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A new clinical placements program at Centre for Eye Health (CFEH) is enhancing the clinical education of final-year optometry students.
For a two-week period, each final year optometry student attends clinics at CFEH. During this time, the students can discuss with staff optometrists test results and findings, and they are also shown how to use and interpret data from the Centre's advanced eye-imaging instruments. At the end of their placement the students give two case presentations to CFEH's clinical staff to demonstrate their understanding and analysis of client test results.
"Feedback from students to date is that CFEH is exposing them to a considerably larger range of clinical case experience than they have had to date," says Associate Professor David Pye, CFEH's Director of Clinic Operations and Teaching. "This is a real benefit to senior students as it provides them with information as to how advanced ocular images are obtained, interpreted and possibly used in the management of patients."
Final year Optometry student Sahar Falahati was delighted by her clinical placement at CFEH. "The Centre is impressive in so many ways," she says. When you combine the expertise of the staff, the wide array of hi-tech diagnostic equipment and the fact that clients get a free service, it's really an amazing facility for clients, students and the teaching of clinical optometry.
With the UNSW School of Optometry and Vision Science graduating 40 per cent of Australia's new optometrists annually, the placements at CFEH are also extremely valuable in developing the patient management skills of the optometric profession as a whole.
CFEH is an integrated referral facility providing state-of-the-art eye imaging and visual system diagnostic services to the community, at no charge. Clients referred to CFEH frequently have a complex clinical presentation requiring a broad range of tests to provide informative data for the referring practitioner.