The answer is "No". Our students are relieved when they learn this as they say that they have no interest in makeup, eyelashes, waxing or nails and want to be confident and competent in using energy-based devices for hair removal, tattoo removal, pigmentation, capillaries and skin resurfacing and rejuvenation.
The DR AS/NZS 4173:2017 Safe Use of Lasers and Intense Light Sources in Health Care expect that anyone who engages with or uses Laser or ILS equipment be trained in safe use of the laser or ISL equipment.
Personnel expected to receive training include:
- laser users (which includes doctors, dentists, nurses and other health professionals)
- laser safety personnel
- laser team members (for example, engineers, technicians)
- laser system service personnel
- incidental personnel (for example, students, family members, medical photographers)
- basic light physics
- laser safety
- laser-tissue interactions
- applications and dosimetry affecting the use of lasers
- operating procedures
- set up
- intraoperative monitoring
- use of all equipment.
The minimum certification required is available with us. To enrol please click here.
I’ve been to two funerals this week. They were both for men in their eighties who grew up in separate country towns on the divine South Coast of NSW. Neither man knew each other and the connection between them for me was my father-in-law who lost his childhood best friend and a brother-in-law in the same week. Life can be cruel.
One thing that struck me about these funerals was that both of them had been to school with no shoes because their families couldn’t afford them. One man only attended school for three years and learnt enough in this time to read and write and do some rudimentary maths. The other was one of four children whose mother was a single parent in the years around the great depression. The latter used to try and find warm cow pats on his way to school to step in and warm up his feet.
Both of these men died millionaires, one a dairy and beef farmer, the other a mason and landscaper. Yes, in the dollar sense they were millionaires who started out without school shoes- but this wasn’t the most compelling thing that struck me. It was their fortitude. They had young adult grandchildren who spoke at their funeral. They were both incredibly loved and respected for the vast amount of love and learning they had left as a legacy and all of their grandchildren were obviously partnered and in careers that their grandfathers would have been proud of. In the eulogy, one of the grandchildren said: “Pa, you weren’t a drop in the ocean, you were the ocean in a drop.”
Personally, my grandfather was illiterate and could only sign his name. It made me realise how far we can come in such a very short time and that the resilience, risk taking and grit of our ancestors is a priceless foundation for which to be truly grateful.
Be courageous, back yourself, be resilient and be “an ocean in a drop”.
Ready to build on your foundations? We're ready to help you.
A recent spate of medi-cosmetic disasters, involving injectable products (eg. the death of Jean Huang in September) and horrific laser outcomes, has drawn nationwide attention to the need for greater policing of these procedures, something the medical community has been lobbying for for years.
Although unrelated to the specific incidents, The Laser Health and Safety Standard* – to now include IPL – is being overhauled for the first time since 2004, and will have significant ramifications for salons, spas and clinics.
In essence, it means that it’s vital for patient safety and the viability of a business that any salon, spa or clinic offering laser or IPL treatments be laser sharp in respect of the training and competency of staff operating lasers and IPLs. – or prepare for potentially brutal consequences.
“The objective of this Standard is to specify requirements for the safe use of lasers and intense light sources, including Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) for diagnostic, cosmetic and therapeutic uses in health care facilities (including hospitals, private medical facilities and dental practices) and the cosmetic industry,” says Elissa O’Keefe, managing director of Bravura Education, provider of education for technologies for cosmetics, surgery and podiatry, such as lasers, IPL and other energy-based devices.
“The final meeting of the committee was in early October and the Standards are expected to be released imminently.”
Elissa is a highly experienced clinician, educator and the lead author of the first-ever Australian standards and scope of practice document for cosmetic nursing and RN consultant to the Australasian College of Cosmetic Surgeons (ACCS).
IF A MISHAP GOES TO COURT
Patient/client safety, wellbeing and optimum outcomes of course should be the foremost consideration of any business, which can be achieved by abiding by the Standard, says Elissa, but being observant of regulations and what is required by them can save that business from disaster.
Those who knowingly ignore or flout regulations deserve all they get, but some business owners/therapists with all good intentions may not be fully aware of what their responsibilities are.
And even those who are fully aware and abide by those responsibilities can land in trouble despite all due care when performing laser or IPL procedures.
“If legal action is taken by an injured or disgruntled patient/client, a business has very little chance of successfully defending the case. They have a far greater chance if they can show proof of having done all the right things.
“Under the principles of workplace health and safety, the management (employer) of a salon, spa or clinic has the ultimate responsibility for safety, but the laser user and operator carry responsibility for immediate safety during laser procedures.
“According to the Director of Investigations of the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission, Tony Kofkin, any significant departure from Standards ordinarily expected in the industry can result in an investigation of your premises and the services you provide. It you are meeting the Standards this acts as a defence in your favour.
“Following the Standards is a bit like being accountable to the results of a fancy cake if you are following a recipe. If your cake sinks in the middle or the icing tastes awful and you have followed the recipe then you can hold your hand on your heart and say you did everything but the cake wasn’t great and you’re sorry.
“But if the recipe (Standard) says to use self-raising flour and you use plain, or you leave the sugar out of the icing completely then you are responsible for the poor outcome.
“Clients and prosecutions lawyers aren’t interested in cakes of course but are very interested in seeking reparation if you caused an adverse event that should have been prevented.
“There will be no excuse when you go to court to defend yourself if you weren’t educated, trained and deemed to be competent, had no standard operating policies and procedures to inform your practice and neglected to follow what is accepted as an industry standard.
“Not following Standards contravenes workplace health and safety law and is negligence. It will not be tolerated in a court of law.
“Imagine, if when building your house, the builder neglected to follow the standards for the materials they used and you had asbestos, leaky pipes and dangerously thin glass in your windows. How would that feel?”
WHERE RESPONSIBILITY LIES
Elissa says the responsibility for the safety of clients and the attending therapist during the use of lasers falls equally upon the management of the salon, spa or clinic, the administration, the therapists using the equipment, and all staff concerned with its operation and maintenance.
“It is mandatory for salons, spas and clinics to have criteria and policies that are explicit about the continuing education and training that will be required for determining that their technicians are competent,” she says.
“Only competent personnel shall be permitted to operate lasers and laser systems. Criteria for certification is to be established by the facility, based on the type of equipment and its applications, practice setting and procedure.
“At present there is one national document regarding safe use of lasers: the Guide to the Safe use of Lasers in Health Care AS/NZS 4173:2004.
“It is certain that regulations will become much more stringent – and more vigorously enforced.
“Therefore it is vital for practice owners/managers with these devices that they and their clinicians are operating them within existing guidelines, that they are using the right devices for their level of qualification, and ensure that they have the appropriate qualifications and training.”
Elissa believes the revised Standard will clarify certainty around terminology; the import, sales, servicing and staff training for specific laser and IPL equipment, best practice for patient care.
She adds: “The reporting of injuries will also be valuable elements in raising the standards of cosmetic medicine and keeping the public safe,” she says.
So business owners/therapists have a Standard to refer to, but how do we warn consumers about how to wisely choose a provider?
Says Elissa: “Ask to see a laser/IPL certificate and check that is accredited by a professional association or delivered by an RTO.
“One that has been provided by a device manufacturer or done in-house may not be of a high enough quality to meet the quality of subject matter set out in the Standard.
“Also, beware of any organisation that purports to be `approved’ or `accredited’ by the Queensland, Tasmanian or Western Australian governments.
“This is misleading as none of these departments approve courses and each application is assessed on a case-by-case basis.”
WHAT CONSUMERS NEEDS TO ASK
Elissa has this advice:
- What devices are best for my concern and which ones do you use? The questions shouldn’t be about devices but rather about a holistic approach to concerns and desired outcomes. Therapists with a consumer’s best interests at heart will be able to offer a comprehensive, evidence-based skincare plan that may include lasers, IPL and other energy-based devices but that will also take into account lifestyle, any medication or medical conditions, skin and body nutrition, a consumer’s budget and time constraints.
- Look for the value-add of the provider. A sneaky question to ask though is what wavelength they are going to use with your particular laser/IPL treatment. If they can’t articulate a number in the hundreds or thousands that ends in nanometers then they probably have no idea what they are holding in their hand.
- Do your homework. There is no one way to treat a condition. One of the best resources I have seen for consumers is the Slow Ageing Guide to Skin Rejuvenation, to which I was a contributor. It will be the best $30 you ever spend in learning, understanding and selecting proven treatment.
- Have had a skin cancer check within the last 6-12 months. According to the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, there is a high-risk group who should be doing self-checks every three months and a 12 monthly skin check with their doctor. These are people with red hair, Fitzpatrick Skin Type 1 aged over 45, Fitzpatrick Skin Type 2 aged over 65, family history of melanoma in a first degree relative in patients older than 15, more than 100 naevi (more than 10 atypical), past history of melanoma or a past history of non-melanoma skin cancer or more than 20 solar keratoses.
“Trust your intuition and remember you get what you pay for,” Elissa adds. “If your instinct tells you that [the person with whom you are considering a treatment] is pushy or aggressive, bail out.
“The best excuse in the world is to say you have to `ask your husband/significant other’ before you proceed.
“A big mistake people make though is committing to paying before a service because it’s cheap.
“To opt out means letting go of your money so people feel obliged to follow through. Better to lose this money or have never put it down in the first place than to receive a treatment with an adverse outcome or even a treatment that just leaves you feeling unloved and uncared for at the end.
According to Elissa:
As a minimum, laser and/or IPL technicians will be required to have a combination of education and skills to be deemed competent to perform treatments.
They will be required to have successfully completed an accredited laser/IPL safety certificate, have an understanding of how the specific device they are using works and have had some supervised practice by a senior mentor to ensure that they are competent.
The Standard mandates that the criteria for certification of competency is to be established by the facility, based on the type of equipment and its applications, practice setting and procedure.
This means too that you will need standard operating policy and procedure (SOPP) documents that are explicit about how you manage this and other aspects of laser/IPL use in your workplace and that these will be kept at each laser use site.
Bravura Education is going to offer a bespoke SOPP service as one of its consultancy offerings in the near future; there are about 12 that will be required.
* The Standard was prepared by the Joint Standards Australia/Standards New Zealand Sub-Committee HE-003-12, Lasers in Medical Procedures, under the responsibility of Committee HE-003, Medical Electrical Equipment, to supersede AS/NZS 4173:2004, Guide to the safe use of lasers in health care.
For the original article click here
If we had a dollar for every time we get asked at Bravura “What machine should I buy” we would be living our dream life on a beach somewhere.
Every day we receive unsolicited advertising that is trying to sell us a laser or medical device of some sort. Some aren’t in English so a HUGE fail to those companies that are so spammy that they don’t even check to see if we’ll even be able to read their information. For example we got this one, “Me gustaría presentar nuestra más popular” which with my limited Spanish (or is it Italian?) might mean they’re a popular TV presenter who likes eating?
We’d like to share some of their advertising and communication so you can tell us whether you’d by a laser from these people?
- “Without pain, needn’t apply narcotic.” OMG! I can’t even fathom this! Who is giving opiates for hair reduction?
- “Dear purchase manager, Thank you for your kind reply.” Nope never replied in the first instance.
- “If you are still in beauty field, then I will share some very important information with you.” Fail, we are educators.
- “Good quality and pretty competitive price”. I need more than “pretty competitive” when I’m spending tens of thousands of dollars thanks.
- “The new advanced laser chips for guarantee that no burning of handpiece in future.” Well that’s a relief with all the burning handpieces I’ve had in the past. Not.
- “Applications: knot boiled acne, acne India, acne sap, redness after skinning, wrinkle whitening, eliminate Sichuan word pattern, bikini site.” I swear to you I’m not making this up.
- “Acnes and blood silk, breast enhance treatment etc” Not making this one up either.
- “Dear Marina Shepelevsky.” Wonder who that is?
- “This machine has a emergency button, when the patient feel uncomfortable in the operation, they can turn off the machine by themselves by pressing it.” Well that’s a relief and bound to relax my patients knowing they have such control.
- “Don't worry about the machine quality, hope we can make a long cooperation”. That’s reassuring, the machine might be crap but we’ll be good friends.
- “MAX treatment area for one shooting.” Say no more.
So “What machine should I buy?” should really be “Who should I buy my machine from?” Online/overseas sellers may not be particularly reputable laser and IPL equipment providers (and probably sell illegal imports) but those companies that have devices that are TGA listed are trustworthy. You want to buy a machine from a person you can communicate with and who understands what treatments you’d like to provide and to whom. You want one that will orientate you to the machine, troubleshoot with you over the phone and provide treatment consents, treatment records, clinical papers and an operator’s manual. They should also be pointing you in the right direction to receive quality laser safety training and ongoing education.
If you are considering a new career delivering laser and IPL treatments don’t miss our Beginner and Advanced courses for getting all the information you need to make great decisions. If you enrol for them together you will receive 10% off.
We know that your budget may be stretched in many directions but don't let that stop you getting started!
That's why we've introduced the Paypal LayBuy system for you when you enrol in our courses so you can manage your priorities. It's simple and cost-effective and is a click of the button when you enrol in one or more of our courses. For a small fee (1.9%) you can invest as little as 20% up front and take up to three months to pay it off. How good is that? Once you have balanced your account we will send you your certificate.
For further terms and conditions please click here and refer to Section 20.
Update on ARPANSA cosmetic laser guidance documents
The ARPANSA Radiation Health Committee's (RHC) IPL Working Group reported back in June and is progressing a guidance document on the use of lasers and IPL in cosmetic medicine which is likely to be in the form of advisory notes or fact sheets. Of particular note is that the IPL Working Group will explore options for capturing incident reporting and report these findings back to the next RHC meeting in November. It will be interesting to see what is considered an incident, what mechanisms will be implemented to encourage full disclosure of adverse outcomes, whether this reporting takes the form of any type of register and the consequences of significant numbers or types of incidents.
Be the first to get the latest Bravura news! Subscribe here.
New 'Practical Hub' is your go-to place for hands-on experience
The most common query we get from you is how to get meaningful hands-on experience without huge time or monetary commitments. We've listened and have a new initiative, the Practical Hub where we are offering a variety of opportunities for you to learn from the masters in the use of IPL, laser, cryolipolysis and other energy-based devices for the treatment of skin, face and body.
What's coming up next?
MERMAID ESCAPE, November 4 & 5
PLACES STRICTLY LIMITED!
Are you new to the cosmetic industry and need to know how to start to provide treatments? Do you have your laser & IPL safety certificate and/or an Advanced theory certificate and want to know how to apply what you've learnt? Are you trying to decide what treatments to offer your clients and what machines to buy? Are you needing some more hours for your log book? Would you like to have two days to "pick the brains" of two highly experienced nurse practitioners with plenty of real world cosmetic medicine experience?
In this comprehensive two-day practical workshop you will learn about client history taking, contraindications, realistic expectations, choosing appropriate clients, therapeutic parameters, clinical endpoints, hair reduction, tattoo removal and treating pigmentation and vascular conditions using laser and IPL.
We are currently developing the 2018 calendar for you so check in to see what's coming up. Check out the Practical Hub here.
We know that your budget may be stretched in many directions!
That's why we've introduced a Lay Buy system for you when you enrol in our courses so you can manage your priorities. It's simple and cost-effective and is a click of the button when you enrol in one or more of our courses.
Be the first to get the latest Bravura news! Subscribe here.
10 Facebook Hacks that Boost Organic Growth
1. Fill out your complete profile. Be sure you have a cover image and a profile image and that your page is easily identifiable as belonging to your business (i.e. include your logo, or your headshot if it’s a personal brand)
2. Change your cover image regularly, and comment on the image
3. Add social media icons to your website site
4. Post consistently, at least once a day at about the same time each day
5. Comment and like your own page posts to increase reach
6. Use a 4, 1,1 Plan. That is, 4 entertaining posts, 1 soft promotion, 1 hard promo with link to webpage
7. Fill your Facebook page with relevant, interesting content (interesting to your audience – not to you!). Be sure to use a consistent voice, tone and imagery.
8. Interact with other local businesses – particularly those who post regularly and have a following. Comment and like as your page.
9. Respond to every comment on your page
10. When people react to a post, click on their name and invite them to like your page (note you can only do this on desktop, not mobile).
If you need a little help, want some training, or just want someone else to take care of your social media, reach out to @catescolnik from Sane Social Media: 0401 718 454 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Be the first to get the latest Bravura news! Subscribe here.
- Some laser machines have a massive floor space footprint so have a room large enough that you can put a laser, bed and stool in and still move around easily without tripping over. If you are going to teach your colleagues ensure there is enough space to have them in there as well
- Some lasers are portable or can be put on the bench top so have room for a moveable trolley or adequate bench space
- Make sure the power points are in multiple places so if you change the layout you do not have power cords as a trip hazard
- Either choose a room with no windows or have window coverings that are opaque and have no gaps
- Eliminate specular (mirrored) surfaces. Have no mirrors or if you do have a blind installed to cover it during treatments
- Install a sink for handwashing and client skin preparation and cover metal components with a towel before treatment. This is also accessible if you require water to extinguish a clothing/linen fire (never electrical)
- Have quick access to the correct fire extinguisher for electrical fire
- The door must have a laser warning sign displayed at eye level that says what the laser wavelength(s) are and what eye protection is required
- Outside the room have a hook for an additional pair of laser safety eyewear and a simple light (like a head torch light) mounted next to the door to indicate when the laser is in use
- The Aust/NZ Standards were written in 2014 and under review. If there is anything significantly different we will bring it to your attention so sign up for our newsletter or check out our blog regularly.