The La Trobe Eye Clinic provides high quality, paediatric care which is grounded in evidence-based practice. It also offers essential clinical experience to Orthoptics students so that they can become skilled health professionals.
“The Eye Clinic helps to detect, diagnose and manage eye conditions,” says Clinic Manager, Kylie Gran.
“We can diagnose strabismus (eye turns), eye muscle dysfunction and ptosis (droopy eyelids),” she explains. “We also work with children, during their key eye development stages, to assess the strength of their eyes. If one eye is not developing at the same rate as the other, we can treat it with patches or eye drops.”
The Clinic’s equipment ranges in complexity depending on the test. “An eye turn can be detected by covering one eye with a spoon,” says Gran. “But to determine eye health and stereoacuity we have specialised equipment, including a Fundus camera. We are also in the process of acquiring near-vision testing equipment.”
All assessments are age-appropriate, providing students with the opportunity to develop essential paediatric skills.
“When we test a baby’s vision, we hold up one plain and one interesting card – and we expect the child will look at the interesting card,” explains Gran. “For three-year-olds, we test with vision charts at three metres. From there, we put more crowding around the chart to make it harder.”
Bachelor of Applied Science/Master of Orthoptics student, Jessica Crngarov, recently completed a placement in the Clinic.
“I worked with patients under the supervision of Kylie,” says Crngarov. “I had the opportunity to develop my communication skills with my young patients, and their parents and carers. These are essential skills for an orthoptist.”
An hour is allocated for each patient, allowing adequate time for students to perform multiple tests, and communicate with the patient, parents and carers – all while keeping the child engaged.
“I am now confident in performing tests for visual acuity, binocular functions, ocular movements and more,” adds Crngarov. “The skills I’ve learned at the Clinic will open up more opportunities for me after graduation.”
“I highly recommend this clinic to children, parents and carers. We are there to provide the best care to our clients. And for students, it is an unforgettable experience – I will graduate extremely knowledgeable and grateful for the opportunity to develop best practice.”