Case studies from Orthoptic Clinical Assistants
Paige Jackson, Senior Ophthalmic Technician
Fiona Unsworth, Ophthalmic Technician
As Ophthalmic Technicians, we carry out different visual field tests for a variety of conditions, most commonly glaucoma and stroke. This helps the clinicians diagnose and monitor the patient and make decisions about their care. More recently we have also been trained to perform work-up clinics of patients with glaucoma, suspected glaucoma, or ocular hypertension. We take a brief case history; test visual acuity; perform measurement of the anterior chamber angle depth (Van Herick) and intraocular pressure (Goldmann Applanation Tonometry) using the slit lamp; instil appropriate eye drops and take OCT images of the optic discs and maculae.
My role enables these patients to be virtually monitored by a qualified AHP. As a result, more patients are being suitably reviewed in a timely manner and our Ophthalmologists’ time can be used more effectively for more advanced or progressing cases. We are also trained to flag any significant changes to a patient’s visual fields, vision or intraocular pressure to help escalate more urgent cases to receive attention quicker.
Julie Walton, Glaucoma Technician
I support the AHP by performing preliminary checks on service users. Orthoptic Clinical Assistants play a crucial role in delivering safe and effective care which influences patients’ experiences.