Optometry is a demanding career. Optometrists have the tremendous responsibility of keeping their patients' vision sharp and their eyes healthy. Because of the busy and often demanding nature of the work, getting the required continuing education credits required by one's state is not always easy. Many schools understand this and, in recent years, have developed online continuing education opportunities that are not only convenient, but are just as informative as education in a traditional classroom.
"Practicing optometrists anywhere in the world can take our online CE [continuing education] courses and receive continuing education credit," said Brad Sutton, O.D., Clinical Associate Professor for the Indiana University School of Optometry and Clinic Director for the Indianapolis Eye Care Center. "The courses can also be accessed for education purposes without CE credit if desired."
Continuing education hours required for optometrists vary by state. According to Sutton, the average is around 20 hours per year. Some states have restrictions on how many credit hours can be completed online. The Indiana Optometry Board, for example, allows three credit hours every two years to count toward continuing education.
Many courses, like those offered by Pacific University College of Optometry, involve selecting a course and reading the associated article. Afterward, the student takes a multiple choice exam. Once passed, the student will print off an invoice and pay a fee online. In two weeks, the optometrist will receive a continuing education certificate.
Indiana University College of Optometry's online courses can be taken for one, two or three hours of continuing education credit. One hours' worth of courses takes about 45 to 50 minutes to complete.
"The biggest advantage is that the course can be taken when it is convenient for the doctor with no travel and no time out of the office," said Sutton.
These courses are not only available for those who need to earn continuing education credit, but for optometrists who want to stay up-to-date on the latest in eye care.
"It helps them to learn new techniques or information to improve patient care," said James Kundart, O.D., assistant professor at Pacific University College of Optometry.
There are many continuing education opportunities for an optometrist. The courses are varied and include ocular trauma and triage, glaucoma, ocular infection and ethics, laws, jurisprudence and practice management, to name a few offered by Pacific University College of Optometry.Other schools that offer online continuing education include:
Whether you're looking to complete continuing education hours required by your state, or you want to keep up-to-date on the latest techniques to improve patient care, online continuing optometry education is both effective and convenient.