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Dyes and Dilations

Posted by on Dec 11, 2012 in Blogs

It’s week four of the quarter and the amount of factual information we’ve received and practical skills we’ve learned so far is extensive. The days are longer this quarter, with classes from afternoon through the evening. The ocular anatomy lecture meets for five or more hours each week. Mornings are filled with one of four commitments: PAP observations and labs for optometry, ocular anatomy and vision science. We’ve had two weeks of optometry lab thus far, coupled with additional days in the “lanes” to practice and refine our newly learned skills on each other while completing homework. While we spent the bulk of optometry lab last quarter understanding and ironing out case history and HPI (history of present illness), this quarter we jumped right into entrance testing. So far we’ve learned how to properly assess visual acuity, read spectacles using a mechanical lensometer and measure pupillary distance (PD) for distance and near vision.

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Posted by on Dec 7, 2012 in Blogs

Hello faithful readers,

I wish I could preface this entry with something that could make my life seem less awesome… but I can’t.

I recently moved to Las Vegas for my winter quarter rotation and it has been an incredible ride since.  The first night I drove in from San Diego and was greeted with an evening of festivities that lasted past the desert sunrise. A group of ICO students originally from Vegas offered me a quick look at true local hospitality, which amounts to a lot of partying without the burden of budget.

A few days later, I took an impromptu road trip to Phoenix to visit a group of recent ICO grads. I figured, why not? Veteran’s Day honors our vets and the freedom they fought to protect, so I honored them through enjoying life and spontaneity. If that weekend was any kind of representation to life after school, then I can’t wait. We ate at a lot of great restaurants, went to the Desert Botanical Garden and explored the quaint but large city. And then we ate some more.

I got back just in time for my first day at my new site, the Las Vegas VA hospital. It’s a brand new facility with state-of-the-art equipment, and with the intense workload, I’m certain that I’ll become more efficient and confident in practice. This site seems to be exactly what I’ve been looking for as I consider residencies. Great staff, great clinic, great city. My six fellow interns are also enjoying this unusually awesome experience that is fourth year. On day one, we sat down and came up with a laundry list of things to do while here. I am so happy that they are interning with me and that we are going to have an amazing time. Did I mention that they’re all females?

*high fives self*

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The First Year Shopping List

Posted by on Dec 6, 2012 in Blogs

I was told before coming to ICO that I would be spending approximately $3,000 on equipment. I was skeptical at first, but they weren’t kidding. Here is a break down of the equipment that I purchased so far:

1.  Heine BETA Set 3 + Heine G5 Family Practice Kit

Between Welch Allyn, Keeler, and Heine, I decided to go with Heine. Before buying, you get the opportunity to “test” the equipment offered by each company to see which set feels more comfortable.  They vary in handle size, grip, attachments, etc., but everyone’s kit, no matter which company you decide to go with, will come with an ophthalmoscope, a retinoscope, and a transilluminator at the very least. You can customize your set too. Each company offers a number of options to choose from.

My set included an ophthalmoscope, a retinscope, a transilluminator, retinscope cards, two lithium battery handles (with a battery level indicator on the bottom of both handles, which is optional, at an additional price), a charger, a battery adapter and a zipper case.

The family practice kit came with a stethoscope, a blood pressure cuff, and two spare cuffs (one adult and one child size). In total (taxes included), this entire set from Heine cost me $1,245.78.  And this was with the student discount.

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Field Trip!

Posted by on Dec 4, 2012 in Blogs

Expert Optics Lab

Who would have guessed we would still get field trips in grad school? It was definitely a pleasant surprise. The second years all hopped on a coach bus last week and visited an independent laboratory, Expert Optics. Even after four quarters of optics classes, we still have so much more to learn about lenses.

We were greeted by the president of the company, and got fed lunch before the tour got started.

So after lunch, and a short introduction to the lab, we got to take a tour of the place and see how lenses are treated (tinted, coated, cut, etc.), from when it was still a hockey puck sized lens blank to when it’s ready to be put into a patient’s frame.

Fun Fact: The lab had rounded corners between the wall and the floor so that dirt/dust don’t get trapped in between, and the facilities are cleaner.

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