Pharmacists and eye care professionals have an important role to play in the eye care of all Australians and together they can provide an optimal level of care, advice and medicines to treat many eye conditions, says the Guild.
The Guild Pharmacy Academy, Optometry Australia and Alcon Pharmaceuticals are collaboratively developing an online course, ‘Pharmacy Health Solutions: Eye Care’, to assist pharmacists in the appropriate management of self-limiting conditions of the eye with non-prescription medicines.
The course is part of the Pharmacy Health Solutions suite of online courses which are designed to help pharmacies maximise the non-prescription medicines category and implement professional services to achieve better health outcomes for the patient.
Head of Guild Pharmacy Academy, Sue Bond, says eye drops are the sixth largest over-the-counter medicinal category in pharmacy.
“Some eye conditions, such as dry eye and allergy eye, can be chronic or recurrent and may require ongoing management with medicines available in the pharmacy,” Bond says.
“Community pharmacy is in a unique position to develop lasting relationships with patients by providing effective treatments and quality advice to assist the patient to adequately self-manage their symptoms.
“Pharmacists also are in a position to develop strong professional relationships with their local optometrists to ensure the continuity of care for the patient.”
Optometry Australia’s National Professional Services Manager Luke Arundel says the project is an important collaboration and he hoped it would strengthen relationships between the two professions.
“Pharmacists and optometrists play an important role in managing and treating common eye problems, and as many patients initially present to their local pharmacy the community would benefit from accurate and timely treatment or effective co-management of these conditions,” he says.
The ‘Pharmacy Health Solutions: Eye Care’ course will describe the role of an optometrist in primary eye care, including appropriate advice for patient referral and interdisciplinary collaboration.
It will also assist pharmacists to identify the symptoms of dry eye, infectious conjunctivitis and allergic conjunctivitis.
The course will ensure pharmacists are able to provide appropriate advice for management and/or referral to a doctor or optometrist if required.
The completion of this online course will attract 3 Group 2 CPD Credits following the successful completion of the assessment.