacturer’s instructions for safe use of the equipment, disinfectants, and cosmetic products that they use; and

2.1.4  facility- or business-specific written procedures applicable to the personal services and activities they perform.

*ESG NOTE: Service Providers should be aware of contraindications to all the services they offer to avoid injury or infection. Intake forms that ask the right questions can help to keep your eyes open for potential incidents.

Personal Services Worker Hygiene

2.2  Personal services workers must maintain good personal hygiene while performing personal services or reprocessing.

2.3  Clothing worn by the personal services worker must be visibly clean at the start of the service.

2.4  Personal services workers with communicable infectious conditions must either refrain from performing personal services, or take necessary precautions to prevent the spread of infectious conditions to clients.

Hand Hygiene and Glove Use

2.5 Hand hygiene must be performed by the personal services worker:

2.5.1 before and after every personal service;

2.5.2 before putting on gloves that will be worn while providing a personal service;

2.5.3 following the removal of gloves that are worn while providing a personal service; and

2.5.4 after reprocessing.

2.6 The use of alcohol-based hand rub for hand hygiene is only permitted when hands are visibly clean.

2.6.1  The alcohol content of alcohol-based hand rub must be 60% to 90%.

2.6.2  Alcohol-based hand rub must have an NPN or DIN issued by Health Canada.

2.6.3  The personal services worker must follow the following steps for the use of alcohol-based hand rub:

2.7 Handwashing with soap and warm running water is required when hands are not visibly clean and must be done in accordance with the following steps:

2.8  Handwashing must not occur in any sink that is used for equipment reprocessing, unless there is a written procedure that personal services workers follow to appropriately clean and disinfect the sink area between reprocessing and handwashing activities.

2.9  Gloves must be worn when personal services involve hand contact with mucous membrane or broken or punctured skin.

ESG TIP: If your gloves are uncomfortable, go down a size!

2.10  Gloves used while providing a personal service must never be reused and used gloves must be discarded.

Handwashing Supplies

2.11 Sinks used for handwashing must be equipped with soap, warm running water, and a sanitary option for drying hands.

Point of Service Risk Assessment

2.12  The personal services worker must assess the condition of the client’s skin, hair, nails, teeth, or body as applicable for signs of infection, infestation, or irritation prior to performing a personal service.

2.13  A personal services worker must not perform a personal service when a client has signs of a skin, hair, nail, tooth, or body condition that could compromise that client’s post- service healing.

2.14  Prior to performing a personal service, the personal service worker must ensure that the equipment to be used as part of the personal service is visibly clean and in good condition and repair.

Cleansing and Antisepsis of Skin and Mucous Membrane

2.15  Personal services workers must follow the written procedures for the cleansing of skin and mucous membrane and the application of antiseptic products.

2.16  Cleansing of the client’s bodily area where the personal service will occur must be performed prior to any service that may involve contact with mucous membrane, or that will puncture or may potentially break skin or mucous membrane.

2.17  When a personal service involves the puncture of the skin, an antiseptic product must also be applied after skin cleansing.

2.18  Antiseptic products must have either a DIN or an NPN issued by Health Canada.

2.19  Personal services workers must follow the instructions for use that accompany an antiseptic product.

Post-Service Care

2.20  Personal services workers must provide clients with verbal and written care instructions following any personal service that punctures the skin or mucous membrane.

2.21  Personal services workers must follow any post-service client care instructions that are specified by the manufacturer where energy-emitting equipment is used in a personal service.

2.22  Dressings used to cover broken or punctured skin must be new and clean.

2.23  Personal services workers must follow the facility-specific written procedures when a client’s skin is accidently cut or punctured during a personal service.

If you are new to the beauty industry and are operating a home business, we recommend our Canadian Spa Industry Standards course to ensure that your business meets regulatory requirements and obligations for the protection of public health and your growing business.


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Personal Services Standards Section 1- Operators’ Duties

protocols and procedures

The newly amended Personal Services Standards dictate:


Personal Services Worker Skills and Knowledge

1.1 The operator must ensure that personal services workers have the skills and knowledge to:

1.1.1  Follow labeled instructions for use of disinfectants and antiseptic products.

1.1.2  Classify equipment in accordance with Standard 3.6 of these Standards.

1.1.3  Follow the written procedures required under Standards 1.5, 1.6, and 1.7 of these Standards.

1.1.4  Where applicable, follow the manufacturer’s instructions, or alternate written procedures approved by an Executive Officer, for the safe use of energy-emitting equipment or cosmetic products.

1.1.5  Where applicable, follow manufacturer’s instructions for use of piercing guns, steam sterilizers, and instrument washer-disinfectors.

*ESG NOTE: It is up to the business owner to ensure that all staff have a functioning level of the English language and will be able to understand written instructions on all tools and equipment.

ESG TIP: Include a section in your interviews that allows you to assess a candidate’s English reading skills. For example, ask them to pair disinfectants with their intended use based on the instructions on the bottle. This may seem out of the ordinary but it may go a long way in protecting your business. A simple mistake can have reverberating consequences.

Notification to Regional Health Authority (RHA) 

1.2  The operator of an existing personal service business must notify the RHA of:

1.2.1  the name and contact information of the operator of the business;

1.2.2  the address and location information where personal services are/will be provided; and

1.2.3  all personal services and activities that the business currently offers.

1.3  Operators of all existing personal services businesses must complete the requirements under Standard 1.2 within three (3) months of these Standards coming into force.

1.4  The operator of a personal service business must notify the RHA prior to offering any new personal service, or performing a new activity as part of a personal service.

*ESG NOTE: The RHA in Alberta is Alberta Health Services. Remember, these amendments are coming into effect JULY 1, 2020.

Written Procedures

1.5 The operator must ensure that facility-specific written procedures are established that describe steps for:

1.5.1 when applicable, the cleansing of skin and mucous membrane and the application of antiseptic products;

Personal Services Standards 1.5.2  post-service care for personal services that involve puncturing skin or mucous membrane;

1.5.3  client care in the event of an accidental skin cut or puncture;

1.5.4  where applicable, decontamination of any sink that will be used for both handwashing and equipment reprocessing;

1.5.5  where applicable, operating and maintaining a mobile sink; and

1.5.6  if performing sterilization, actions to be taken following a failed sterility indicator or unexplained physical parameter change.

1.6  For the purpose of requesting approval from an Executive Officer, facility-specific written procedures are required when an operator intends to allow personal services workers to:

1.6.1  use energy-emitting equipment or cosmetic products in a manner that is inconsistent with the manufacturer’s instructions; and

1.6.2  perform immediate-use steam sterilization.

1.7  In addition to the requirements described in Standards 1.5 and 1.6, operators of mobile businesses must ensure that business-specific written procedures are established that describe steps for:

1.7.1  hand hygiene;

1.7.2  transportation that ensures the separation of clean from contaminated supplies and equipment;

1.7.3  handling of single-use, porous, and uncleanable equipment;

1.7.4  reprocessing of reusable equipment;

1.7.5  cleaning and disinfection of client service areas; and

1.7.6  storage at a base of operations.

1.8  Written procedures must be reviewed, and revised if necessary, by the operator:

1.8.1  before a new process, activity, or instrumentation related to a personal service is introduced;

1.8.2  if an injury or infection to a client occurs; and

1.8.3  if ordered to do so by an Executive Officer.

1.9  Written procedures must incorporate the applicable requirements set out in these Standards.

*ESG NOTE: Signage, signage, signage! Basically, the updated guidelines recommend that you have signs for your staff everywhere, and we couldn’t agree more. Written protocol for each service offered at your business  maintains consistency by ensuring all staff members are delivering the same level of service to all clients, at all times.  

ESG TIP: If you do not have protocols nd procedures already, create some! Sure, it’s a tedious process, but just think of it as a strong foundation for a business that will become your legacy. Once you have created your documents, call a team meeting to review the document and answer any questions.

ESG TIP #2: Review all protocols and procedures with your team once per year minimum, or as often as needed. Habits often form subconsciously and you or your team members may find that you have drifted from the official protocol. An annual meeting calibrates any deviations.

If you are new to the beauty industry and are operating a home business, we recommend our Canadian Spa Industry Standards course to ensure that your business meets regulatory requirements and obligations for the protection of public health and your growing business.


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beauty industry,beauty industry careers,botox,injectables,nurse colleges,regulations

Alberta Nurses expected to join Beauty Industry in light of massive job cuts

beauty industry resource centre

Last November, The National Post reported that Alberta Health aims to eliminate 500 nursing jobs over the next three years in an effort to find efficiency in the budget.

Not surprisingly, we have had nurses come to us for guidance on how they can use their training and experience in the beauty industry.

Nurses working with injectables.

Nurses who join the beauty industry are often interested in offering injectables. Botox and fillers are amongst the fastest growing services in the beauty industry,

Alberta Health asks 3 questions when it comes to injectables:

  1. Who can buy it?
  2. Who prescribed it?
  3. Who administers it?

If you a member of any college of nursing in Alberta (such as CARNA, CLPNA, or CPSA) you have to check with your college to see what you as a member are allowed to administer as a nursing professional.

If you want to provide aesthetic services, there are multiple medispas that hire RNs to administer injectables. For example, some spas work directly with doctors who are able to get and prescribe the injectables and the RN administers it.

Each manufacturer may have their own rules around a physician being present in the facility when injections are being administered. You will have to contact the manufacturers in question and inquire about their specific instructions.

Cosmetic Botox® and Nurse Colleges

Botox is a Schedule 1 drug and therefore requires a prescription. Once a prescription has been written, it is currently up to each college to decide whether to allow their members to administer the drug, and under what conditions.

Botox® Manufacturer’s instructions

ALLERGAN’s instructions for use of Botox generally state that injections can only be given by physicians with the appropriate qualifications and experience in the treatment and the use of required equipment.

Who can buy it?

The sale of Botox is regulated federally. Only certain health professionals can purchase this drug legally.

Illegal Cosmetic Botox

Health Canada says is very interested in any inappropriate sales of Botox®. Alberta Health asks you report any suspected illegal sale of Botox.

Cosmetic Botox® and Alberta Health Violations

Alberta Health is not proposing a policy on the use of drugs in personal service settings, but, if reports arise that Botox is being offered in an unsanitary manner, steps will be taken by health inspectors to correct those violations.

The amended Personal Services Regulation and Standards require an operator using cosmetic Botox to follow any accompanying instructions for safe use.

Alberta Health Inspectors may also take referral steps if an inspector suspected irregularity with the purchase, prescription or administration of the drug. These referrals might be to a regulatory college, Health Canada, Alberta Health or to administrators the Pharmacy Act.

Classification of Dermal Fillers

Dermal fillers (Polymethyl-methacrylate microspheres (PMMA) and Hyaluronic Acid) are neither a drug, nor a cosmetic. Rather they are a Class 3 medical device (given how far they are inserted into the body).

Sale of Class 3 medical devices

There are no restrictions placed on these devices by Health Canada as to who can sell them. Some manufacturer’s state that the fillers are only to be used by a health care practitioner.

Dermal fillers and Alberta Health

The newly updated Personal Services Standards regulate the use of fillers to require that they carry the product name, a list of ingredients and instructions for safe use. Also, any instructions for safe use must be followed by the operator.


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alberta,alberta health,beauty careers,beauty industry resource centre,business resources,canada,guidelines,personal services standards,regulations

Personal Service Standards 2020 Updates for Beauty Industry Workers

beauty industry resource centre
2020 is bringing many anticipated changes to government-regulated industry standards.

The year 2020 is bringing many anticipated changes to government-regulated industry standards.

While some occupations in the beauty industry are heavily regulated, others remain relatively unsupervised. This has led to numerous consumer complaints varying from spa and worker hygiene to severe injury resulting from negligence to Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services.

Through discussions with industry representatives, business owners, and provincial, territorial and federal health partners and stakeholders, the government of Alberta (Alberta Health) has updated previous Health Standards and Guidelines. For clarification purposes, the new updates apply to all types of personal services businesses including commercial, home-based, mobile, special-event, and vehicle-based businesses.

This article breaks down and interprets the updates into 5 sections of the Personal Services Standards guidelines.

If you are new to the beauty industry and are operating a home business, we recommend our Canadian Spa Industry Standards course to ensure that your business meets regulatory requirements and obligations for the protection of public health and your growing business.





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