The Laser Training InstituteTM
Professional Medical Education Assn, inc
- not-for-profit continuing education, est. 1978 -
Copyright © 2015 by "Professional Medical Education Assn, Inc"
All Rights reserved
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Browse through these FAQ's to see if we might already have posted an answer to your question. If not just email us.
Remember that we can't answer State specfic licensing questions for you - BUT - there is an FAQ for that - see below.
• Which Surgical Laser Training Courses should I choose for my staff?
• What Type of Lasers do you train on in the Repair Course?
• What levels of repair can I reasonably expect to perform if I attend the Repair Course?
• What about Hands-on Training in a Medical/Surgical facility if we take the Laser Safety Online
• How do I obtain Hands-On training with lasers in Aesthetics, if I take your Online program or
seminars with "introductory" hands-on?
• Questions about Aesthetic Laser Use - State Licensing, training requirements,Laser
Certifications and Certificates of Laser Training.
• What you need to know about your Laser Safety Officer and Laser Safety Program
• What's this about an Annual Laser Safety Audit, and why do I need one?
• Why are most of your Laser programs qualify for Physician Cat II CME, rather than Cat I CME?
Don't see your question here? - email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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. See what other students have to say about our programs in these STUDENT ENDORSEMENTS.
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 Certifications. CLICK HERE for the PDF article - it includes contact information to Boston MedTech Advisors 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 http://www.internationallaserassociation.org/ for information and to join
........ 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 ensure this.
(Click on Laser Safety Audits for more information and contacts).
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.
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Professional Medical Education Association is a NON-PROFIT, 501(C)3 TAX EXEMPT ORGANIZATION.
(Tax ID: 31-1014446)
We are affiliated with, but independent of, the non-profit NATIONAL COUNCIL ON LASER CERTIFICATION