Optometrists examine and test eyes to identify abnormalities, visual problems, or disease. They prescribe and fit lenses such as spectacles and contacts, and offer advice on visual problems. They may also refer patients to a medical practitioner. Their scope of practice and title varies according to national regulations.
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- Investigative / Social
- Preventive medicine
The measures taken for disease prevention in a specific area or a group of people.
- Optical glass characteristics
The characteristics of optical glass such as refractive index, dispersion, and chemical properties.
- Eye protection regulations
Eye protection regulations and relevant standards in relation to occupational visual requirements.
- Quality standards of ophthalmic equipment
The various national or international quality standards for ophthalmic equipment (glasses, lenses, etc) such as ISO 10685-1:2011.
- Refraction of the eye
The way to perform clinical tests by using a phoropter to identify the eye's refractive error.
- Optical instruments
The characteristics and usage of optical instruments such as lens-meter, to determine refractive power of lenses such as glasses.
- Interact with healthcare users
Communicate with clients and their carer’s, with the patient’s permission, to keep them informed about the clients’ and patients’ progress and safeguarding confidentiality.
- Adhere to organisational guidelines
Adhere to organisational or department specific standards and guidelines. Understand the motives of the organisation and the common agreements and act accordingly.
- Comply with legislation related to health care
Comply with the regional and national legislation that is relevant to one`s work and apply it in practice.
- Accept own accountability
Accept accountability for one`s own professional activities and recognise the limits of one`s own scope of practice and competencies.
- Deal with emergency care situations
Assess the signs and be well-prepared for a situation that poses an immediate threat to a person's health, security, property or environment.
- Listen actively
Give attention to what other people say, patiently understand points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times; able to listen carefully the needs of customers, clients, passengers, service users or others, and provide solutions accordingly.
- Empathise with the healthcare user
Understand the background of clients` and patients’ symptoms, difficulties and behaviour. Be empathetic about their issues; showing respect and reinforcing their autonomy, self-esteem and independence. Demonstrate a concern for their welfare and handle according to the personal boundaries, sensitivities, cultural differences and preferences of the client and patient in mind.
- Promote ocular health
Participate in activities that contribute to promoting ocular health and preventing ocular problems.
- Educate on the prevention of illness
Offer evidence-based advice on how to avoid ill health, educate and advise individuals and their carers on how to prevent ill health and/or be able to advise how to improve their environment and health conditions. Provide advice on the identification of risks leading to ill health and help to increase the patients' resilience by targeting prevention and early intervention strategies.
- Apply organisational techniques
Employ a set of organisational techniques and procedures which facilitate the achievement of the set goals set such as detailed planning of personnel's schedules. Use these resources efficiently and sustainably, and show flexibility when required.
- Provide health education
Provide evidence based strategies to promote healthy living, disease prevention and management.
- Advise patients on vision improvement conditions
Advise patients with low vision on strategies to enhance their sight, such as use of magnification and lighting equipment.
- Advise on healthcare users' informed consent
Ensure patients/clients are fully informed about the risks and benefits of proposed treatments so they can give informed consent, engaging patients/clients in the process of their care and treatment.
- Develop a collaborative therapeutic relationship
Develop a mutually collaborative therapeutic relationship during treatment, fostering and gaining healthcare users' trust and cooperation.
- Communicate effectively in healthcare
Communicate effectively with patients, families and other caregivers, health care professionals, and community partners.
- Perform vision rehabilitation
Maximise the remaining sight in people with low vision using rehabilitation strategies and magnification aids.
- Test visual acuity
Test patients` visual acuity, perception of depth colour, and ability to focus and coordinate the eyes.
- Apply health sciences
Apply a broad range of bio-medical, psycho-social, organisational, educational, and societal aspects of health, disease, and healthcare to improve healthcare services and to improve quality of life.
- Provide treatment strategies for challenges to human health
Identify possible treatment protocols for the challenges to human health within a given community in cases such as infectious diseases of high consequences at the global level.
- Perform comprehensive eye examinations
Undertake comprehensive eye examinations to determine prescription needs or diagnose disease or abnormalities. Some of the methods for this are cover tests, color blindness tests, and pupil dilation.
- Comply with quality standards related to healthcare practice
Apply quality standards related to risk management, safety procedures, patients feedback, screening and medical devices in daily practice, as they are recognized by the national professional associations and authorities.
- Promote inclusion
Promote inclusion in health care and social services and respect diversity of beliefs, culture, values and preferences, keeping in mind the importance of equality and diversity issues.
- Provide therapy of the visual system
Apply suitable orthoptic, pleoptic and optic treatment methods, using equipment such as lenses (`training glasses`), prisms, filters, patches, electronic targets, or balance boards, and suggest and implement adaptation options or possibilities for coping with everyday life, supervising in-office reinforcement exercises and instructing the patient to execute at-home exercises.
- Respond to changing situations in health care
Cope with pressure and respond appropriately and in time to unexpected and rapidly changing situations in healthcare.
- Inform policy makers on health-related challenges
Provide useful information related to health care professions to ensure policy decisions are made in the benefit of communities.
- Refer healthcare users
Make referrals to other professionals, based on the healthcare user's requirements and needs, especially when recognising that additional healthcare diagnostics or interventions are required.
- Contribute to continuity of health care
Contribute to the delivery of coordinated and continuous healthcare.
- Record healthcare users' progress related to treatment
Record the healthcare user's progress in response to treatment by observing, listening and measuring outcomes.
- Work in a multicultural environment in health care
Interact, relate and communicate with individuals from a variety of different cultures, when working in a healthcare environment.
- Apply context specific clinical competences
Apply professional and evidence based assessment, goal setting, delivery of intervention and evaluation of clients, taking into account the developmental and contextual history of the clients, within one`s own scope of practice.
- Use e-health and mobile health technologies
Use mobile health technologies and e-health (online applications and services) in order to enhance the provided healthcare.
- Follow clinical guidelines
Follow agreed protocols and guidelines in support of healthcare practice which are provided by healthcare institutions, professional associations, or authorities and also scientific organisations.
- Prescribe corrective lenses
Prescribe eyeglasses and contact lenses, according to measurements and tests conducted.
- Ensure safety of healthcare users
Make sure that healthcare users are being treated professionally, effectively and safe from harm, adapting techniques and procedures according to the person's needs, abilities or the prevailing conditions.
- Manage healthcare users' data
Keep accurate client records which also satisfy legal and professional standards and ethical obligations in order to facilitate client management, ensuring that all clients' data (including verbal, written and electronic) are treated confidentially.
- Work in multidisciplinary health teams
Participate in the delivery of multidisciplinary health care, and understand the rules and competences of other healthcare related professions.
- Advise on contact lense maintenance
Advise patients on how to clean and wear contact lenses to maximise lifespan and minimise risk of complications.