Ulladulla optometrist Craig Cameron at the careers expo with student Blessings Chakanda, who undertook a clinical placement with him
By Helen Carter
An evidence-based optometry conference at Flinders University in July empowered practitioners to access and interpret the latest research and translate it into clinical practice. The conference included a careers expo that 20 optometrists and 30 fifth- and final-year students attended over the two days.
The conference at Flinders’ city campus on 13-14 July aimed to help optometrists explore optometry best practice, the latest clinical optometric research, and ways to evaluate and incorporate research outcomes into optometric practice.
‘Day one was an interesting mix of workshops and theory-based learning, including how to interpret scientific papers and diagnostic studies,’ Flinders Foundation Chair of Optometry and Vision Science, Professor Konrad Pesudovs, said.
‘Attendees included representatives from many of our 150 placement partners from our national network. Our placement partner workshop and dinner was a unique opportunity to network and share learning.’
Dr Isabelle Jalbert from the University of NSW delivered sessions on the importance and fundamental concepts of evidence-based practice. Flinders librarian Nikki May presented a lecture and workshop to upskill optometrists to access scientific literature.
On the second day, 12 masterclass sessions covered therapeutics, paediatrics and binocular vision, visual fields, and glaucoma and ophthalmic disease management.
The masterclasses were chaired by optometrists Rod Baker, Brad Kirkwood, Dr Jalbert and Professor Pesudovs and were co-presented by the Flinders’ final-year optometry students.
‘The episcleritis topic was really helpful for me to better understand when to treat and not to treat,’ said OPSM Ulladulla optometrist, Craig Cameron. ‘We can now take this knowledge back to apply in practice.’
Industry delegates who attended included regional and local placement partners and representatives from the Royal Society for the Blind, the Vision and Learning Institute, and Guide Dogs SA/NT.
Optometry Australia standards and research adviser Dr Patricia Kiely attended and ProVision was represented.