I am Sue Terry, a registered nurse who lives in the Madison, WI area. I have two wonderful adult children – a son, Rich and a daughter, Sally. My husband, Dick and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary last year with a trip to Scotland. I enjoy traveling, taking walks and pretending to know how to play golf (that’s where I get most of my long walks and see parts of the golf course that others generally don’t see.)
I graduated with honors from Indianapolis Methodist School of Nursing. I began my nursing career as a pediatric nurse at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. Working with children was a wonderful experience. A child is so full of wonder and sees the world with inquisitive eyes.
After working in pediatrics for a few years, I was recruited by Dr. John Pantzer to join his plastic surgery practice. My duties included seeing patients in the office – both pre and post operative, making rounds with Dr. Pantzer and assisting him in surgery. A significant portion of his practice included treatment of pediatric patients. I truly enjoyed this experience.
I continued my educational pursuit and attended the College of St. Francis majoring in Health Care Administration. I completed the RN Surgical First Assistant program in Milwaukee, WI. In 1990 I became a CNOR and in 2005 I became a CMLSO. During my career, I’ve tried on various clinical “hats”. I’ve been a staff nurse in the OR, ICU, CCU and orthopedic and internal medicine patient wards. My early experience in the Indianapolis plastic surgery practice gave me a taste for technology that continues today.
Currently I am self-employed. I established my company, LST Enterprises, LLC, in 2001. I am an independent consultant who provides laser education programs. My organization works with several laser manufacturers to provide laser related education programs for their customers. My company also provides educational activities tailored to the needs of hospitals and surgery centers around the country.
Prior to creating LST Enterprises, LLC, I worked in industry. I left “conventional nursing” in the early 1990’s when I was recruited by Coherent Medical Group to join their Clinical Education Department. My role as Regional Education Manager was a wonderful learning opportunity. It offered me the chance to see the creative and engineering side of the world of lasers. I was fortunate to find a team of nursing colleagues at Coherent that have become lifelong friends.
My first experience working with lasers came in 1980. I was working in a hospital in Sheboygan, WI at the time. Our hospital purchased a Coherent 920 Argon laser for the ophthalmologists. It was the first laser for the hospital. Since I liked working with “gadgets”, I became the laser nurse.
My husband’s job has afforded us the opportunity to relocate through the years. Working in different areas of the country and in different nursing roles has provided wonderful learning experiences. While living in the Milwaukee, WI area, I helped build the laser program at a new freestanding surgery center. When we moved to the Madison, WI area, I again helped establish the laser program at a new surgery center.
Becoming an LSO
Since I came to the Madison facility with previous laser experience, I was asked to sit on the laser advisory committee as the administration began to explore the laser technologies available to our surgeons at the center. As a result of my participation on the committee and my interest in the laser program, I was offered and accepted the LSO position. I enjoyed all of the aspects of lasers: the patients; the technology; the challenge of remaining informed and current with respect to safety and laser application therapies; and I enjoyed working with the surgeons using the technology. My supervisor provided time for me to develop our policies for our new program and supported me when I asked to attend courses related to lasers. I can’t thank her enough for helping me to get started in a very positive way.
As an educator visiting various facilities around the country, it’s fascinating to talk with the LSOs. Some are assigned the LSO title but do not completely appreciate the scope of their role and duties. I find this to be true not only in the hospital/surgery center arena but especially in the popular office-based laser practices. I find this a chance to help our colleagues understand the significance of their role and provide information to them about their duties as the ANSI Z136.3 outlines them.
Becoming a CMLSO
I sat for the CMLSO exam as a personal challenge. Successfully completing the exam and having the opportunity to say that I am a “CMLSO”, demonstrates to me that I have achieved a level of understanding and knowledge of laser safety that is significant. I embrace the chance to encourage others to obtain the practical experience, to read, to network with colleagues, to attend education programs so that they can petition to sit for the CMLSO exam.
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