So far so good this semester! We've only been in school three weeks, but us second years have already finished up our fundoscopy practicals in theory lab. In this lab practical we were graded on accuracy and efficiency in assessing the optic nerve, retinal arcades, and macula using a high-powered lens and the slit lamp. As if a practical doesn't make you hit the ground running at the start of a new semester, we've also learned three new techniques in theory lab: 1.) utilizing the binocular indirect ophthalmscope (BIO) to assess and scan peripheral retina, 2.)the multi-mirrored gonioscopy lens to assess the angle of the iris-cornea and observe the retina, and 3.) how to accurately document patient data using electronic medical records. There's even more to come over the next few weeks. Basically that means you can find me practicing in the lab well into the evening pretty much each day of the week. And if that doesn't seem like enough, second years also have labs in pediatrics, ophthalmic optics, and binocular vision. Did I mention we also have lecture courses with exams to keep us busy during our free time? Oh yes, there's quite a bit more to juggle around this semester!
One of my best experiences by far this semester has been in my Clinical Communication/Patient Care course. In this course, second years are assigned various tasks from school screenings, doing observations, patient work-ups, and assisting in the optical labs in The Eye Center, to being videotaped for critique on our patient interactions during an exam.
The past two weeks I've had the opportunity to perform school screenings on kindergartners, fourth graders, and sixth graders. While the young students have been surprisingly cooperative during all my vision tests on them, it's definitely been a learning experience. School screenings have given me a real confidence boost in my skills, and I've really appreciated the assistance the staff doctors and fourth year students have provided. All in all, my school screening group has seen nearly 250 students. That's not to too shabby, but I know some larger groups saw closer to 300 students in one day... that's what I call a fast-paced patient experience!
As class president, I welcomed the Class of 2016 to the SCO family at the BigSib/LilSib dinner during Orientation Week. I hope the first years were able to find some motivation from my little speech and that they realize what a great resource the SCO community is in fostering their growing optometric interest, knowledge, and skills.
Speaking of SCO's BigSib/LilSib Program, I'm now a big sib to first year and fellow student blogger, Feyi...check out her student blog too as she documents the many happenings of her first year in optometry school. Boy, does that bring me right back down memory lane!
I'm already working on my next blog post, think AOSA Optifest 2012!