•ILSC 2011: My first time…
I will always remember my first ILSC participation as a pleasant week of full immersion in laser safety science and technology. I enjoyed the opportunity to discuss the latest research on a wide range of issues relevant to laser safety. I met and networked with Laser Safety Officers from around the world. We discussed everything from standards development, laser safety management and training to fundamental biological research, and practical hazard and risk assessment. I had the chance to take a closer look at very interesting topics like laser related eye injuries in the medical field, the joint effort in creating a “big” database to keep track of accidents/incidents and learn from mistakes, old and new FAA concerns for aircraft illumination during take-off and landing maneuvers, the increasing availability and misuse of low-cost, high-power handheld battery-operated laser pointers, and the growing role of laser safety professionals in providing expert advice for non-laser optical radiation and non-laser optical radiation risk.
Overall, it was a terrific experience. A “must do” for every LSO!
•The Wonderful World of Lasers was alive and well in San Jose during March of this year!
The Medical Applications section was a very specialized use of lasers that I found interesting. The material covered was easy to understand, but I was most impressed with the dedication and passion of the presenters, nurses and others in the audience. These people are on the front line of laser use in the surgery suite, keeping their patients and staff safe, you can tell that they care from the heart. I found the medical professionals a good group with a sense of humor and interesting stories. It was just fun meeting them and listening to their side of the story.
It was difficult at times to figure out which presentation to attend between the MPAS and the [technical] PAS, both groups had interesting topics. I enjoyed the various get-togethers, the food and camaraderie in a relaxed atmosphere gave us a chance to catch up with old friends and meet new ones. The complementary BLS T-shirt was an extra bonus and a nice surprise, many thanks.
Of course the laser light show was a big hit, reinforcing the fact that when done correctly the lasers were harmless at eye level. Set to music, the dancing light filled the mist in the room with color. Listening to the audience it almost reminded me of fireworks on the 4th of July, truly a spectacular show.
I’d say if you work with lasers or are involved in any aspect of laser safety the next ILCS is the place to be. A place where laser is the operative word, where everybody has an interesting story and intuitively knows just what it is that you are talking about. Be there or be left where there is no light.
•A great year for the medical audience at ILSC 2011!
The conference location in beautiful San Jose was comfortable with all the necessities easily accessible. I can honestly say this was the most informative gathering to network and exchange laser safety knowledge for practices that I’ve attended in years. The combination of LIA’s network of laser safety professionals along with the experts in lasers and laser safety conducting the sessions, professionals in all fields and applications found the conference a tremendous source for information and networking opportunities. "The best one ever" seemed to be a common analogy among attendees. The presence of NIOSH expert Debra Novak speaking on smoke evacuation strategies was very timely with the current focus on smoke generation in the procedural environment.
Kudos to the LIA staff, Vangie Dennis, Medical PAS Chair, and the Program Committee for a great conference!
Congratulations to Vangie for the much deserved honor of being awarded the 2011 R. James Rockwell, Jr. Educational Achievement Award!
•Feedback on the First Ever Medical Practical Applications Seminar
ILSC of 2011 held in San Jose, California for the first time introduced the Medical Practical Applications Seminar (PAS) in this conference forum. The committee was composed of a dynamic group of nurses and engineers who have been on the teaching circuit for medical lasers for over 30 years. The committee introduced new and exciting topics in the field of medical lasers, and the blend of the medical section enhanced the participants’ knowledge even though all registrants were from several areas of laser backgrounds. The team was a group of dedicated individuals whose high accomplishments and profound knowledge in the field of medical lasers enhanced this conference.
Feedback from many of the participants was the dire need for medical laser education and advanced practice, and ILSC proved to be the venue that was needed for this medical laser specialty group. This was one of the most successful National Conferences in years to introduce new and innovative medical laser applications and new practices. Many would love to see this seminar again in the 2013 ILSC.