Advances in laser technology provide not only new opportunities, but an increase in laser applications. Many independent clinics now offer laser treatments. Use of laser treatment and related services should only be provided to patients by appropriately trained and qualified personnel. This article outlines the roles and responsibilities of the healthcare team working in independent laser healthcare facilities. The article is meant to assist clinics in developing their own quality management programs and is intended only to act as a guide to ensure that treatment is provided by qualified professionals in the safest, most effective manner. Staff working in laser clinics are responsible for the operation of lasers during treatment. They are also responsible for patient and staff safety, implementation of standards of care, and providing only procedures that meet and follow strict safety parameters. Accidents will occur with lasers when providers do not have the proper skills, training, and education on laser treatments. Regardless of many safety regulations involving laser use, little is written on the qualifications, selection, and ongoing education of the professional and technical staff working in independent healthcare facilities offering laser services. This article provides a detailed outline of the necessary skills and knowledge the nurses and the support staff need to possess to use lasers for patient treatment in laser treatment centers. Staff educated in laser science and safety can recognize potential hazards and ensure that safety standards are actively integrated into the daily practice of patient care.
Leslie Plauntz, RN, BA, DNC, Department of Plastic Surgery, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Leslie Plauntz, RN, BA, DNC, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center, Room M1-524, 2075 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2V2, Canada. E-mail: Leslie.firstname.lastname@example.org
Reprinted with permission from Journal of the Dermatology Nurses' Association: July/August 2011, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp. 197–202; doi: 10.1097/JDN.0b013e31822770e2; Feature Articles.