Published in Research

Managing ocular emergencies as an on-call optometrist

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3 min read

With Vision Expo West (VEW) 2023 upon us, Glance’s Jackie Garlich, OD, FAAO, spoke with Jessilin Quint, OD, MBA, MS, FAAO, on a sneak peek of her session, “Ocular emergencies: more stories from an on-call optometrist.”

Editor’s note: The following interview has been edited for clarity.

Give us a quick highlights version of your talk.

The cliff note version is that it’s all about ocular emergencies. I wanted to create this course because I feel like we, as optometrists, are best prepared to handle ocular emergencies for our patients.

I hate sending my patients to the ER or Urgent Care because I know that sometimes they don’t necessarily have the expertise or the equipment that [we do] in order to provide the best care for the patient.

Different case examples offer a reminder for those of us that might not have a lot of experience with taking those emergency-style, office visit exams.

And there are some fun brain teasers that will also make you think outside the box so, when you’re encountering these patients, you’re well-prepared and can definitely navigate through those scenarios.

What are a few key takeaways?

We walk through the foundation of what constitutes as an ocular emergency and go over tips and tricks on how to help get your staff on board with triaging those, because— lot of times—your staff are the frontliners in fielding some of those phone conversations when we have an ocular emergency.

It’s a question of how soon we need to see them and what sort of exam is this going to look like. So part of the course is going over and talking about that information.

And then we deep dive into case reports, so anything from a chemical burn that’s affecting the cornea to a hyphema or an ischemic optic neuritis.

We discuss different scenarios involving front to back part of the eye and going over the specifics of how they can often present and key questions you should be reminding yourself, like asking how to best manage these cases, refer if they need a referral, and what lab work to order.

And then some tips and tricks on how to make sure that you’re covering yourself from a liability legal standpoint—documenting everything is key.

VEW 2023 is being held September 27-30, 2023, in Las Vegas, Nevada, at the Venetian Convention & Expo Center.