In early August, Darrell Baker, President of the Optometrists Association Australia (OAA), WA Division, and Andrew Harris, National President OAA, officially welcomed delegates from around the country to WAVE (Western Australia Vision Education) 2010. WAVE was held on the idyllic Fremantle coast, just 20 minutes from the heart of Perth.
Western Australian optometrists are on the cusp of having therapeutics approved, so it was not surprising to see this topic was central to the program.
Associate Professor Mark Roth led the way with an introduction to therapeutics and therapeutic exam room essentials, while Dr. Ian Chan provided an update into corneal treatments and introduced the clinical workshops.
Dr. Celia Chen delivered case studies on ‘Neuro Opthalmic Emergencies’ and presentations on ‘Optic Neuritis’ and ‘Double Vision’.
For the first time in Australia, a full day educational program of lectures and workshops was incorporated into WAVE, to cater for the educational needs of optical dispensers and practice staff
Contact lens specialist Damon Ezekiel spoke on the fitting of all types of rigid gas permeable contact lenses and Dr. Laura Downie, provided new insights on contact lenses, with presentations and lectures that included ‘The Challenging Contact Lens Patient’ and ‘A Snapshot of Anterior Eye Therapeutics’.
Optometrist Jim Kokkinakis, encouraged delegates to run their practice more successfully by ‘Breaking the Shackles of Medicare’ and educated attendees on ‘Specialty Contact Lenses’.
WAVE Breaks Ground for Optical Dispensers
At a time when state legislators are dumbing down optical dispensing through deregulation, others are striving to push forward with a higher level of skills training and education.
For the first time in Australia, a full day educational program of lectures and workshops was incorporated into WAVE, to cater for the educational needs of optical dispensers and practice staff.
Many of the lectures were presented by leading optical companies including Hoya, Essilor and Transitions on a range of topics including demystifying freeform lenses, patient insights, photochromic technology and much more.
OAA, WA Division CEO, Tony Martella said the idea for the Lecture Series and Workshops came after a special dispensers’ session at last year’s WAVE Congress.
“It makes lots of sense on so many levels. Dispensers and practice staff are key components of the optometry team. They speak to patients about lens choices, coatings and, of course, frames. WAVE provides educational sessions to improve their product knowledge and hence their ability to meet the patients’ needs, and of course, increase their sales ability,” said Tony.
Exhibitors at WAVE, like Aaron McColl, Managing Director from Shaan Labworks, were equally impressed. “In many cases we find it’s the practice staff that make purchasing decisions for the store, or at least highly influencing the optometrist. They are on the front line of optical retail, so they often know what the customer is looking for.”
Asked whether having sessions running simultaneously for both optometrists and optical dispensers was the way of the future for optical conferences, WA Optical Dispenser Dawn Callender agreed, “after all, we are the front line and we need to continue to improve our skills and knowledge as much as the optometrist”.
WAVE 2011 will be held from 19 to 21 August. For more information phone (AUS) 08 9321 2300.
To view images from WAVE 2010 go to: https://mivision.com.au/gallery/wave-2010-gallery