Tim Hoang at Darling Heights Primary School Photo: Syd Owen
By Ashleigh McMillan
Tim Hoang is one of 19 QUT optometry students who helped to screen 292 children in preparatory to year three at Darling Heights Primary School in one day.
Undertaken by the Essilor Vision Foundation on 24 June, the screening was assisted by optometrist Julia Lovell of Bailey Nelson Optometrists and clinician Vu Phuong.
Tim said that after his first screening at Holy Name School in Toowoomba, he was excited to be involved with more ambitious screenings where he would be examining larger numbers of children.
‘It really helped me to build my clinical skills in terms of being more efficient because we’ve been under time constraints. I wanted to expand my exposure to seeing more patients and seeing more kids, because it’s a good opportunity for us to get some more experience. We don’t see many children in our clinic,’ he said.
‘We knew there were about 500 students who had permission to be screened and only 19 of us, so we did the maths and knew we probably weren’t going to get it all done. After we got the logistics sorted, it went really well and the kids were really well behaved.
‘Doing these screenings makes you feel good, because you don’t realise how many of these kids might have vision problems, and because of that might be having learning difficulties. It’s nice knowing that we might help a number of kids who just needed glasses, which will ultimately help them in school.’
Of the children screened, 37 per cent have been referred to an optometrist for a full eye examination.
Optometrist Julia Lovell Photo: Syd Owen
QUT students Tim Hoang (L) and Tran Dang Photo: Syd Owen