THE OPTOMETRIC TECHNICIAN

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TAKE YOUR TECHNICIAN SKILLS TO THE NEXT LEVEL WITH THESE TIPS FOR STAFF TRAINING.

As an optometric technician, you need to keep current through continuing education. Even though a lot of what you learn is on the job, that doesn’t mean you can’t get a little help now and then.

CONTACT LENSES
If your office fits contacts, you may not need to search any further than the lens manufacturers. Bausch + Lomb’s website offers a wealth of information for eyecare professionals. This includes lens and lens care videos, patient information booklets and a gallery of clinical slit lamp eye photos from corneal diseases to contact lens fittings. Parameters and key features for all the Bausch + Lomb lenses can easily be found on the website as well.
Alcon created the Academy for Eye Care Excellence to provide ECPs with updated training and information. While most of the content is geared toward optometrists and optometry students, there is some information for the optometric technician. For instance, A Guide to Clinical Contact Lens Management is a reference for all contact lens practitioners regardless of experience.

The Vision Care Institute offers in-person, hands-on training to optometrists, but Johnson & Johnson Vision’s website houses a video and webinar library for all ECPs. You can learn about their different products and access fitting guides. Patient education and practice resources are available online as well.

INSTRUMENTS

Marco offers an animated video of the AFC-330 to explain the camera’s technology and features.

Whether your office is considering a new piece of equipment or you simply want to learn more about your existing equipment, again, look to a manufacturer’s website. For instance, Reichert Technologies has PDFs, videos and diagrams describing the Ocular Response Analyzer G3 and the principle of corneal hysteresis. Marco offers videos and animated brochures for some products on its website as well.

Optovue has a more structured online training module, which includes OCT training videos, with Optovue Academy. The technician training track consists of five lessons starting with an overview of the iVue OCT system up to the acquisition of optic nerve and retinal scans. The dashboard shows a clear summary of your lesson progress and makes it easy to come right back to where you left off.

PATIENT CARE
Buying groups and alliances are other resources for staff training. IDOC, an alliance for independent optometrists, offers staff training sessions (some with ABO credits) at its national and regional meetings as well as a closed Facebook group for members. PEN (Primary Eyecare Network), a division of ABB Optical Group, offers quality education programs to independent optometric practices. The classes include both webinars and in-person programs covering myriad topics from lensometry to billing.

CONTINUING ED
Are you in need of CE credits? The American Optometric Association (AOA) has a wide range of courses and study guides available in CD-ROM and book formats in the Paraoptometric and Education Training Product Catalog. AOA Associate members also have access to articles in PDF format. Members may download an archived article, complete the exam, and mail the answer sheet with a small fee. The member will receive one hour of CE for successfully passing the exam at the end of each article.

Quantum Optical presents web-based classes for paraoptometric, ABO and NCLE credits. This organization will grade the accompanying test immediately and send the credit directly to your email account. Topics include dry eye, diabetes, contact lenses and pediatric dispensing to name a few. Standard, gold and platinum memberships are available with varying costs and benefits.

EyeCareCE by JCAHPO (Joint Commission on Allied Health in Ophthalmology) has an enormous library of online CE courses for the entire eyecare team. There are classes offered for JCAHPO, ABO and NCLE credit. Another section is devoted to courses for practice managers, scribes and front office personnel. One option is the annual Clinic CE Subscription plan that provides unlimited access to over 150 JCAHPO courses for all clinic staff for one fee.

First Vision Media Group (publisher of Optometric Office) also offers courses for credit on the TotallyOptical.com website. The online education page features CE classes on eyewear, lenses, digital eyestrain and more.
Being creative with staff education is a great way to continuously learn at your own pace and tailor it to your needs. OO

Kim Pickett, COMT, is a certified ophthalmic medical technologist and ophthalmic writer in Minneapolis, MN.

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