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Training Stations

By: Janet McCormick National Laser Institute

Finding unbiased skill-based training for your medical aesthetics staff is difficult. In this column we review medical training centers around the country to keep you up to date on educational opportunities available to you and your staff. We check out every lead and present the best of what we find. If you’ve been impressed with a particular training group, please write to us about it in care of medesthetics@creativeage.com.

In 2002, Louis Silberman, president of National Laser Institute, began planning what he thought was to be only the second medical spa in Scottsdale, Arizona – a 10-treatment-room facility with wood floors, granite counter tops and state-of-the-art equipment. “I did my market analysis and was so excited about being one of the first to reach this market that I immediately moved forward on the project,” says Silberman.

Approximately 18 months later when the facility was completed, he discovered the market had exploded.“Probably 50 direct competitors had opened within 15 minutes of us,” he explains.

An experienced entrepreneur, Silberman didn’t let the competition scare him. “I saw a huge need for education and proper training in the venue of care,” he says. “Manufacturers were providing only a few hours of training on equipment costing $100,000.”

In conjunction with his spa, he opened the first laser training school in the state in 2003. At the time, the Arizona state board was developing its requirements for training in medical lasers. “We were the first school to be approved by the Arizona regulatory agencies in laser training, and then became the first school licensed by the Arizona post-secondary education board to perform this type of training.” National Laser Institute has grown steadily since its inception and has a long list of testimonials that can be found on its website.

Courses

In courses ranging from 50 to more than 100 hours, students are trained to perform permanent hair reduction, photorejuvenation, Botox Cosmetic (Allergan) injections, dermal filler injections and other medical aesthetic treatments. For example, National Laser Institute’s two-week comprehensive laser program is open to physicians, other medical professionals, nurse and aestheticians. Training exceeds the Arizona requirements for nurses performing laser services and provides a solid base in aesthetic medicine procedures. The course meets from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. for 14 consecutive days. During the first five days, the course covers theory and issues:

  • Laser physics and issue interactions
  • Laser tissue interactions and treatment precautions
  • Laser safety and regulations
  • Client care
  • Clinical laser applications
  • Professional development
  • Laser safety officer
  • Business development

The remainder of the course covers clinical applications, including observation and treatments on live models: three days on laser and intense pulsed light hair removal, two days on intense pulsed light facial photorejuvenation, a full day on laser tattoo removal, and a full day on fractional wrinkle reduction. It also includes radiofrequency skin tightening, laser vein reduction, laser cellulite reduction and a complete medical aesthetics day consisting of microcurrent, dermal infusion, crystal-free microdermabrasion and other popular technologies.

National Laser Institute’s weekend CME class for physicians and nurses is held on two weekends. The first covers laser training and the second offers injectables training.

National Laser Institute’s seven-day course for health professionals is for physicians, nurses, and medical professionals seeking CME credits and training on laser and injectable. It consists of a five-day curriculum of laser training followed immediately by two days of injectables training.

Many other aesthetic medicine courses are listed on the National Laser Institute website.

CMEs Available

These courses have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and Policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education through the joint sponsorship of EXCEL Continuing Education and the National Laser Institute. EXCEL Continuing Education is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The earned CEU’s are designated according to the extent of the attendee’s participation and approvals.

Training Facility

Most courses are held at National Laser Institute’s headquarters in Scottsdale, Arizona. The lectures are held in a state-of-the-art classroom, and the practical portions are moved to the company’s 3,000-square-foot medical spa. During 2008, National Laser Institute is also offering classes in additional facilities in Las Vegas, Dallas and other major cities. Check the National Laser Institute website for specific information.

Follow-Up

Knowing that the track to success in medical aesthetics calls for information not easily available to medical entrepreneurs, National Laser Institute has developed a consulting arm to support start-up aesthetic practices or those expanding into medical spas. Consultants provide assistance in all phases of the process.

“In the Skin,” a monthly online medical aesthetics newsletter, actively supports graduates and interested persons who sign up for it on National Laser Institute’s website with the information important to success in aesthetic medicine.

Louis Silberman – Faculty

The National Laser Institute utilizes a diverse group of 14 expert instructors with backgrounds ranging from dermatology and cosmetic surgery to practice management and entrepreneurship. For complete bios, visit National Laser Institute’s website. Louis Silberman, president, is an entrepreneur known for starting health4her.com, a woman’s health and beauty website, which he launched out of his garage in 1998 and quickly built into the sixth most visited pharmacy site in the world (500,000 visitors per month). Silberman also owns and operates National Laser Institute’s successful med spas in both Scottsdale, AZ and Dallas, TX.

Janet McCormick, owner of Spa Techniques Consulting, holds a master’s degree in allied health management and a CIDESCO diploma. She can be reached at janmccormk@aol.com.

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