Optometry is a healthcare profession that is autonomous, educated, and regulated (licensed/ registered), and optometrists are the primary healthcare practitioners of the eye and visual system who provide comprehensive eye and vision care, which includes refraction and dispensing, detection/ diagnosis and management of disease in the eye, and the rehabilitation of conditions of the visual system. (The World Council of Optometry).
Optometrists take care of the majority of eye patient. Most patients with visual problems are managed by an optometrist and other patient having ocular diseases that need special care are referred to Ophthalmologist and other health professionals. Optometrists also work mutually with other members of health and eye care teams with a good understanding to provide quality services to the patients.
Thus, Optometry can be considered as a primary eye care unit, providing screening service and well management for the patient with vision problems and referring only those patients to the ophthalmologist.
The rationale of the Program
The optometry program in Nepal has successfully been conducted in Nepal since 1998 in the Institute of Medicine (IOM), but the number of optometrists produced so far is inadequate to deal with the blindness and visual impairments of the present country scenario. The Volume of patients requiring vision care is enormously high compared to all the production of an optometrist. The world health organization projects around 700 optometrists are required in Nepal to tackle vision-related blindness and impairment. An optometrist is competent and educated enough to tackle eye health problems. Producing trained manpower, optometrists at the primary eye health care level would overcome much of Nepal’s lack of trained personnel to take care of Common eye problems.
Optometrist and ophthalmologist are two different levels of professionals who provide eye care services. An optometrist is not alternatives to the ophthalmologist. In general, an optometrist carries out the bulk of eye examinations to solve eye problems especially related to vision. it is considered more economical and appropriate to provide vision care services through primary health care unit rather than secondary or tertiary care units.
The production of an optometrist therefore helps not only to overcome the constraints of the eye health manpower, but also economic constraints within the country.
The goal of the Program
To provide competent, compassionate and community-oriented optometrist who is capable to provide exclusive vision care, identify ocular and related systemic illness to be referred to medical practitioners, treat common infective eye diseases.
Objectives of the program
To provide knowledge and develop practical skills in primary eye health care in the field of visual and optical science for high school graduates.
To develop skills in:
- History taking and physical examinations
- Measuring visual functions
- General as well as specific eye examinations
- Correlating different structures and functions of the human body
- Assessing the ocular health and recognize ocular signs of systemic diseases
- Prescribing and fitting appropriate visual aids
- Referring patients for medical and ophthalmic consultations as appropriate
- Undertaking independent scientific studies and critically analyze scientific literature
- Updating his/ her knowledge and skills in optometry
- Planning and implementing community-based vision care services
- Providing primary medical treatments to the ocular diseases
- Providing tertiary care to contact lens as well as low vision
- Providing in vision rehabilitation services
- Provide vision care and rehabilitation in special occupations
- Provide knowledge or community health management & develop leadership in Optometry and vision science
Competencies to be achieved
By the end of this course, the students should be able to:
- Elicit a general history and conduct related physical examinations.
- Elicit family, medical and ocular history
- Identify the presenting optometric complaint
- Examine the eyes and measure visual functions
- Correlate the structures and functions of the human body
- Assess the ocular health and recognize ocular signs of common systemic diseases
- Prescribe and fit appropriate visual aids.
- Refer patients for medical and ophthalmic consultations as appropriate
- Undertake independent scientific studies and critically analyze scientific literature.
- Update his/her knowledge and skills in optometry
- Plan and implement community-based vision care services.
The course is for four academic years.
1. At least 50% in aggregate in 10+2 with Biology recognized by Higher Secondary Education Board, Nepal or A level or equivalent or certificate Final Examination (I. Sc. With Biology) from Tribhuvan University or Diploma in ophthalmic Sciences (DOS) from any Universities/ Institutes recognized by NAMS.
2. Should have registered in Nepal Health Professional Council for ophthalmic science candidates.
3. Entrance examination as per rule of NAMS- One paper carrying (100) one hundred marks from DOS & 10+2 biological science course.
4. Objective type of (100 MCQs) questions will be used & Two hours of time will be allocated for the entrance examination.
5. The candidates should secure at least 50% marks to pass. The candidates will be selected on Merit basis.
6. The maximum number of student intake is 10 (Ten). However, the number of students can be varied with the consideration of the Nepal Health Professional Council and NAMS.
7. The fee structured is as per the rules of NAMS.
NAMS Optometry Curriculum course content phase-wise details.
Contents Phase I
1. Basic Sciences
2. Organ systems
3. Ocular system
4. General and Clinical Visual Optics
5. Visual Science
6. Introduction to Applied Psychology
7. Foundation Courses
8. Ocular diseases
9. Investigative Optometry I
10. Investigative Optometry II
11. Ophthalmic and Dispensing Optics
12. Orthoptics and Binocular Vision
13. Introduction of Community Health in Optometry
14. Contact lens and Ocular Prosthesis
15. Low Vision and Rehabilitation
16. Pediatric Optometry
17. Geriatric Optometry
18. Occupational Optometry
19. Research Methodology and Biostatistics
20. Applied Community Optometry
21. Optometry Project
22. Clinical Optometry Practice
24. Laws in Optometry & Health management
26. Academic and Administrative Rules and Regulation