Optometrists’ evolving role in glaucoma

The Australian College of Optometry (ACO) has honed its education offerings to reflect the increasing opportunities for collaboration with ophthalmologists. Better collaboration, together with better training, results in more effective pathways and thus better patient care, said Dr Michelle Waugh, ACO’s head of education. 


At the heart of this evolving approach is the glaucoma patient, where “collaboration between optometrists and ophthalmologists is critical in the timely detection of glaucoma and optimisation of management," said Dr Bob Wang, a Melbourne-based ophthalmologist who originally trained as an optometrist.


To support optometrists in Australia and New Zealand in having a greater role in the diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma, the ACO developed a specialised glaucoma course, the Advanced Certificate of Glaucoma (ACG). The course is reviewed each year to ensure it encapsulates the community optometrist’s evolving role in glaucoma, said Dr Waugh. “Now in its fifth year, this course updates and extends optometrists’ knowledge by providing insightful depth to everyday practice concepts.” It also offers the opportunity to delve into increasingly important areas for glaucoma diagnosis, such as artificial intelligence and meta-analysis interpretation, to inform current best practice in this critically important area of eye care, she explained. “The ACO has partnered with some of the best clinicians in Australia - across academia, optometry and ophthalmology - to develop the Advanced Certificate in Glaucoma and it has been very well received year on year.”


The ACO-ACG course starts on 22 March 2021 and registrations can be submitted right up to the commencement date, said Dr Waugh. It runs over six months and is open to all optometrists within Australia and New Zealand.


For more, go to www.aco.org.au/advanced-certificate-in-glaucoma/


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