Paraoptometric Skill Builder: Beginner

The Paraoptometric Skill Builder®: Beginner Level 1 course is designed for the “new to the field of paraoptometry." This course includes 14 units:

 

Topics include:
1. Introduction to Paraoptometry
2. Basic Terminology
3. Front Office Procedures
4. Obtaining an Ocular History
5. Routine Pre-Testing Procedures
6. External Examination
7. Ancillary Testing
8. Refractometry
9. Visual Field Testing
10. Spectacles
11. Contact Lenses
12. Assisting the Optometrist
13. Patients With Special Needs
14. Instrumentation and Maintaining Equipment

Seminar Information
Seminar Date:
October 19, 2020
Module 1 - Introduction to Paraoptometry

Every member of the eye care team is considered a professional in the eyes of the patient.  That’s why it’s so important that every individual who works for an optometrist has a solid foundation of knowledge.  This will not only help them to provide the best in patient care, but maximize the contribution they can make to the success of the practice.  This series of programs, brought to you by the American Optometric Association’s Paraoptometric section  is designed to help you gain a comprehensive foundation of this knowledge, from practice management issues to technical areas. This first module is an introduction that will provide you with information to help you as you move along the rest of the course work. 

Module 2 - Basic Terminology

There are a lot of complex terms and fancy abbreviations that float through an optometric practice every day.  Sometimes they whizz by so fast you never have a chance to even ask what they mean.  There may even be times when you feel embarrassed to ask because everyone is talking as if you already knew them.  But how are you supposed to know what those fancy, complex, technical terms mean if no one explains them to you?  Well, we’re here to help! This second module is an introduction to technical terms that are used routinely in an optometric practice. Some of them are technical terms that refer to various parts of the ocular anatomy, while others are terms used in the management of the office.

Module 3 - Front Office Procedures

The paraoptometric at the front desk plays a vital role in the care and management of every patient who comes into the practice.  Every patient.  While the patient may be coming to the office to see the optometrist, before the visit begins the patient interacts with the paraoptometric at the front desk through the telephone, and then again when they check in.  They will interact with the paraoptometrics who perform pretesting, history taking, various procedures and tests.  And that relationship continues even after the patient checks out through the billing and insurance process.  There is no denying the importance of the procedures that take place at the front desk and so that is going to be the focus of this.

Module 4 - Obtaining an Ocular History

To provide the best in patient care, it is important to have a plan and know where you’re going.  But, it is equally important to know where you’ve started.  That is why an accurate ocular history is so important.  It is the patient’s ocular history that gives the optometrist the information they need to provide effective and appropriate care.  And, it is often the paraoptometric who gathers this vital history. Obtaining an ocular history will be the focus of the fourth module.  This series of programs is designed to help you gain a broad foundation of knowledge, ranging from practice management to technical areas.  

Module 5 - Routine Pre-Testing Procedures

The paraoptometric in the practice has a varied list of tasks and responsibilities that they perform each day.  Many of these tests and evaluations take place prior to the optometrist performing their own procedures.  The information gathered during the pre-test gives the optometrist a starting point and provides valuable data that becomes part of the patient’s permanent medical record.  Three of the most common procedures typically conducted by the paraoptometric in the pre-testing phase of the exam are a visual acuity assessment, intraocular pressure measurement and lensometry. This is the fifth module of the AOA’s Paraoptometric Assistant Online Training Program, and its focus is on these three routine pre-testing procedures.  

Module 6 - External Examination

The external examination is a critical part of a thorough eye exam and it is often the paraoptometric who performs this vital task.  Results from this portion of the exam provide important information for the doctor and become part of the patient’s permanent medical record.  Accurate results provide the basis for effective care.This program is designed to help you gain a comprehensive foundation of knowledge, from practice management issues to technical areas. This module is designed to outline the various steps to be performed in an alignment and motility evaluation, ocular muscle testing, color vision assessment, along with a pupil and anterior chamber evaluation. 

Module 7 - Ancillary Testing

The paraoptometric is a valuable team member in every optometric practice and plays the role of information gatherer.  The ancillary or supplementary tests and evaluations the paraoptometric is often responsible for, offer valuable information and are used by the optometrist to provide the excellent care that patients deserve.  The ancillary tests we’ll discuss in this module evaluate the cornea, the tear film and the blood pressure. The AOA’s Paraoptometric Assistant Online Training Program is designed to help you begin your education as a paraoptometric by providing you with a broad foundation of knowledge.  

Module 8 - Refractometry

Welcome to the eighth module of the AOA’s Paraoptometric Assistant Online Training Program, Refractometry.  In this module, we’ll work through the principles of both objective and subjective refractions, take a look at autorefractors and discuss the phoropter and how to load a current prescription.  This multiple module program is designed to help you begin your education as a paraoptometric.

Module 9 - Visual Field Testing

What a person can see straight ahead and in the periphery is called the visual field, and often the task of mapping this area falls to the paraoptometric.  In this, the ninth module of the AOA’s Paraoptometric Assistant Online Training Program, we’ll discuss the principles of confrontation visual field testing and describe the procedure for testing the four quadrants by the confrontation method.  We’ll look at the Amsler Grid and its role in evaluating the patient’s visual field.  And finally, we’ll take a look at computerized visual field testing and discuss the basics of performing an evaluation.  

Module 10 - Spectacles

Many optometric practices offer eyeglasses to meet their patients’ refractive needs. This is why it is important that the paraoptometric in the practice has a good understanding of how to dispense eyewear to meet the visual results the doctor prescribed.  In this module we’ll review the different types of spectacle lenses, materials, lens measurements and factors to consider when helping the patient select a frame. 

Module 11 - Contact Lenses

Many optometric practices offer both eyeglasses and contact lenses to meet their patients’ refractive needs. This is why it is important that the paraoptometric in the practice has a good understanding of both of these modalities.  In this module, the eleventh in the AOA’s Paraoptometric Assistant Online Training Program, we’ll work through a contact lens prescription, discuss the various types and materials and outline the steps in training a patient.  

Module 12 - Assisting the Optometrist

So what exactly is the role of the paraoptometric assistant?  It’s actually quite simple.  The role of the paraoptometric assistant is to be an assistant to the optometrist!  Assisting the Optometrist is the twelfth module in the AOA’s Paraoptometric Assistant Online Training Program, and its focus is outlining the steps of being a scribe, as well as assisting the optometrist during the exam, instilling eye drops and ointment and applying and removing eye patches.  

Module 13 - Patients with Special Needs

Patients who visit the practice entrust you with their ocular and visual health.  Each one has unique and specific needs.  And every one of them are special.    However, there are some patients who have special needs of their own that not only impact their vision, they impact their visit. This module will focus on how to work with patients who are visually impaired, physically challenged, deaf or hard of hearing, and diabetic.  It will also address the paraoptometric’s role when there is a true ocular or medical emergency in the office.  This multiple module program is designed to help you as you begin your education as a paraoptometric.  

Module 14 - Instrumentation and Maintaining Equipment

There is a lot of equipment in an optometric office!  Microscopes, lights, dials, big equipment, little equipment, handheld and stand alone equipment.  And all of it needs to be maintained so that it works properly and provides the most accurate patient information for the doctor.  Maintaining that all important equipment in the office is the focus of this module. This multiple module program is designed to help you as you begin your education as a paraoptometric and will outline how to clean and maintain the slit lamp, gonioscopy lens, applanation tonometer, tonopen, phoroptor, direct ophthalmoscope, indirect ophthalmoscope, lensometer, projector, and keratometer.  Phew!  That’s a lot of equipment. 

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