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IPL & Laser Treatments > Who can run a laser?

Hello,

I am curious as to what the educational requirements are for someone to run a laser? Specifically for a non medically licensed person of any kind.

Personally I am not in favor of them owning and operation lasers of multiple types, but I ran into this situation and well am curious to know is all. I know there are laser courses one can take etc...but is that enough? I am curious of the opinion of medical professionals on this subject, and I realize all states must have different laws and requirements in place, etc...but what do you think? lasers-can anyone buy one and hang their shingle now a days?

Thoughts?

rkn

07.20 | Registered Commenterrkn

Your questions are EXCELLENT and are answered by FDA postings here on the web. You can look it up and get the official answer. FDA's position is reasonable. All you have to do is read it and you will find a large number of laser wielders are NOT qualified to use them and the use of a laser for most medical and/or cosmetic purposes is considered SURGERY by definition. To paraphrase FDA, "ANY DEVICE OR MEDICATION USED TO ALTER THE STRUCTURE AND/OR FUNCTION OF THE AREA BEING TREATED BY LASER OR MEDICATION IS SURGERY".Therefore, "virtually ALL laser treatments" are SURGERY and are considered to be a MEDICAL PROCEDURE for which a license to practice medicine is needed or it's use is "PRACTICNG MEDICINE WITHOUT A LICENSE" and is illegal. There is NO MALPRACTICE INSURANCE in force for an illegal procedure by an unlicensed person.If any laser operator has a malpractice suit they will not be covered by insurance as ABSOLUTELY NO INSURANCE OF ANY KIND COVERS ANY ILLEGAL ACT.

If the procedure is performed under the supervision of a licensed physician who is present to SUPERVISE (as defined in FDA . definitions it is legal and the physician is fully liable. The one whose a NAME IS ON THE DOOR WITH THE HIGHEST LEVEL OF TRAINING IS LIABLE (there are physicians who had no formal laser training using lasers outside the hospital setting who allow a technician to use a laser in their office. These doctors are liable for what goes on in their office including laser operators who work there WHEN THE DOCTOR IS NOT IN OR EVEN IF THE DOCTOR IS IN.

10.23 | Unregistered Commenterlefty.gg

leftg.g:

You are absolutely incorrect. My medical directors have malpractice insurance and are not physically present when the laser is in use. Everyone of my clinics are in compliance with the state regulations they are in.

Furthermore, the AMA and each individual state's MA sets the parameters for scope of practice, not the FDA. There is nothing "illegal" about it.

Laser Hair Removal is not surgery, and you are muddying the waters of a complex enough subject by spouting misinformation.

you need to check with your local health authority and malpractice insurance carrier. They should be able to inform you all the questions you may have. Your local health inspector will know the details as well. It will not cost you anything.

Over here , only M.D. can perform such treatments. Even medical director is on site, the PA or nurse can not perform lasers and inject fillers / botox/ prp.

Dont believe what you hear or see on the forum or who says what. It is your livelihood, your reputation, and your business. You are the one who is responsible for all medical legal issues, not someone from Mars or Venus.

10.24 | Unregistered Commenterc.lee

@c.lee- I always notice your postings.I am curious, where are you?

C.lee and better off now are correct. Each state controls the practice of medicine within it's jurisdiction. The FDA has no jurisdiction over the practice of medicine.

Make sure you do your due diligence before you spend a lot of money opening a medspa. Many states do not even know there own laws. Where I practice the medical board, nursing board and cosmetology board all have different rules and they do not talk to each other. Also, many of the laws are very vague so they can be interpreted by different people in different ways. I have hired a lawyer so that I have his backing if there is ever any questions about our interpretations of the laws.

10.24 | Unregistered CommenterLH

RNs who want to practice medicine should consider moving to Australia. Australian government just introduced new legislation granting RNs rights to practice medicine like a family physician. They can prescribe and refer with almost no restrictions.

Also I know many RNs own and run cosmetic MEDICINE clinics / Laser clinics in Australia.

Australian government never cares of people's life. All these politicians want to do is cutting back medicare budget. Using cheap RNs to replace family physicians (general practitioners) can save million of dollars.

10.24 | Registered Commentercharlie

Your questions are EXCELLENT and are answered by FDA postings here on the web. You can look it up and get the official answer. FDA's position is reasonable. All you have to do is read it and you will find a large number of laser wielders are NOT qualified to use them and the use of a laser for most medical and/or cosmetic purposes is considered SURGERY by definition. To paraphrase FDA, "ANY DEVICE OR MEDICATION USED TO ALTER THE STRUCTURE AND/OR FUNCTION OF THE AREA BEING TREATED BY LASER OR MEDICATION IS SURGERY".Therefore, "virtually ALL laser treatments" are SURGERY and are considered to be a MEDICAL PROCEDURE for which a license to practice medicine is needed or it's use is "PRACTICNG MEDICINE WITHOUT A LICENSE" and is illegal. There is NO MALPRACTICE INSURANCE in force for an illegal procedure by an unlicensed person.If any laser operator has a malpractice suit they will not be covered by insurance as ABSOLUTELY NO INSURANCE OF ANY KIND COVERS ANY ILLEGAL ACT.

If the procedure is performed under the supervision of a licensed physician who is present to SUPERVISE (as defined in FDA . definitions it is legal and the physician is fully liable. The one whose a NAME IS ON THE DOOR WITH THE HIGHEST LEVEL OF TRAINING IS LIABLE (there are physicians who had no formal laser training using lasers outside the hospital setting who allow a technician to use a laser in their office. These doctors are liable for what goes on in their office including laser operators who work there WHEN THE DOCTOR IS NOT IN OR EVEN IF THE DOCTOR IS IN.

12.11 | Unregistered Commenterlefty.gg

Sweet Jesus! How many times are you going to post this nonsense? The FDA does not regulate the Medical boards of each state in this country. MD's are licensed and disciplined through their state's medical board. Each state has different regulations regarding lasers and their operators.

For the final time: The FDA has no jurisdiction over the practice of medicine.

You are absolutely dead wrong when you state that "If any laser operator has a malpractice suit they will not be covered by insurance" Malpractice insurance covers the PRACTICE, and if the practice is in compliance with the state's medical board regulation then they will be insured.

You have absolutely no idea what in the hell you are talking about OR I guess my malpractice insurer should cut me a big fat check as a refund for all the $ we pay for the medspas I oversee.

What is your motivation in spreading this absolute misinformation?

ok- now I get it -that was a re-post. Now I feel really stupid. Slinking away with my face red....

Your questions are EXCELLENT and are answered by FDA postings here on the web. You can look it up and get the official answer. FDA's position is reasonable. All you have to do is read it and you will find a large number of laser wielders are NOT qualified to use them and the use of a laser for most medical and/or cosmetic purposes is considered SURGERY by definition. To paraphrase FDA, "ANY DEVICE/PROCEDURE THAT ALTERS THE STRUCTURE AND/OR FUNCTION OF THE AREA BEING TREATED BY LASER IS SURGERY".Therefore, "virtually ALL laser treatments" are SURGERY and are considered to be a MEDICAL PROCEDURE for which a license to practice medicine is needed or it's use is "PRACTICNG MEDICINE WITHOUT A LICENSE" and is illegal. There is NO MALPRACTICE INSURANCE in force for an illegal procedure by an unlicensed person.If any laser operator has a malpractice suit they will not be covered by insurance as ABSOLUTELY NO INSURANCE OF ANY KIND COVERS ANY ILLEGAL ACT.

If the procedure is performed under the supervision of a licensed physician who is present to SUPERVISE (as defined in FDA . definitions it is legal and the physician is fully liable. The one whose a NAME IS ON THE DOOR WITH THE HIGHEST LEVEL OF TRAINING IS LIABLE (there are physicians who had no formal laser training using lasers outside the hospital setting who allow a technician to use a laser in their office. These doctors are liable for what goes on in their office including laser operators who work there WHEN THE DOCTOR IS NOT IN OR EVEN IF THE DOCTOR IS IN. He MUST SUPERVISE THE PROCEDURE (according to FDA HERE ON WEB). Problems do arise and a non licensed operator will not be able to handle them, therefore, OVERSEEING, or supervising from a different room, site, or building, IS NOT "SUPERVISING".

09.7 | Unregistered Commenterlefty2g

Anybody who challenges my post can check it out with their insurance company if they care to (no charge). If you do not... you have only yourself to blame. You cannot deny that the goal of laser treatment is to destroy or ABLATE the follicle. This has to be done BELOW THE SURFACE OF THE SKIN, THEREFORE, IT IS INVASIVE. The machine does not invade the skin but the laser beam does in order to do the job. X-RAYS ALSO INVADE BY THE VERY NATURE OF THE PROCESS. YOU CANNOT BUY AN X-ray machine either FOR THE SAME REASON YOU CANNOT BUY A LASER LEGALLY. Lasers are sold illegally and the USER will ultimately pay the piper. You can sue the seller of the device and get a big win. FDA states, here on the web, (to paraphrase them) "Lasers are prescription devices than can only be sold to and used by those who are licensed to use them in the state where they practice (that is because the states issue the licenses). The wording is very clear and succinct. If you do not want to understand these words you will pay sooner or later. So many patients have been injured (do not try to tell me you do not know about that as there are pictures here on the web. There have been 2 deaths REPORTED AND NOBODY KNOWS HOW MANY WERE UNREPORTED.

You may like to do the procedures and make the money, however, if you wanted some work done and you insist on a plastic surgeon to do it ....that means you know there is something better than a technician. That is a double standard and ETHICS do not allow for a double standard. The patient expects you to be ETHICAL as you know something about the device and they do not. If you get sued... you can try to sue the laser company. If they are an American Co. you have a good chance of winning the case. If it is an out of the country firm you will have trouble. GREED IS NOT GOOD.

09.7 | Unregistered Commenterlefty2g

Your questions are EXCELLENT and are answered by FDA postings here on the web. You can look it up and get the official answer. FDA's position is reasonable. All you have to do is read it and you will find a large number of laser wielders are NOT qualified to use them and the use of a laser for most medical and/or cosmetic purposes is considered SURGERY by definition. To paraphrase FDA, "ANY DEVICE USED TO ALTER THE STRUCTURE AND/OR FUNCTION OF THE AREA BEING TREATED, WHETHER BY LASER OR ANY OTHER DEVICE IS SURGERY".Therefore, "
virtually ALL laser treatments" are SURGERY and are considered to be a MEDICAL PROCEDURE for which a license to practice medicine is needed or it's use is "PRACTICNG MEDICINE WITHOUT A LICENSE" and is illegal. LICENSES ARE ISSUED BY THE STATES, CONSEQUENTLY, THERE IS NO UNIFORMITY AMONG THE STATES ABOUT THIS, HOWEVER, IT IS ILLEGAL IN ALL STATES TO PRACTICE MEDICINE WITHOUT A LICENSE.There is NO MALPRACTICE INSURANCE in force for an illegal procedure by an unlicensed person.If any laser operator has a malpractice suit they will not be covered by insurance as ABSOLUTELY NO INSURANCE OF ANY KIND COVERS ANY ILLEGAL ACT.

If the procedure is performed under the supervision of a licensed physician who is present to SUPERVISE (as defined in FDA . definitions) it is legal and the physician is fully liable. The one whose a NAME IS ON THE DOOR WITH THE HIGHEST LEVEL OF TRAINING IS LIABLE (there are physicians who had no formal laser training using lasers outside the hospital setting who allow a technician to use a laser in their office. These doctors are liable for what goes on in their office including laser operators who work there WHEN THE DOCTOR IS NOT IN OR EVEN IF THE DOCTOR IS IN.

THERE ARE NO ACCREDITED PLACES TO OBTAIN LASER INSTRUCTION THAT IS OPEN TO NON-PHYSICIANS.
NOBODY IS ABLE TO GET THE INSTRUCTION FROM A BOARD CERTIFIED TEACHER AS THERE ARE NO TEACHERS WHO ARE BOARDED OR WHO GOT LESSONS FROM AN ACCREDITED SCHOOL. THEY ARE FOOLING THEMSELVES. THESE PLACES DO NOT EXIST. DOCTORS GET THEIR INSTRUCTION FROM PLASTIC SURGEONS OR DERMATOSURGEONS WHO ARE CERTIFIED IN A HOSPITAL SETTING. THE CERTIFYING AGENCY SETS UP THE CRITERIA NEEDED TO COMPLETE IN ORDER FOR A DOCTOR TO GET PROPER INSTRUCTION TO TAKE THE TEST TO PROVE PROFICIENCY IN THE SUBJECT. IT IS A VERY WELL ORGANIZED SYSTEM. THAT IS WHY WE LOOK FOR BOARD CERTIFIED DOCTORS WHEN WE HAVE NEED FOR A DOCTOR AND THAT IS WHY HOSPITALS MAINTAIN THEIR STANDARDS TO ALLOW A DOCTOR ON THE STAFF..

IF YOU DO NOT BELIEVE ME.... CHECK WITH YOUR INSURER. IF YOU DON'T CHECK.... YOU WERE WARNED.

GREED IS NOT GOOD.

09.11 | Unregistered Commenterlefty2g

Ignore lefty2g (Harvey Grove)'s posts.

09.13 | Registered Commentercharlie

Your questions are EXCELLENT and are answered by FDA postings here on the web. You can look it up and get the official answer. FDA's position is reasonable. All you have to do is read it and you will find a large number of laser wielders are NOT qualified to use them and the use of a laser for most medical and/or cosmetic purposes is considered SURGERY by definition. To paraphrase FDA, "ANY DEVICE USED TO ALTER THE STRUCTURE AND/OR FUNCTION OF THE AREA BEING TREATED BY LASER IS SURGERY".Therefore, "virtually ALL laser treatments" are SURGERY and are considered to be a MEDICAL PROCEDURE for which a license to practice medicine is needed or it's use is "PRACTICNG MEDICINE WITHOUT A LICENSE" and is illegal. There is NO MALPRACTICE INSURANCE in force for an illegal procedure by an unlicensed person.If any laser operator has a malpractice suit they will not be covered by insurance as ABSOLUTELY NO INSURANCE OF ANY KIND COVERS ANY ILLEGAL ACT.

If the procedure is performed under the supervision of a licensed physician who is present to SUPERVISE (as defined in FDA . definitions) it is legal and the physician is fully liable. The one whose NAME IS ON THE DOOR WITH THE HIGHEST LEVEL OF TRAINING IS LIABLE (there are physicians who had no formal laser training using lasers outside the hospital setting who allow a technician to use a laser in their office. These doctors are liable for what goes on in their office including laser operators who work there WHEN THE DOCTOR IS NOT IN OR EVEN IF THE DOCTOR IS IN.

09.18 | Unregistered Commenterlefty2g

practical experience ,and failures will help you to be successful in what you do.
anyone can fire lasers.
anyone can fly a plane.
anyone can shoot a c9 or m16.
anyone can drive a car or a truck.
anyone can drive a zambonie.

the question is how well and to what extent?

regarding legal issue, like what c. lee mentioned , check with your local health authority and insurance carrier.
They will be able to provide you with the answers you looking for.

The courses offered are mostly laser physics, not practical experience.
Different laser manufacturer has different setting and parameters for different indication.
Alma may need 12 j., cutera may need 14j, syneron may need 25j, fotona may need 9j to get the jobs done, so everyone is different.

The best approach is from yourself, trial and error. Do it slow, do it well. It is a long journey.

09.19 | Unregistered Commentereugene

Great question
More patients should be doing the same as you but they don't. There is virtually NO SUPERVISION OF LASER OPERATORS OR THEIR TEACHERS IN EFFECT AT THIS TIME.. RESULTS HAVE BEEN SO UNPREDICTABLE AND WITHOUT UNIFORM RELIABILITY THAT TREATMENTS HAVE BEEN DISCONTINUED BY A NUMBER OF HOSPITALS, INCLUDING THE FAMOUS MASSACHUSETTS GEN'L HOSPITAL. WHERE THIS RESEARCH STARTED OVER 10 YEARS AGO.

Money has been returned to patients due to lack of uniform results and high rate of failures.

11.24 | Unregistered Commenterlefty2g

A few minutes go I got a call from one of the BIG LASER INSTITUTES about taking instruction. She said there will be national laws that ALL LASER FACILITIES MUST HAVE A MEDICAL DIRECTOR TO SUPERVISE MEDICAL PROCEDURES IN "STATE" BECAUSE AN M.D. LICENSE IS ISSUED BY THE STATE (no mention of "ON SITE"). How she knows that is beyond me. Also, how she knows this before it is announced publicly could be that someone leaked it from FDA.

Current laws on the books maintain.... it is illegal to practice medicine without a license . Therefore, if the laws were upheld... all laser operators who are not an MD are illegal and not covered by insurance even if they pay their premiums on time. How do I get a "medical director"? How much do I have to pay him/her? Is that "FEE SPLITTING" (an ethical problem). That will cut into laser sales nationwide and increase clients for electrolyss as laser places cl;ose up. Also, all lasers must be approved by FDA. If a laser is made in CANADA, CHINA or EVEN USA and is an EXACT COPY of an FDA approved device, it is NOT AUTOMATICALLY approved as FDA MUST VISIT PLANT and inspect manufacturing procedures before approving it. IF NOT FDA APPROVED all devices (including epilators) are illegal and operator is using an illegal device that nulifys insurance if a claim is made (and it does happen). In other words YOU PAY BUT CAN NEVER COLLECT IF ANYTHING HAPPENS.

Who knows any doctors willing to do this? I don't. Is the doc willing to remain in my office during the hours I keep or do I have to give up my evening patients? If I find a "retired " doc ...is his license still good?Can I afford this or should I just forget lasers and any other "MEDICAL PROCEDURES:" like BOTOX? There are now plenty of USED LASERS available of all makes. Does this mean a lot of people have given up their business. That could be a very big loss for your IRS form this year due to the expense of buying a laser. The MASS. GEN'L Hosp. gave up laser hair removal and returned money to patients. LL future laser surgery MUST ber done ONLY by Board Certified Plastic Surgeons and Dermato Surgeons.

Hey Charle do you still believe I do not know what I am talking about or are you going to wear the hat thst fits you.

11.28 | Unregistered Commenterlefty2g

For the benefit of all who are interested. If any of you know about a laser operator being sued and the insurance co. refused to pay.... WE NEED TO HEAR FROM YOU.
Or any instance of a legal problem arising in a place with an ABSENTEE medical director. This subject is not in the OPEN.
There was a $100,000,000.00 dolar suite in NY but I have not heard about the results. It is common for insurance cos to include NON disclosure information when settling. If you tell how much you got they want it back. That may be the reason there is little info on this problem.

03.6 | Unregistered Commenterlefty2g

@lefty2g must be a lawyer!

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