Case studies2023-06-16T13:32:56+01:00

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.

I was attracted to take on this job role as there are lots of different skills to learn and I enjoy direct contact with the patients. I enjoy providing a helpful service to our patients and to the Trust.

I feel the training I have had has made me feel more confident in the workplace and in myself. I have enjoyed learning a new skill and running the clinics efficiently. I feel confident in my work and in providing a pleasant experience for our patients.

I am proud to have acquired many skills in Ophthalmology which helps with the smooth running of clinics. I am proud to deliver good, professional patient care which receives positive feedback from the patients I see.

Becoming an orthoptic clinical assistant can be a fulfilling and meaningful job role. It is an opportunity to make a valuable contribution to someone’s life. You learn to work as part of a team alongside other health professionals, meet people with different backgrounds, cultures and experiences and develop essential skills e.g communication, problem-solving.

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.

Having an interest in helping people and wanting to know more about certain eye conditions. Also being a clinical assistant is a great way of getting a taste of what it is like working in healthcare.

It has given me the knowledge and skills to better communicate with service users and with other healthcare professionals.

The ability to work alone and also to be part of a well-trained workforce.

I think support workers are at the heart of improvements in service delivery and transformation. The career can be very interesting and varied.

If you’re a clinical assistant, we’d love to hear your story. Fill in our case study template and return, with a photo, to [email protected].