There is little doubt that the emphasis of our profession has changed greatly in the past decade with optometry becoming the first port of call for ocular conditions. With MECS, PEARS and the GOS contract in Scotland community optometry practice is very much the frontline when acute eye conditions occur. The very first person of that frontline however will invariably be a member of the practice support team, so when a patient contacts with serious conditions they have a vital role to play in recognising this and gaining clear triage information and communicating this with the optometrist.
Building on the success and popularity of the Eye Emergency Resource Pack, I am developing an evening training event for practice staff members to develop their knowledge and skills in this area. The basic concept is to increase awareness of the main red-flag signs and symptoms which could indicate an urgent condition that needs acted upon and to help give a clear means of obtaining clear and relevant triage information so that the optometrist is well placed to suggest an appropriate course of action. This is all aimed to minimise any avoidable delays in getting the patient seen by the right person, and increasing their chances of successful treatment.
The course will consist of a lecture and a discussion workshop. The lecture will cover the key red-flag signs and symptoms for staff to look our for when patients report in the different areas of ocular emergency. It will also cover how to gather the relevant information for that patient to assist with effective triage. The discussion workshop will cover a range of patient scenarios which will be explored in small groups to see what the best course of action would be in each case.
All delegates will receive an Eye Emergency resource Pack and a certificate of attendance for their professional portfolio. Registered dispensing opticians will also get interactive CET points.
I am running this course initially in Inverness on 14th November, however am very keen to deliver it elsewhere across the UK if this is a success. Details and booking for the Inverness event can be found at the Events page of this site. I have a provisional arrangement to run it in Newcastle upon Tyne in March 2020. If you think this would be useful for your region or town, or are keen to help facilitate this type of training I would be delighted to hear from you. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org .