The College of Optometrists

Principles of examining patients with a disability

A63
When examining a patient who has a disability you must make reasonable adjustments to enable you to perform the relevant tests.24 These would include:
  • allowing additional time where necessary, and
  • having instruments that are suitable to use on patients who are unable to move their head or put their chin on the chin rest of table mounted instruments. Examples of what would be suitable include a direct ophthalmoscope, handheld tonometer, and trial frame and lenses rather than a refractor head.
A64
Do not assume that just because a patient has a disability they are unable to understand you or interact with you normally. You should always speak directly to the patient, rather than to their companion.
A65
Do not be embarrassed to ask the patient what has caused their disability or how long they have had it for.
A66
Be flexible in your examination techniques, and be prepared to adapt your routine to accommodate the patient’s individual needs.

References

24 Equality Act 2010

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