The Ophthalmic Practitioner Training (OPT) programme for Acute and Emergency Eye Care allows hospital-based ophthalmic nurses, orthoptists and optometrists to develop their skills in the triaging, assessment and management of emergency eye conditions.
Although often viewed as a busy and stressful working environment, being involved in emergency eye care offers unparalleled learning opportunities. Patients present to emergency clinics with a diverse range of symptoms and signs such that emergency eye care providers must learn to utilise a wide array of examination techniques, diagnostic tools and treatment options. Many problems can be managed immediately; others may require investigation and sub-specialty follow-up or even referral to other medical specialties.
The variety, pace and challenge of emergency eye care make it an especially rewarding area to work in and we would warmly invite you to enrol for the OPT Acute and Emergency Eye Care programme.
The Acute and Emergency Eye Care stream of OPT aims to offer learners a supportive environment in which to develop and hone their history taking, clinical examination, diagnostic and management skills.
The training takes place over three levels. The level 1 certificate focuses on clinical assessment and triaging skills to support the running of emergency eye clinics. At levels 2 and 3, learners will be able to manage specific eye conditions, initially by using protocols for managing common eye complaints and moving towards increasingly independent practice, whilst always supported by ophthalmologists and other senior allied healthcare professionals.
Your learning will also be supported by clinical supervisors and an educational supervisor, a detailed curriculum complete with learning outcomes and online resources as well as through regional study days where you will have the opportunity to meet with other OPT learners from across the region.
The OPT Acute and Emergency Eye Care programme encompasses all aspects of patient triaging, assessment and management including:
- Ophthalmic examination skills and techniques
- Dealing with the needs of ophthalmic patients, including communication, consent, patient safety and the administration of drugs.
- Teaching & education
- Personal development, including reflective practice and the maintenance of skills
Your learning will be supported by online resources mapped to the curriculum. Each learner will maintain a portfolio with each completed competency. The portfolio is the culmination of your work based assessments (WBAs) and other evidence of learning such as reflections, audits, and quality improvement projects.
You can find links to helpful additional information here:
The full Acute and Emergency Eye Care curriculum can be found here.
If you are interested in enrolling in the OPT Acute and Emergency Eye Care programme, the process is as follows:
- Talk to your Trust managers and clinicians – ensure they are able to support your learning plan.
- Identify your Unit OPT Lead (if there is one). Discuss your plans with them. It is important that you have at least 1 session per week in the area of OPT training your wish to undertake (e.g cataract). The OPT Unit Lead should be able to allocate you an appropriate Educational Supervisor.
- Complete an enrolment form and send to the OPT Regional Lead (for Acute and Emergency Eye Care this is: Silvana Madi, Consultant Ophthalmologist, Princess Alexandra Hospital, email@example.com). If you have already completed sections 1 and 2 above, then this will be a formality. If you are having difficulty getting started (e.g. if your unit does not currently have an OPT Unit Lead), then your OPT Regional Lead can help support you.
- Once you have approval from the OPT Regional Lead, you can submit your signed and completed enrolment form to the Royal College of Ophthalmologists. On successful enrolment you will be sent an individual learner number, together with all the curriculum and portfolio documents.
- Meet with your educational supervisor at least once every 6 months. This will allow you to ensure your training is on track and discuss and address any issues that are identified.
- There is generally no time-limit on completion of the OPT programme, but it is expected that you will submit your completed portfolio within 5 years of enrolment.
OPT Regional Lead for Acute and Emergency Eye Care: Ms Silvana Madi, Consultant Ophthalmologist, Princess Alexandra Hospital (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Head of School: Narman Puvanachandra, Consultant Ophthalmologist, Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital (email@example.com).
RCOphth OPT: firstname.lastname@example.org