The Australian College of Optometry’s (ACO) Advanced Certificate in Glaucoma course will commence on 22 March, offering participants the latest evidence-based information on the pathophysiology, diagnosis and management of glaucoma.
In Australia, it is estimated that there are more than 300,000 people with glaucoma and 50% are unaware that they have the disease that can lead to irreversible loss of vision.
the opportunity… has allowed me to develop my skills in the assessment and management of glaucoma and develop efficient pathways for patients to receive appropriate care
Optometrists have an opportunity to play a greater role in not only the diagnosis, but in ongoing management of glaucoma patients through collaborative care with ophthalmology. This is particularly the case in rural areas where access to ophthalmology services can be limited. Even patients attending specialist clinical services in metropolitan areas across the country are experiencing significant delays in access to care due to COVID-19, which is delaying patient reviews and treatments.
There are many examples of successful working collaborations and integrative care between ophthalmology and optometry at a community level and even at a systems level. For instance, in Sydney, the Centre for Eye Health has developed a shared care model with ophthalmology at Prince of Wales Hospital. This program is proving to be an effective option for managing the ongoing care of patients with chronic stable glaucoma who are at low risk of vision loss.
Another example is the Australian College of Optometry which has partnered with the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital. The glaucoma collaborative clinic (GCC) was established in 2016 in response to growing pressure on the glaucoma waiting lists at the Eye and Ear, where patients are seen on site at the ACO’s Carlton clinic by optometrists working alongside a consultant ophthalmologist from the Eye and Ear’s Glaucoma service.
Janelle Scully leads the Ocular Disease Services at the ACO and completed the ACO’s Advanced Certificate in Glaucoma in 2019. “Working in GCC has opened my eyes to the enormous pressure on public hospital waiting lists, particularly in the area of glaucoma. Having the opportunity to work alongside leading specialists from the Eye and Ear has allowed me to develop my skills in the assessment and management of glaucoma and develop efficient pathways for patients to receive appropriate care.”
To enhance and support the profession in this important area of eye care, the Australian College of Optometry continues to deliver the Advanced Certificate in Glaucoma.
“The ACO has partnered with some of the best clinicians in Australia (spanning academia, optometry and ophthalmology) to develop the Advanced Certificate in Glaucoma and has been very well received year on year” says ACO’s Head of Education Dr Michelle Waugh. Now in its fifth year, this six-month online certificate course incorporates the latest evidence-based information on the pathophysiology, diagnosis and management of glaucoma. This certificate course is open to all optometrists within Australia and New Zealand and commences on 22 March 2021.
Further information is available upon request at www.aco.org.au/advanced-certificate-in-glaucoma.