A new Orthoptics Clinic was opened on 9 November at the UTS: Graduate School of Health. Located in the UTS Tower Building on Sydney’s Broadway, the new clinic is already in use for teaching purposes and is set to receive its first public patients in the new year.
Professor Charlie Benrimoj, Head of the UTS:Graduate School of Health formally opened the clinic which was attended by representatives from the discipline of orthoptics, student clinicians, ophthalmology, TAFE NSW, and several industry exhibitors.
Before the ribbon-cutting ceremony by Prof. Benrimoj, Prof. Kathryn Rose, Head of UTS: Orthoptics, addressed the audience and presented several awards.
Two educators tied for the ‘2016 Best Educational Orthoptic Clinician of the Year’ as voted by the students. The recipients were Ms Jodie Attard and Mr Michael Mihail.
Awards to a private and a public practice were also conferred on the basis of the number of student clinicians accepted for clinical placements during the student’s professional practice term. Marsden Eye Specialists, a Sydney-based, multi-location ophthalmology practice won the private clinic award while Sydney Eye Hospital in Sydney’s CBD took the public clinic award.
After the official opening ceremony, attendees were given guided tours of the facility including reception, clinics, special instrument rooms and student and staff areas. The equipment is much as would be found in a modern ophthalmology or hospital setting including OCTs, fundus cameras, visual field analysers, optical biometers, slit-lamps, as well as an array of standard orthoptics instruments including synoptophores.
Some of the services to be offered in the new facility in addition to orthoptics include ophthalmology/visiting medical officers, low vision services including driver vision assessment, and research clinics.
Associate lecturer Mara Giribaldi said, “The evening was a great success. We had a large turnout of our external clinical education providers and representation from several companies from the ophthalmic industry.
“It was fantastic to hear such positive and complimentary feedback about hosting such an event for clinicians and also about how impressed everyone was about our great new facilities, including the up to date equipment and the innovative ways students are taught at UTS.”
Prof. Rose added, “The [new] clinic provides two new opportunities to further enhance the education of our students. The first is the capacity to live-stream to lecture rooms and/or record audio-visual material of patients who consent to participate in our clinical education program. This means a large number of students will be able to observe, at one time, a clinical examination conducted by an experienced member of staff.
“The second opportunity this clinic affords our students is that under the supervision of a senior clinical staff member, they will be able to carry out a long-term treatment program for a patient, learning to develop an ongoing rapport with the patient and their family.”
Professor Charlie Benrimoj, Head of the Graduate School of Health officially opening the clinic amongst guests.