WAHOO – Not a lot of people would think of a laser being a bright spot during a pandemic.
But for Saunders Medical Center’s Dr. Nicole Akers, the Icon Cynosure laser has been something she and her coworkers have been looking forward to since the purchase in October.
Not only has this laser been a positive for SMC, it has also opened a world of opportunities for the health care facility. On Monday, after months of training, SMC began utilizing the laser, ultimately establishing an aesthetics department for the first time ever.
“It’s kind of a way to not only keep patients from our community here for those aesthetic services, but also try and bring in new patients too,” Akers said.
The laser, which cost SMC $140,000, was initially introduced to Akers during a convention in November of 2018. She said the laser was attractive to her because of its flexibility and ability to cater to each individual patient.
Akers said the laser can provide scar removal, stretch mark removal, skin renewal, hair removal and other kinds of laser-related treatments. Akers and Physician’s Assistant Nate Kotera have been trained on the laser as well as with four nurses.
The device comes with several different extensions that can eliminate the tiniest blemish and it also comes with a feature that determines the exact pigment of the skin. This helps Akers and the rest of the aesthetics department to determine the level of energy the laser needs to develop.
While it was costly, Clinic Director Stacie Sabatka said the laser is something that will help propel SMC into the future since it’s something the clinic has never offered before. The laser also does not bill through insurance which means less paperwork for SMC.
Akers said the plan was to begin using the laser right before Christmas, so it could be available for gifts. The staff has also been excited.
“For our staff, we’ve seen so much excitement around it and talking about what they would want to try and come in for,” she said. “A lot of people are looking at it for Christmas ideas.”
Sabatka also said that the laser has been a topic of conversation among the staff, which is a good distraction from the pandemic.
“It is so good to have something like this to talk about, especially during this pandemic,” Sabatka said.
Sabatka also said it’s beneficial for keeping patients and gaining new patients with the laser. Opportunities like this help to push the hospital forward, she said.
“We’re just lucky that we’re at a facility where we can be progressive and do these kinds of things, and provide for our community,” Sabatka said.