Should there be visual standards for optometrists?

21 February 2017
Volume 18, Issue 1

The purpose of this paper is to determine whether there was a need for visual standards for optometrists, both on entry to optometry and continued throughout practising life.

Introduction

There is a famous sketch by The Two Ronnies (bbc.co.uk) where they acted out a trip to the opticians and both the optometrist and patient struggled with their vision. The pair joked that the optometrist had to follow a line on the floor to find the test chart! Although this happened in a comedy setting, it does raise the question: what would happen if an optometrist did have a visual problem? As practitioners, we know that certain eye conditions are common, so statistically there may be optometrists suffering from visual complaints. As stated by Chadwick (1999), ‘Surprisingly few studies have examined the eyesight status of healthcare personnel’, and this is still the case in 2017.

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