Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians Board

Important Information - April 2015

Covered below:

  • Board elections 2015
  • Board meeting summaries available soon
  • Parental leave, practising status and CPD
  • Statement on Collaborative Care
  • Reminder - responsibility to check prescriptions before they are issued
  • Prescription instructions - generally accepted abbreviations for eye drops
  • Additional approval needed to supervise optometrists undertaking their glaucoma hours
  • Reminder - you must hold an APC if registered and practising within the scope of an optometrist or dispensing optician
  • Back vertex distance measurement requirements
  • Occupational English Test (OET) now accepted for registration
  • OCANZ accreditation standard review - call for submissions
  • Keep your details up-to-date with the Board
  • Feedback welcomed

  

Board elections for 2015

The Board is pleased to confirm that at its meeting held on 13 February 2015, Board Member, Damian Koppens, was re-elected as Chair of the Board, and Board Lay Member, Kiri Rikihana, was re-elected as Deputy Chair of the Board.

If you are interested in learning more about the Board Members, please visit the Board’s website located at www.odob.health.nz and click on ‘About the Board’ and then ‘Meet the Board’. Alternatively, you can click here to be taken directly to this page.

 

Board meeting summaries available soon

From May 2015, the Board will be publishing general summaries of the business it conducts at Board meetings on its website. You will find this information on the ‘Board meetings’ page of the website under ‘About the Board’. These summaries will be available shortly after the minutes from each meeting have been confirmed.

If you have questions about anything mentioned in the summaries, please contact the Board’s Registrar on 04 474 0705 or email Lindsey.Pine@odob.health.nz

 

Parental leave, practising status and CPD

If you are registered with the Board and taking parental leave part-way through the practising year, please ensure that prior to doing so you contact the Board for advice on what steps you may need to take with regard to your practising status with the Board.

If you are on parental leave you are not practising and should, therefore, change your status on the Register to ‘Non-practising’. This will minimise the risk that members of the public will be misled regarding your current status and will also prevent your name from being selected for self audit. 

You are not required to record CPD while holding non-practising status with the Board; however, depending on the length of time you may be away from practice, the Board does encourage you to keep up to date. In addition, to make returning to practise in the future more straightforward, if at all possible, you should ensure that your CPD is up to date at the time you go on leave.

One of the steps the Board will discuss with you when you contact us about parental leave is making sure that your practice is made aware that any communication they issue about you, or any information that may be on the practice’s website about you, needs to clearly indicate that you are on leave and are not currently practising. It is a serious offence under the HPCA Act to state or do anything that may be calculated to suggest that you practise, or are willing to practise, unless you are the holder of a current practising certificate issued by the Board.

You should also contact the Association when going on parental leave, so they can note their CPD records and pro rata any CPD points as appropriate for the current recertification cycle. Failure to do so will result in the full CPD quota being required during this period.

When returning from parental leave during a practising year, contact the Board’s office for information on how to change your status back to ‘practising’.

 

Statement on Collaborative Care

The Board recognises that not all TPA endorsed optometrists will wish to apply to the Board for approval to independently prescribe for glaucoma patients, and that they may prefer to form a collaborative care relationship with their ophthalmologist colleague/s to assist in managing the care of glaucoma patients. 

The Board has therefore developed a statement to ensure that all TPA endorsed optometrists, irrespective of their decision to apply for approval to prescribe independently or not, are aware of the distinction between collaborative care and independent prescribing.

Please click here to view the statement which is now available on the Board’s website.

If you have questions after reading this statement, please contact the Board’s office for further clarification.

 

Reminder - responsibility to check prescriptions before they are issued

The Board’s clinical standards specify that prescriptions must be checked before being issued. Practitioners, therefore, have a responsibility to ensure that they carefully check prescriptions before they are issued to ensure accuracy and quality. This includes the checking of spectacles, contact lenses, or any other optical appliance against the original script prescribed before releasing to the client/patient. If your business processes do not currently support this then they should be adjusted without delay.

The Board’s standards of clinical competence for both professions can be viewed by clicking here.

 

Prescription instructions - generally accepted abbreviations for eye drops

Pharmacists are receiving hand-written eye preparation prescriptions with the following instructions:

OD …… oculo dexter (right eye)
OS …… oculo sinister (left eye)
OU …… oculus uterque (both eyes) 

In pharmacy-speak, OD means once daily so the potential for confusion is significant, particularly for young pharmacists who do not get taught these latin abbreviations in pharmacy school. 

The accepted abbreviations are: 

LE…….. left eye

RE…….. right eye

BE…….. both eyes

The Board asks that practitioners standardise their abbreviations to the accepted norm above, to avoid potential confusion and to maintain patient safety.

 

Additional approval needed to supervise optometrists undertaking their glaucoma hours

Before taking on the independent management of glaucoma for a patient an optometrist must:

1. Hold a current Annual Practising Certificate as an Optometrist with a TPA endorsement.

2. Satisfy the Board that they have sufficient clinical experience in the management of glaucoma. In            addition to the therapeutics qualification this will be achieved by:

  • Attending 20 hours in a clinical setting where glaucoma management is the major focus, under the direct supervision of an ophthalmologist or board approved optometrist glaucoma prescriber, and   providing evidence of this to the Board in the form of a completed case log (specific template must be used), or
  • Submitting 5 glaucoma case studies demonstrating clinical experience while participating in a collaborative care relationship with an ophthalmologist or board approved optometrist glaucoma prescriber. Board guidance on how case studies should be structured is available on the Board’s website.

A Board approved optometrist glaucoma prescriber is someone who has been approved by the Board for glaucoma management and prescribing AND has also been specifically approved to supervise others in their pursuit to become approved for glaucoma management and prescribing.

When you are at the point where you believe you have sufficient knowledge and experience in the independent management of glaucoma and you believe you have the confidence to supervise others, please contact the Board for information on the approval process.

 

Reminder - you must hold an APC is registered and practising within the scope of an optometrist or dispensing optician

The Board wishes to remind both optometrists and dispensing opticians registered with the Board that there is no grey area in the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 for those working in non-traditional roles to practise without holding a current practising certificate issued by the Board.

If you are working in a role that requires you to perform ANY task that would fall under the scope of practice of an optometrist or dispensing optician and you are registered with the Board, you MUST hold a current practising certificate issued by the Board in order to practise legally.

If you are not clear as to how this applies to your specific role or working situation, please contact the Board’s Registrar for advice on 04 474 0705.

 

Back vertex distance measurement requirements

The issue of when to record back vertex distance measurements has been highlighted in some recent self-audits submitted to the Board.

The Board recommends that clinical judgement be used in the recording of back vertex distance measurements; however, the Board’s expectation is that back vertex distance measurements will be recorded on all refractions or prescriptions greater than + or – 6.00D. If your clinical and/or business processes do not currently support this then the Board encourages you to adjust them.

 

Occupational English Test (OET) now accepted for registration

Under section 16(b) the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003, an applicant for registration must satisfy the Board that their ability to communicate in and comprehend English is sufficient to protect the health and safety of the public. Where an applicant’s first language is not English or their relevant qualification was not taught and examined in English, this must be demonstrated by provision of a pass in an English language test approved by the Board.

The Board recently conducted a review of both the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), which is already accepted by the Board for registration purposes in New Zealand (Academic level), and also the Occupational English Test (OET), which up until now had not been considered for acceptance by the Board.

The Board is pleased to announce that both tests have now been approved as satisfactory for the purposes of demonstrating proficiency in English for registration as an optometrist or dispensing optician in New Zealand. For details of the exact pass levels required for each of these tests for registration with the Board, please refer to Section 5 of the Board’s Application for Registration.

 

OCANZ accreditation standard review - call for submissions

The Optometry Council of Australia and New Zealand (OCANZ) accredits optometry programmes in Australia and New Zealand, using standards which are currently being reviewed.

Accreditation performs a number of important functions including:

  • Assuring the public that graduates from accredited programs will have the knowledge, skills and professional attributes to practice safely;
  • Assuring the Board that graduates are effectively prepared for entry to the profession; and
  • Providing optometry schools with regular feedback on the contemporary needs of the profession.

OCANZ invites submissions from the public and optometrists, individually or as representatives of optometric organisations, on the new draft standards available at www.ocanz.org

Submissions may be mailed, faxed or emailed to the contact details shown below by 5pm (AEST) Friday 1 May 2015.

For further information about OCANZ’s accreditation process, or to make a submission contact:

Ms Susan Kelly

Accreditation Manager, OCANZ

PO Box 16179, Collins Street West  VIC  8007

Ph:  +61 3 9670 3173    Fax:  +61 3 8080 1681

Email:  s.kelly@ocanz.org

 

Keep your details up-to-date with the Board

It is important to keep the Board updated as to your current contact information. In the case of work, residential, and postal addresses, this is a legal requirement. If your address, phone, email or other contact details may need updating with us, please send an email of any changes to Annette.McCoy@odob.health.nz

 

Feedback welcomed

The Board welcomes feedback and enquiries on its standards, policies and processes at any time. If you would like to make an enquiry or submit feedback, please feel free to email the Board’s Registrar, Lindsey Pine, at Lindsey.Pine@odob.health.nz at any time. 

Contact Us

Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians Board

Level 5, 22 Willeston Street,
Wellington 6011
PO Box 9644, Wellington 6141
Tel: +64 4 474 0705, Fax +64 4 474 0709

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