Sejal Mistry, Advanced Clinical Practice in Optometry and Ophthalmology Postgraduate Diploma
I have been working towards the Advanced Clinical Practice in Optometry and Ophthalmology Postgraduate Diploma. Although challenging, I've found the course to be rewarding.
The modules available cover a range of clinical subjects to suit individual interests, and the choice continues to expand as new courses are developed. The modules help to further us as clinicians, and include both core and extended role optometry elements. I have been able to expand my knowledge and experience in topics such as Glaucoma, Medical Contact Lenses, Clinical Leadership, and Research and Statistics.
The online style of the modules is great for being able to fit studying around work and home life. As the online lectures vary in size/duration, an indicated time to complete each lecture is given, which I find really useful for planning my day. Due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation, the university has been able to make adjustments for us to carry out group projects and live lecture days virtually, so the social element of the course has been maintained. The module tutors are easily accessible throughout the duration of the course by email and usually reply to any queries promptly. A forum is also available for each module to enable group discussions.
The online lectures and face-to-face elements for the Glaucoma and Medical Contact Lenses modules, among others, are taught by a variety of experts in the fields, including specialised Optometrists and Ophthalmologists. It's very useful to hear first-hand experience, as well as clinical theory and guidelines, to be able to apply these teachings to clinical work, both in community and hospital optometry settings.
The Clinical Leadership module focuses on identifying individual workplace behaviours and leadership styles to make us more aware of our actions, both within and outside of leadership roles. I've found this really useful for recognising strengths and weakness in my own personality, and applying the principles to my everyday behaviours.
The Research and Statistics module aims to act as a base for those completing a master's dissertation, moving on to a PhD, or pursuing a career in research. It teaches us about the elements of healthcare research, and we can use this knowledge to critically analyse the research which shapes optometry practice.
Overall, the course is well-rounded and has really helped to set me up for a career in optometry. I hope to be able to continue developing through undertaking similar courses in future.