Expanding the scope

As the optometry profession transforms rapidly, there is a demand for optometrists to expand their scope of practice to meet new clinical needs.

Demographic, technological and economic shifts are all having an impact on optometry as a profession. Additionally, as new issues in eye health emerge – influenced by factors as broad as the aging population to the increased use of technology – optometrists are having to frequently refresh their knowledge to stay abreast of current trends.

“In the changing landscape of optometry there is more need for optometrists to expand their scope of practice,” says Dr Christine Nguyen, Senior Lecturer, Department of Optometry and Vision Sciences at the University of Melbourne.

teacher working with young student in the classroom

“For example, dry eye and anterior eye disease is a key area for patients and optometrists,” Dr Nguyen says. Traditionally found in older patients, dry eye is now more commonly presenting in younger people – with some studies linking this to increased screen time.

A postgraduate course Dr Nguyen coordinates at the University of Melbourne, the Specialist Certificate in Anterior and Dry Eye Disorders, is designed to give practising optometrists the depth of knowledge to effectively manage these kinds of contemporary clinical problems.

“The Specialist Certificate in Anterior Eye Disease and Dry Eye Disorders is delivered by a team of lecturers who have experience ranging from advanced dry eye management to keratoconic cross-linking,” Dr Nguyen says. “In this manner, it assists practitioners to expand their scope of practice and stay highly informed about contemporary clinical issues.”

Mid-year applications for the Specialist Certificate in Anterior and Dry Eye Disorders are now open. Apply now to study in July.

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