Clinical placements and logbook

Useful guidance and information on registering for and completing your Independent Prescribing clinical placement and logbook.

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Placement

Your clinical practice placement should be within a UK hospital eye service (or specialist general practice), under the supervision of a designated ophthalmologist (the mentor).

The minimum time which must be spent in clinical placement for Independent Prescribing is:

  • 24 sessions of not less than three hours (12 days) for those who have no therapeutics qualifications.
  • 14 sessions of not less than three hours (seven days) for those who have already passed Additional Supply 

You must have been practising in the UK and registered with the GOC for two full years before beginning the clinical placement. During the placement, you must complete a clinical logbook to demonstrate the learning outcomes below have been achieved. More information about the logbook can be found below.

What is the purpose of the clinical placement?

Within the context of the relevant specialism the period of practice-based learning (clinical placement) should ensure that you:

  • are competent in the assessment, diagnosis and management of the ophthalmic conditions for which you intend to prescribe
  • are able to recognise sight-threatening conditions that should be referred
  • are able to consult effectively with patients
  • are able to monitor the response to treatment, to review both the working diagnosis and to modify treatment, refer, consult or seek guidance, as appropriate
  • can make clinical decisions based on, and with reference to, the needs of the patient
  • are aware of your own limitations
  • critically analyse and evaluate your ongoing performance in relation to prescribing practice.

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The role and responsibilities of the mentor in the clinical placement

The mentor will provide supervision, support and arrange appropriate clinical experience so that the optometrist can develop links between the theory and practice of prescribing.

Furthermore the mentor will facilitate in the achievement of the learning outcomes specified by the General Optical Council (GOC).

It is not the mentor’s responsibility to formally assess the learning outcomes since these will be assessed by the University and the College of Optometrists.

During an initial meeting with the optometrist the mentor can plan a training programme based on the optometrist’s learning needs. During the placement the mentor should:

  • facilitate learning by encouraging critical thinking and reflection
  • provide dedicated time and opportunities for the trainee to observe how the mentor conducts a consultation with patients and the development of a management plan
  • allow opportunities for the trainee to carry out consultations and suggest management and prescribing options, which are then discussed with the mentor
  • provide opportunities for case-based discussions to consolidate the learning experience.

As the approach to teaching and learning is developed on an individual basis, it is difficult to predict how much time this will involve for the mentor. However, given that all those undertaking clinical placements are experienced optometrists, it is hoped that this will not be too onerous.

The optometrist will not need to spend the entire placement with the mentor, as other clinicians may be better placed to provide some of the learning opportunities. However, the mentor maintains overall responsibility for the trainee and will validate their clinical experience.

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Patient numbers and conditions

Clinical training should be structured to ensure that you are exposed to sufficient numbers of patients presenting with the conditions that you will manage therapeutically. In addition, you should be exposed to a range of ophthalmic conditions to develop your differential diagnostic skills to prepare for the final examination. Remember, too, that a third of the final examination is based on glaucoma, so it is advisable to see glaucoma patients during your clinical placement.

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Registering your placement details

On taking up the clinical placement for Independent Prescribing you must inform the College of the details of the placement.

Candidates using the paper logbook must complete the form below and send it to Examinations Co-ordinator, College of Optometrists, 42 Craven Street, London, WC2N 5NG, or email adam.shonk@college-optometrists.org. You do not need to wait to receive confirmation from the College regarding the placement before you begin.

Candidates using the online logbook do not need to complete any extra paperwork as the placement registration is incorporated into the logbook application. 

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Logbook

Paper logbook

You must maintain a logbook of practice evidence to verify that learning outcomes have been achieved.

If you are not a College member, you can only use the paper version of the logbook below:

You will have to submit your logbook to enter the final examination. The College will carry out an administrative review of your logbook to ensure you have covered a range of conditions in your clinical placement, completed the logbook in sufficient detail and completed the requisite number of sessions.  

Once complete, the paper logbook should be sent by recorded delivery, along with your paper examination application form and examination fee, to: Examinations Co-ordinator, College of Optometrists, 42 Craven Street, London WC2N 5NG. We recommend that you keep a copy of your paper logbook for your records.

 

Online logbook (members only)

You must maintain a logbook of practice evidence to verify that learning outcomes have been achieved.

Members can use the online IP logbook. You must complete the application form in order to access the online logbook. You will need the details of your clinical placement and mentor in order to complete your application. The College will email you when your online logbook has been set up and is ready to use.

 

Download the guide to the online logbook:

You will have to submit your logbook electronically to enter the final examination. We will carry out an administrative review of your logbook to ensure you have covered a range of conditions in your clinical placement, completed the logbook in sufficient detail and completed the requisite number of sessions. Once your completed logbook has been approved, you will be sent an email containing a link to allow you to apply for the examination. The examination fee can be paid online.

Already set up? Access your logbook by logging into the website.

Also see...

 

Privacy notice

The College of Optometrists will use all personal and contact information supplied as part of this application to process and maintain the enrolment. The College of Optometrists would like to use your email and postal addresses to send you general College news and information on the College’s products and services. The College also shares membership and qualification information with the General Optical Council when necessary. The College uses personal information for statistical and research purposes and, when not anonymised, we seek consent.

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