Q: Which Surgical Laser Training Course(s) should I choose for my Staff?
A: A.N.S.I. requires that Laser Safety Training be provided to virtually everyone that might have occassion to
work in a laser treatment room. An ANSI requirement is that ALL STAFF must have RECURRENT safety
training at least ONCE EVERY FIVE YEARS. Several levels of training then should be considered, and our
various courses cover all of these levels. The most basic is the Surgical Laser Safety Inservice for staff. This
meets your both your initial administrative requirements and is the least expensive way to meet the once
every five year reauirement. It is a short presentation on safety for all types of lasers. Your nurses or techs
that setup and operate the equipment of course need more training. Our "Laser Techs - Safety & Operation"
is available both online and included in our hands-on training. This is targeted toward the laser assistants and
team members who work laser cases - mostly in hospitals. We couple this presentation with hands-on work
on your own lasers for our one and two day in-house courses. Medical Laser Safety Officers require the most
training, and this is available both online and as a two day seminar with Certification testing.
Physician training and credentialing is usually a 3 step process involving 1) Basic Laser Science and Safety
2) Clinical training in that specialty 3) Hands-on work with lasers and then preceptorship(s) with another
physician. Our "Physician Laser Basic Science and Safety" (1 hr 45 min) online program can easily meet the
first requirement. We also conduct customized courses for physicians by specialty that would include the
Clinical training and hands-on inanimate lab orientation in that specialty.
CLICK HERE for a brochure discussing the options for general Staff Hospital Laser Training.
Q: What type of Lasers do you train on in the Repair Course?
A: If you're asking this question because you want make/model training on a specific laser - perhaps you
should not come to this course and instead talk to the manufacturer about a technical course exclusively on
your specific unit. Ours is a "vocational training" type of course for all types of lasers. Its kind of like taking
the automobile mechanics course in a vocational school. You don't learn make/model specific training - that's
what the service manuals are for. Instead you learn the common maintenance tasks that are common to all
the lasers and then you apply them to that model of laser. Like a car, you learn about engine overhauls,
carburetor rebuilds, starter changes, fuel injector replacements, oil & filter changes, etc.. You learn these
tasks generically for all cars and then apply the specifics to your make and model using the service manual
for your own specific car (laser) - they're pretty much similar. What we do cover are all the major CLASSES
of lasers including Solid State systems, Gas laser systems, Liquid Dye laser systems, and Diode types of
systems (This incorporates every single type of laser made). Once you learn how to work on lasers in one
class then you essentially have all the skills needed to work in all the lasers in that class - you just need the
specific laser service manuals (which the manufacturer is required to sell to you by federal law, and we cover
this in class). Solid State systems include Nd:Yag, Ho:Yag, Alexandrite, Ruby, Er:Yag, KTP, and others.
They all involve similar if not identical maintenance issues. Gas lasers include the ion lasers of Argon and
Krypton, CO2 lasers including sealed tube and flowing gas, and various excimer laser systems. Dye laser
systems include the CW red dye lasers, and the pulsed dye yellow light lasers used in dermatology. Diode
systems are numerous and the maintenace mostly involves the cooling and mechanical support systems. If
you want a great general "vocational" course for learning maintenance on all types of lasers, then this is for
you, and it will save you THOUSANDS of dollars yearly. If you only want to maintain one specific system
then you're probably better off contacting the manufacturer and getting their model specific training. If you
want a good foundation as a "Laser mechanic" to handle any type of laser system, then this is for you. BTW
- you can learn complete maintenance on any system eventually through this one course, but if you want
Advanced training on make/model specific lasers then alumni of this course are eligible for that more specific
training from our faculty.
Q: What levels of Repair can I reasonably expect to perform if I attend the Repair Course?
A: Of course you’re not going to be an expert after one week to fix anything, but you WILL be able to do all
the “normal” preventive maintenance, alignments and front line troubleshooting - like changing lamps and de-
ionized water, fiber alignments, inspections, power calibrations and optics cleaning and replacements. You
should even be able to rebuild the heads on solid state lasers like alexandrites, Holmiums and NdYags.
You'll be able to replace most electronic components including power supplies, although troubleshooting the
source of an electronic problem can involve some more in-depth help from our faculty (faculty backup and
help is part of what we provide after the course) or the manufacturer (from the ones that are willing to assist).
There are some of the more "complex" lasers that we'd recommend that you just stick to basic PM's and
lamp changing such as multi-head lasers, dye lasers and some of the more complex KTP (Green Light)
lasers. You can eventually build your skills and knowledge to reliably perform more in-depth work on these
more complex lasers, but you have to learn to walk before you run. The majority of lasers are pretty
straightforward. You'll be able to do most of the "normal" maintenance on these by yourself, and with a little
"over-the-shoulder" help from our faculty you can even perform many in-depth repairs on most of these
systems. We'll talk about this in more detail in class to keep you on "safe" ground when doing laser repairs.
Q: What about Hands-On Training in a Medical/Surgical facility if we take the Laser Tech / Laser
Safety Online training?
A: You have two good options. Most hospitals already have their senior laser operators or biomedical
engineers who know how to teach the panel operation and setup of the laser equipment. Combining that
capability with your own people, this accredited didactic presentation will meet both requirements for you.
OR-We do offer complete inhouse training with your own lasers if you want to schedule a one day in-house
program. If you already have the people who can teach the “push button” training on the lasers yourself, the
Online training for Laser Techs or Safety Officers will save you $ compared to our In-House courses. If you
don't have this capability then our one day In-House program is for you.
Q: Questions about Aesthetic Laser Use - State Licensing, training requirements, Laser
Certifications and Certificates of Laser Training. (Also applies to Low Level Laser Therapy)
A: You'll need to read a short article describing the differences in Licensing, Training Certificates, and Laser
and International Aesthetic Laser Association who can answer State specific licensing questions.You also
might consider joining the IALA (International Aesthetic & Laser Association) which has a legislative
committee and can provide it's members wtih any specific laws in your State. Go to
........ OR, the information in that article is put into a free 25 slide, narrated powerpoint presentation.
CLICK HERE for the slide program. You have to register with your name and email, but it's free.
Q:How do I obtain Hands-On training with lasers in Aesthetics, if I take your Online programs or
seminars with "introductory" hands-on?
A: Of course you need both in order to safely and effectively perform procedures. Before you begin working
with equipment though you really need a firm foundation on the concepts that are involved and the variables
you need to control. That's what our Online programs do for you - very well in fact. When you're ready to do
hands-on you should also realize that lasers are kind of like cars -- you first learn how to drive and navigate
the roads -- when you pick up a rental car somewhere you must first familiarize yourself with where all the
controls and adjustments are located, but you already know how to drive. Lasers are kind of the same. Don't
get too caught up in all the "buttons and knobs". They all work basically the same way (like driving a car is
the same with all models) but some have variations on the control parameters, and delivery systems may be
slightly different. Learn how to drive a laser first, then concentrate on the make/model specific features of
your unit. It is important that you receive adequate supervision for your initial hands-on clinical use of the
lasers, and these are some of the good alternatives for this after your didactic training:
1. Work directly with a more senior nurse/technician in your own office, or your physician medical director
if they actively perform procedures. If you work in a medical or aesthetic practice where cases are already
performed, this is the best of all worlds. You get quality academic training from our programs and then can
work one-on-one with a more experienced person on your own staff working with your own equipment. This is
the best choice.
2. Have one of our faculty come into your facility to work with you on clinical cases, after you've completed
the academic portions. We'll go through the "knobology" of how to run your specific equipment (we teach all
of them) and work with you on clients for actual cases to get you safely started. States vary in their
requirements for performance and supervision of such cases, and in those States requiring a physician or
licensed practitioner for supervision, you'll need to supply one of your own staff that can meet this
requirement, and we'll teach together.
3. Work with one of the Laser/IPL manufacturers clinical trainers for initial hands-on training on their
equipment. You can generally arrange this as part of a purchase of equipment, and many of the companies
have excellent clinical trainers. We would discourage you from taking this as the initial approach to your
training however, because it will be very narrowly focused on the manufacturers own equipment and
capabilities. This is a good thing AFTER you have a broad foundation of knowledge in this area, but can
frankly be dangerous if its the only training you receive. We've seen manufacturers say it's OK to treat dark
brown skin with alexandrite lasers, or remove tattoos with an IPL. IT's NOT!. It's kind of like learning to drive
from your local car dealer - they can teach you how to turn on the ignition and operate all the features of the
car when they sell it to you, but they don't actually put you in driving school to learn how to safely navigate
the roads and drive in different conditions to get to where you're going. Some companies are better at this
than others, but the point is that you do not want company based training as your initial and only training.
Get the broad base and big picture first, then work with the companies to learn to drive their equipment. This
sequence is a good option. This also makes you a smarter purchaser of laser & IPL products. Take our
training first before you buy equipment though.
4. Arrange a personal prectorship with another practice. We refer out to about a dozen aesthetic practices
around the U.S. who offer a preceptorship to our qualified students, and will make that list available to any of
our graduates wanting to pursue this. You'll make your own financial arrangements with these practices and
will need to show them your Certificate of Laser Training from us before you'll be accepted for the additional
hands-on clinical training. These will vary in price but might average around $1500 per day. You can find more
information on this program and the regional locations by CLICKING HERE. (The specific list with contact
information is supplied only after you complete our courses). If you know of such a practice yourself then you
can always ask to make those arrangements.
Q: What you need to know about your Laser Safety Officer and Laser Safety Program
(Surgical, or Medical Offices or Aesthetic)
A: You'll need to read a short article regarding the A.N.S.I. Standards requirements to establish a Laser
Safety Program and appoint a Laser Safety Officer to administer it.
CLICK HERE for the PDF Article - includes resources to help you establish your program.
Q:What is an Annual Laser Safety Audit, and why do I need to complete one?
A: In order to be in compliance with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z136.3 Standard for the
Safe Use of Lasers in Health Care Facilities, the Laser Safety Officer that administers the overall safety
program is required to periodically conduct a formal, written audit of that program. The requirement is
periodically "as determined by the LSO", but they recommend it annually. This is a formal assessment and
review of your entire program including written laser safety policies and procedures, credentialing
requirements, review of incident reports and inspection of all laser and related equipment. It applies across
the board to major Hospital settings or small private practices. Your own LSO may perform this, or we do
offer this as a consulting service to your facility. Failure to maintain such written safety audits may have
various implications. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has federal enforcement
capability to levy large fines against employers who fail to maintain a safe work environment, and failure to
have such periodic safety audits on file would be evidence of negligence. The Joint Commission reviews the
structure of Medical Laser Safety programs for compliance with ANSI, and a medical facility could be found
deficit in this area with no audits on file. In any malpractice litigation that may arise from laser cases,
prosecuting attorneys may require documentation of the formal laser safety program including the periodic
audits. Lack of such documentation could lend credence to claims of negligence against the facility. The
most important reason to conduct periodic safety audits however is the simple ethical obligation that
employers have to keep their employees safe. The Laser Safety Audit is a formalized and systematic way to
Q: Why do your Laser programs qualify for Physician Cat II CME, rather than Cat I CME?
A: Our Laser programs may qualify for Category II CME when they are submitted by the phsician to the
ACCME. They do not require pre-approval of providers of Cat II credits. The reason that we don't routinely offer
Cat I accreditation is the restrictions that the ACCME puts on organizations in terms of teaching materials
that they can use, pictures shown, and any commercial representatives in the room. The reasons for
eliminating commercial bias in an academic teaching situation are understandable, and we are NOT affiliated
with any one laser company, but in the case of technology and procedure intensive areas like laser
procedures it's virtually impossible to meet these requirements without removing most of the substance from
the teaching materials. We are nonprofit and not associated with companies in any way, but we do use many
materials that companies produce to help with training. ACCME requirements will not even allow us to use a
slide showing a procedure if the logo or name of the company making that device is visible in any way on the
slide - including their name showing on the equipment panels. It's about impossible to teach a quality laser
course without showing any reference to any type of specific equipment. In addition we frequently have
various manufacturers or used laser suppliers provide us with equipment for use during the hands-on
demonstrations. ACCME rules will not allow representatives to be in the room and we can't show names of
equipment that we are using during these sessions. For these reasons we think that the courses are much
better if we include specific names and types of lasers where appropriate and qualify for the Category II
CME's based on our content and faculty. Our courses are very well commercially balanced and we receive no
support from any of these companies, other than loaning equipment for use in classes. After all .... one can't
become a famous pianist unless they have the piano, right? You also can't learn about laser procedures
unless you see the specific equipment and procedures.
Q: How To Buy Lasers - A Guidance Document