Reviews Supplements Allergan Tech CE - Optometry December 2012 : Page 1

PART 3 OF A 3-PART SERIES STAFF ABO OPTOMETRIC STAFF CONTINUING EDUCATION FOR ABO CREDIT By Ben Gaddie, O.D., F.A.A.O., and Cassie Tingle, Optometric Technician Photo: Pinakin Gunvant Davey, O.D., Ph.D. Western University of Health Sciences I n the United States, more than 120,000 people are blind from glaucoma, accounting for 9% to 12% of all cases of blindness. 1 Another two million do not know they have the disease. 2 From a public health standpoint, despite our collective best interests, we have not im-proved signifi cantly enough in this area. Over the last 40 years, optometrists have expanded their scope of prac-tice through legislative authority to include the treat-ment of glaucoma in almost every state in the country. With the baby boomer generation just reaching the age most likely to develop glaucoma—65 and older—we are going to have our hands full not only treating more glau-coma patients, but also sorting out which patients simply have ocular hypertension or suspicious optic nerves. An optometric staff person’s data collection is impera-tive to assisting the optometrist in providing the patient with excellent medical care. The clinical staff can do many things to ensure that both doctor and patients are receiving the information needed to develop a treatment plan and set the stage for treatment compliance. The technician’s education about glaucoma is an important part in assisting the doctor. Knowledge about ocular disease allows them to be more involved in patient care. Your practice may opt to develop a standard evaluation for the diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma so that both the doctors and the technicians know what to expect in terms of testing protocol. Supported by an Independent Educational Grant from Allergan, Inc. Sponsored by Opportunities to Grow Your Practice Optometrists and their staff should make a con-certed effort to develop an organized standard evalu-

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