Medical Laser Safety Officer Course


Training for Medical Laser Safety Officers

Join AORN for a 1.5-day virtual live advanced course for Medical Laser Safety Officers to ensure you have the most current information and tools to safeguard your colleagues and patients — and be successful in this important leadership role.

  • You'll earn a Certificate of Mastery and 11.5 CH/ 11.5 AEU upon completion
  • Registration Cost: $650 Member, $750 Non-Member
  • The next live course is coming Fall 2024 - registration opens soon!

View Sample Agenda

Patient & Team Safety Depend on You

The use of medical lasers and types of laser equipment are expanding rapidly across surgical and procedural areas to improve precision and patient outcomes. As numbers of perioperative team members and patients exposed to lasers rise – so do the risks.

That’s why each facility that uses lasers is required to designate a Medical Laser Safety Officer (MLSO) trained in monitoring safe usage, defining the proper hazard control measures, and enforcing facility laser safety procedures.

Role of the MLSO

Certified Medical Laser Safety Officer and Instructor Vangie Dennis MSN, RN, CNOR, CMLSO will review specific duties and responsibilities of the MLSO outlined by the AORN Guideline for Laser Safety, ANSI standards, and Canadian Standards Association (CSA) – and enforced in the U.S. by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

These include:

  • Helping prevent a variety of safety hazards, such as eye exposure, misaligned laser beams, use of unfamiliar equipment, and improper handling.
  • Monitoring and enforcing compliance with safety policies.
  • Implementing necessary control measures.
  • Training staff on safety procedures and processes.

About this Course

Who Should Attend

Facility or office professionals who are designated leads for laser safety, have the title of Laser Safety Officer, and those who are moving into this role will benefit from this mastery course.

What You'll Learn

  • Review and discuss laser tissue interaction and the science of laser physics.
  • Describe the systems used to classify lasers and laser products according to the degree of hazard.
  • Understand the guidelines and procedures required for the safe use of lasers in their practice.
  • Learn other (non-radiation) hazards associated with lasers (i.e. electrical hazards, laser plume).
  • Discuss the engineering, procedural and administrative controls based upon evaluation of potential hazards from laser radiation; unique problems related to operating rooms, outpatient clinics, mobile laser units, and private medical and dental offices.
  • List several precautions taken for head, neck, and chest procedures utilizing energy sources.
  • Describe the roles and responsibilities of the healthcare professionals utilizing lasers.

AORN's Medical Laser Safety Officer Course is presented by Certified Medical Laser Safety Officer & instructor Vangie Dennis MSN, RN, CNOR, CMLSO.

Vangie Dennis


A former AORN Board President, Ms. Dennis works as Assistant Vice President for AnMed Health located in Anderson, South Carolina. She has been published and cited in several medical and nursing publications; was the expert reviewer of the 2011 & 2018 AORN Recommended Practices for Lasers; and authored the AORN Laser Study Guide, Module, and video.

Ms. Dennis also is an independent consultant who lectures on lasers and nursing practice nationally and internationally for AORN, Advanced Technology Specialty Assembly, American Society for Lasers in Medicine and Surgery, The International Laser Safety Conference, Canadian Nurses Association, American Trial Lawyers Association, American Association of Gynecological Laparoscopists, MedSun CODA Conference, and Medical Societies and facilities.

Did You Know…

Studies1 have found the main cause of laser accidents is due to human error, particularly not following safety procedures. Both patients and laser users become the victims of tissue damage from unwanted laser exposure.

Most laser accidents involve damage to skin and eyes – particularly burns, swelling, and scars. As the eye is transparent to visible and some invisible light (UV and near infrared), lasers can cause irreversible and permanent damage and lead to blindness. Simple laser burns are usually unreported due to the fear of being blamed for the mistake.

Related Courses

Do you have questions about this course's content?

Email the AORN Education team: [email protected]  


  1. Physica Medica Vol 52.1; Aug 2018; 95-96 [I256] A review of medical laser accidents: A simple burn to death by laser - ScienceDirect.