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.
This week we’ll be using our fresh ophthalmoscopes (pictured below) in lab to evaluate the posterior segment of the dilated eye including the red fundus reflex, the optic nerve and the macula. I worked in an eye clinic and an optical lab before entering ICO, and my background has proven to be a helpful foundation. At the same time, our pace is quite fast and I’m learning way beyond my previous experiences. In ocular anatomy lab, we’ve learned how to examine the lacrimal system using the Jones test, and we’re using slit lamps to examine the eye from the anterior to the posterior pole (biomicroscopy). Between optometry and ocular anatomy lab, dyes and dilations, I’m hardly wearing my contact lens anymore.