Salus PCO Ophthalmic Laser Course Prepares Doctors of Optometry for Wider Scope of Practice


 In June, Salus University’s Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO) clinical and didactic faculty, members of the Pennsylvania Optometric Association and the first cohort of Accelerated Optometry Scholars took part in an in-depth training experience for advanced optometric procedures in laser surgery. Taught by faculty from the Northeastern State University Oklahoma College of Optometry, the course provided participants with the knowledge needed to advance their practice in any state.

Spearheaded by Drs. Alissa Coyne and Elizabeth Tonkery, the goal of the training was to ensure Salus PCO faculty can provide students with the utmost preparation before they enter the professional world. Currently, only Oklahoma, Louisiana and Kentucky allow Doctors of Optometry to perform minor laser surgical procedures.

“The main purpose for the course is for our faculty to be trained at the highest level of our scope of practice nationwide in order to provide educational instruction to our students so they, in turn, can practice in any state once graduating,” Dr. Coyne said.

During the four-day training, participants learned about the fundamentals of optometric surgery including, chalazion (benign, painless bumps inside the eyelid) management, local anesthesia, and introduction to suturing, among other topics. The 32-hour course also included hands-on labs where participants could practice some of the newly learned skills.