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OPT036 - Independent Prescribing

This module aims to provide eye care practitioners with the knowledge and skills to provide a high standard of independent prescribing.

You must pass OPT034 and OPT035 before beginning this module. This module includes a contact teaching day towards the beginning of the module in which students take part in interactive small group teaching sessions. Studies continue with a series of distance learning articles and lectures delivered on Learning Central. Interactive case discussions are presented in a webinar and at the contact teaching day, and formative assignments are offered to guide and enhance students’ learning. In total there are two contact days which include the teaching day towards the start of the module, and an examination at the end of the module held at Cardiff University.

CET points are available on completion of applicable elements of the module.

Along with OPT034 and OPT035, this module is accredited by the General Optical Council for the Independent Prescribing Qualification.

Start dateMarch
Duration20 contact hours over one academic term
Credits20 credits - CET points available
PrerequisitesOPT034 and OPT035
Module tutorsAngela Whitaker
Module codeOPT036

Learning objectives

On successful completion of the module a student will be able to demonstrate the following as defined by the GOC:

  • an understanding of their role as an independent prescriber, an awareness of the limitations of their clinical experience and an ability to work within the limits of their professional competence
  • an understanding of the public health issues related to medicines use
  • an understanding of the legal, ethical and professional framework for accountability and responsibility in relation to prescribing
  • an understanding of working within clinical governance frameworks that include audit of prescribing practice and personal development
  • an ability to take a comprehensive medical history and examine the eye using agreed instrumentation and clinical techniques.
  • a knowledge of the pathophysiology, clinical features and natural course of the conditions being treated
  • an ability to develop and document a clinical management plan within the context of a prescribing partnership.
  • an ability to critically evaluate sources of information, advice and decision support in prescribing practice, taking into account current evidence-based practice
  • an understanding of how to monitor the response to treatment, to review both the working and the differential diagnosis, and to modify treatment or refer / consult / seek guidance as appropriate
  • an understanding of the main concepts that are important in relation to communication and interaction with other health care professionals pertinent to the management of selected abnormal ocular conditions and eye diseases.
  • a knowledge of the principles of the Medicines Act and the principles of access to medicines, including the prescribing of medicines for human use
  • an understanding of how to prescribe safely, appropriately and cost effectively
  • knowledge of a shared approach to decision making by assessing patients’ need for medicines, taking account of their preference

The programme also provides opportunities for students to achieve and demonstrate the following learning outcomes appropriate to level 7 learning:

  • an ability to rank potential treatment options and to formulate and review a management plan for people with eye disease, evidencing an understanding of the diverse influences on prescribing decisions including local and national guidance, clinical effectiveness, general health, cost, safety concerns, side effects and patient choice
  • an ability to explain and justify clinical decisions to patients and colleagues

How the module will be delivered

Through online lectures, a webinar, case based learning, practical sessions, and a series of online articles. Please note: all contact days and the webinar are mandatory activities.

How the module will be assessed

Formative assessment:

Formative activities are presented online. Students also have the opportunity to submit a formative case report to obtain detailed feedback in advance of the summative case report.

Summative assessment:

  • Exam (65%)
  • Case reports (35%)

Syllabus content

  • Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of systemically administered medicines
  • Systemic conditions and their relevance to eye disease management as an independent prescriber
  • Legal and ethical aspects of the professional autonomy of an independent prescriber
  • Evidence-based practice and clinical governance in relation to prescribing
  • Local and national policies impacting on prescribing practice
  • Comprehensive understanding of assessment, management and monitoring of patients with anterior eye conditions

Skills that will be practised and developed

Academic skills

  • Advancing own knowledge and understanding
  • Collating and synthesising information from a number of resources to improve learning
  • Data interpretation

Subject-specific skills

  • Awareness of recent research in ophthalmic prescribing practice and the evidence base for accepted clinical practice in prescribing

Generic skills

  • Time management
  • Working independently
  • IT skills, including online discussion forums
  • Problem solving ability