Home' Spa and Clinic : SPA Vol-68 Feb 2017 Contents EDUCATION
laser and IPL regulations
are on the road
crackdown, so make
sure your offering is on
target – or prepare for
efore you point a gun, make sure
the safety trigger is on – unless you
aim to fire with intent and without
unintentended consequences. Of course,
this is a hypothetical scenario in gun-
controlled Australia if you’re abiding by the
law - but using a laser or IPL device can be
an equivalent, scenario.
In the right hands, they have
revolutionised the aesthetics industry
with their capacity to rejuvenate skin and
remediate a wide range of problematic
conditions. In the wrong ones, the capacity
for burns, infection, scarring and other
adverse side effects is immense.
Existing regulations var y from state to
state, from virtually nothing in NSW to only
doctors being able to use lasers in Western
Australia. Tasmania is the only state with
some regulation of IPL use. 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.
But this is on track to change, so best
sharpen your game, says Elissa O’Keefe,
Managing Director of Brav ura Education,
prov iders of exceptional education for
technologies for cosmetics, surgery and
podiatry, such as lasers, IPL and other
energ y-based devices.
Elissa is a highly experienced clinician
and educator and the first nurse
practitioner in the ACT. She is also lead
author of the first Australian standards and
scope of practice document for cosmetic
nursing and is RN consultant to the
Australasian College of Cosmetic Surgeons.
She points out that while legislative
change looks to be a while down the track,
the ARPANSA Radiation Health Committee
met in November last year to discuss the
future of cosmetic laser and IPL use.
“This means ever yone needs to look
sharp ahead of aforementioned changes,”
she says. "The current lack of light device
operator regulations and standards means
that anyone can buy laser and PL devices
and set themselves up without requiring
training or insurance."
Indeed, there are laser and IPL operators
who have no basic understanding of how the
equipment interacts with tissue, therefore
are putting clients and themselves at risk.
Media reports have highlighted many
instances of burns and scarring from
seemingly minor treatments such as laser
hair removal, thus causing regulators to
finally bow to pressure to investigate.
Another major issue is that laser and
IPL can mask sy mptoms of melanoma or
non-melanoma skin cancers, prolonging
diagnosis and risking clients’ lives.
“The aim of ARPANSA’s agenda is to
prov ide nationally uniform requirements
together with clear regulatory
statements," says Elissa. “In essence, it
aims to professionalise the use of these
devices on all levels; that operators must
have the requisite education, training
“It is certain that regulations will become
much more stringent – and enforced -
thereby taking the untrained, ignorant or
unethical out of the equation.
“It is vital that you and your clinicians/
therapists are operating devices within
existing guidelines, that you are using the
right devices, and ensure that you/they have
the appropriate qualifications and training.
“ARPANSA reported in their minutes in
early February that they have established
a working party to develop national
uniformity for minimum education,
training, terminology, equipment, patient
care and injury reporting.
“Certainty around terminology, the
import, sales, servicing and staff training
for specific laser and IPL equipment, best
practice for patient care and the reporting
of injuries will also be valuable elements in
raising the standards of cosmetic medicine
and keeping the public safe.
" To that end, what we deliver at Bravura
is an exceptional learning experience.
" We also understand people are time-
poor and we aim to make the process
relaxed and flexible and perfectly designed
to fit students' needs and expectations.
“We choose our Program Advisory
Committee, affiliates and our team with
care and to prov ide academic and clinical
excellence, and unparalleled, personalised
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