The College of Optometrists

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Guidance content

  1. Knowledge, skills and performance
  2. Develop and maintain knowledge and skills
  3. Key points
  4. Develop and maintain competence
  5. Work within your competence
  6. Continuing education and training (CET)
  7. Professional development
  8. Useful information and links
  9. Patient records
  10. Key points
  11. Purpose of keeping records
  12. What to record
  13. Electronic record keeping
  14. Ownership of patient records
  15. Confidentiality and privacy
  16. Data Protection Act 1998
  17. The routine eye examination
  18. Key points
  19. Principles of the routine eye examination
  20. Conducting the routine eye examination
  21. After completing the routine eye examination
  22. Frequency of eye examinations
  23. Clinical reasons for earlier recall
  24. Patients requesting re-examination
  25. Examining younger children
  26. Key points
  27. Definition of younger children
  28. Key information to gather and tests to carry out
  29. Other important tests
  30. Communicating with younger children
  31. Protecting yourself
  32. Safeguarding children
  33. Vision screening in schools
  34. Examining patients with learning disabilities
  35. Key points
  36. Definition of learning disability
  37. Some causes of learning disability
  38. Ocular and health conditions of patients with learning disabilities
  39. Principles of examining patients with learning disabilities
  40. Providing patients with a report of their eye examination
  41. Useful information and links
  42. Examining patients with specific learning difficulties or visual discomfort
  43. Key points
  44. What specific learning difficulties are and how they affect patients
  45. Principles of examining patients with specific learning difficulties
  46. Tinted lenses
  47. Useful information and links
  48. Examining patients with dementia or other acquired cognitive impairment
  49. Key points
  50. What cognitive impairment means and how patients can be affected
  51. Key factors to help you act in the patient's best interests
  52. Principles of examining patients with cognitive impairment
  53. Prescribing
  54. Supply and aftercare
  55. Referral and support
  56. Useful information and links
  57. The domiciliary eye examination
  58. Key points
  59. Patients eligible for a domiciliary eye examination
  60. Conducting a domiciliary eye examination
  61. Conducting eye examinations in a residential home
  62. Useful information and links
  63. Examining patients with diabetes mellitus
  64. Key points
  65. Principles of examining patients with diabetes mellitus (diabetes)
  66. Procedures to include in an examination in routine practice
  67. Recall and reporting for routine practice
  68. NHS diabetic eye screening programme
  69. Useful information and links
  70. Examining patients at risk from glaucoma
  71. Key points
  72. Principles of examining patients at risk from glaucoma
  73. Identifying patients at risk from glaucoma
  74. Diagnostic information
  75. Procedures to include in an examination in routine practice
  76. Use of non-contact tonometry
  77. Community services
  78. Supervision
  79. Referral
  80. Useful information and links
  81. Assessing and managing patients with low vision
  82. Key points
  83. Principles of assessing and managing patients with low vision
  84. Assessing patients with low vision
  85. Managing patients with low vision
  86. Referral
  87. Dispensing low vision devices
  88. Useful information and links
  89. Examining and managing patients with an anomaly of binocular vision
  90. Key points
  91. Principles of examining and managing patients with an anomaly of binocular vision
  92. Amblyopia and patching
  93. When to refer
  94. Community services
  95. Useful information and links
  96. Examining patients who present with flashes and floaters
  97. Key points
  98. Principles of examining a patient who presents with flashes and floaters
  99. Referral
  100. Managing the patient
  101. Useful information and links
  102. Examining patients who present as an emergency
  103. Key points
  104. Definition of an emergency
  105. Action to take
  106. Practice staff
  107. Useful information and links
  108. Examining patients who drive
  109. Key points
  110. Examining patients
  111. If you think a patient is unfit to drive
  112. Tints and driving
  113. Patients using mobility scooters or powered wheelchairs
  114. Examining patients who work with display screen equipment or computers
  115. Key points
  116. Display screen definition
  117. Principles of examining patients who work with display screen equipment
  118. Prescribing
  119. Vision screening
  120. Prescribing spectacles
  121. Key points
  122. Issuing prescriptions
  123. Small prescriptions and making small changes to existing prescriptions
  124. Pupillary distance (PD)
  125. Sale and supply of spectacles
  126. Key points
  127. Regulation
  128. Principles
  129. Supervising the sale and supply of spectacles
  130. Prescriptions over two years old
  131. Sale and supply when the patient is not present
  132. Taking the prescription elsewhere
  133. Ready-made reading spectacles
  134. Sports eyewear
  135. In-house glazing
  136. Useful information and links
  137. Contact lens equipment and facilities
  138. Key points
  139. Essential equipment
  140. Recommended equipment
  141. Additional equipment
  142. Verifying and calibrating equipment
  143. Fitting contact lenses
  144. Key points
  145. Working within the limits of your professional competence
  146. Advising patients before assessing and fitting
  147. Assessing patients
  148. The fitting process
  149. Supervision
  150. Referral
  151. Contact lens specification
  152. Key points
  153. Specification for powered lenses
  154. Specification for zero-powered (plano) lenses
  155. Prescription expiry
  156. Patients buying lenses elsewhere
  157. Contact lens supply
  158. Key points
  159. Principles of contact lens supply
  160. Powered contact lens supply
  161. Zero-powered (plano) contact lens supply
  162. Supervision
  163. General direction
  164. Aftercare
  165. Contact lens check-ups
  166. Key points
  167. Principles of contact lens check-ups
  168. Examining contact lens wearers
  169. Re-issuing the contact lens specification
  170. Routine eye examination
  171. Aftercare
  172. Specialist contact lenses
  173. Key points
  174. Principles of examining wearers of specialist contact lenses
  175. Extended wear
  176. Therapeutic contact lenses
  177. Orthokeratology
  178. Useful information and links
  179. Use and supply of drugs or medicines in optometric practice
  180. Key points
  181. Principles of the use and supply of drugs or medicines
  182. Instilling eye drops
  183. Supply of drugs in optometric practice
  184. Prescribing and treating yourself and others close to you
  185. Patient group directions and co-management schemes
  186. Storage and disposal of drugs
  187. Reporting schemes on adverse drug reactions
  188. Safety and quality
  189. Health and safety on the premises
  190. Key points
  191. Principles of health and safety
  192. Practitioner responsibilities
  193. Useful information and links
  194. Infection control
  195. Key points
  196. Introduction
  197. Transmission from person to person
  198. Methods of preventing infection transmission from person to person
  199. Situations of increased concern - transmission from person to person
  200. Transmission via an inert agent
  201. List of agents that may harbour infection
  202. Methods of preventing infection transmission via an inert agent
  203. Principles of cleaning, sterilisation and disinfection
  204. Levels of decontamination
  205. The re-use of contact lenses and ophthalmic devices
  206. Measures to take in case of accident
  207. Storage and handling
  208. Contamination via contact lens solutions and medicine bottles
  209. Situations of increased concern - transmission via a contaminated object
  210. Safe disposal of waste
  211. Useful information and links
  212. Raising concerns
  213. Key points
  214. Principles of raising concerns
  215. Practitioner responsibilities
  216. Adverse incidents and near misses
  217. Useful information and links
  218. Safeguarding children and vulnerable adults
  219. Communication, partnership and teamwork
  220. Partnership with patients
  221. Key points
  222. Communicating effectively with patients
  223. Communicating about the costs of your services
  224. Consent
  225. Key points
  226. Gaining consent to treatment from adults
  227. Capacity to consent – adults
  228. General points on consent – children and young people
  229. Children and young people who lack the capacity to consent
  230. Children and young people with the capacity to consent
  231. Confidentiality
  232. Key points
  233. Principles of patient confidentiality
  234. Sharing information with others providing care
  235. Disclosing patient information in other situations
  236. Disclosing information about adults without their consent
  237. Disclosing information about adults who lack capacity to consent
  238. Disclosing information about children
  239. Disclosing information about children without their consent
  240. Disclosing information to patients’ relatives or carers
  241. Disclosing information after death
  242. Dealing with complaints
  243. Key points
  244. Policy and procedure
  245. Resolving complaints
  246. Providing information about complaints
  247. Social media
  248. Key points
  249. About social media
  250. Benefits and risks of using social media
  251. Privacy and confidentiality
  252. Anonymity
  253. Conflicts of interest
  254. Useful information and links
  255. Maintaining boundaries
  256. Key points
  257. Principles of maintaining boundaries
  258. Current patients
  259. Former patients
  260. Colleagues
  261. Working with colleagues
  262. Key points
  263. Your role
  264. Working in teams
  265. Referrals
  266. Urgency of referrals
  267. Delegation
  268. Supervision
  269. Continuity of care
  270. Useful information and links
  271. Maintaining trust
  272. Honesty and integrity
  273. Key points
  274. Principles
  275. Treating patients and colleagues fairly
  276. Openness in legal or disciplinary hearings
  277. Principles of financial dealings
  278. Indemnity
  279. Conflicts of interest
  280. Useful information and links
  281. Research and audit
  282. Key points
  283. Definition of research
  284. Ethical research
  285. College research principles
  286. Definition of audit
  287. Audit principles
  288. Useful information and links
  289. Relevant legislation
  290. Annexes
  291. Annex 1 Equipment list for the routine eye examination
  292. Annex 2 Ophthalmic abbreviations
  293. Eye examination terms
  294. Clinical condition terms
  295. Contact lens terms
  296. Pharmacy and drug terms
  297. Annex 3 World Health Organization guidance on handrubbing and handwashing techniques

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