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OPT033: Paediatric Optometry - Practical

This module aims to provide postgraduate students with the practical training to provide a high standard of paediatric eye care to children of all ages.

It builds on core competence of all optometrists, with a requirement for higher level of practical ability and self-evaluation of skills and practice.

OPT006 is a prerequisite for enrollment on this module.

Along with OPT006: Paediatric Eye Care 1 - Theory, this module is accredited by the College of Optometrists to provide the Professional Certificate in Paediatric Eye Care.

Start dateMarch
Duration26 contact hours over one academic term
Credits10 credits - CET points available
Module tutorsMaggie Woodhouse (Leader)

Andy Millington
Mike George
Module codeOPT033

Learning objectives
On completion of the module a student should be able to demonstrate:

  • an understanding of typical visual development and common abnormal visual outcomes
  • a detailed knowledge of the national and local protocols for vision screening pathways
  • an ability to effectively communicate with children and their parents or carers
  • an ability to obtain and interpret children’s full symptoms and personal and familial history
  • a detailed knowledge of the strengths and limitations of tests and techniques
  • an ability to assess children’s visual function using robust and evidence-based tests, appropriate for age
  • a detailed knowledge of how to examine ocular health in children
  • an awareness of the visual problems in children with developmental disabilities
  • a detailed knowledge of appropriate dispensing for children
  • an ability to formulate, communicate and deliver an evidence-based management plan for children
  • safeguarding children - equivalent to level 2.

How the module will be delivered

This module is the practical complement to OPT006: Paediatric Eye Care 1 - Theory. Students have the opportunity to do guided case based learning that encourages them to revise and apply knowledge to four patient key features scenarios in a virtual setting via Learning Central, the University’s e-learning system, with supporting resources and references supplied. Four webinars will allow students to discuss the formative key features scenarios and an additional set of case scenarios, with particular emphasis on management and communication with parents and other professionals.

There is one and a half contact days of workshops and case discussions. An additional day of clinical experience in the Special Assessment Clinic will allow students to witness and participate in eye examinations with child patients.

How the module will be assessed

Practical assessment (50%): Students will sit an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE).

Case Records (50%): Students will be required to submit THREE case records.

(Note that for the College Professional Certificate, students are required to submit four case records from their clinical practice over the two modules, including at least one involving communication with another (non-eye care) professional. The case record in OPT006 forms one of the required four).

The student will select one of their case record, give a short presentation on salient issues to the other students, and lead a discussion. This element is worth 1/3 of the marks for the case records.

Competencies in static and dynamic retinoscopy and in communication will also be assessed and a pass will be required in each for completion of the module.

Syllabus content

The practical workshops, online discussions and written submissions will cover the following areas:

  • Tests and techniques for examining young children:
    • Visual acuity and contrast sensitivity tests
    • Retinoscopy
    • Accommodation
    • Stereopsis and colour vision
    • Eye movements and visual fields
  • Practical demonstration of dispensing for children
  • Paediatric contact lenses
  • Measuring binocular status in children
  • Assessment for coloured overlays and coloured lenses
  • Paediatric Case studies (Peer-review)
  • Communication skills with children and parents
  • In addition, practical days will allow for a session on a different topic, such as  the experiences of children with visual impairment, supporting children with SEN and latest research findings related to paediatric optometry

Skills that will be practised and developed

Academic Skills:

  • Advancing own knowledge and understanding to higher level
  • Collate information from a number of resources to improve learning

Subject-Specific Skills:

  • Awareness of recent research in childhood visual development and the evidence base for accepted clinical practice in paediatric eye care
  • Development of communication skills with both children and parents
  • Development of practical skills to assess and manage children of all ages
  • Understanding common visual problems in childhood and appropriate management/referral decisions
  • Understanding of the role of other professionals involved with children and the importance of reporting pathways

Generic Skills:

  • Time management
  • Working independently
  • Development IT skills, particularly with respect to online discussion forums
  • Improvement in problem solving skills
  • Communication skills