On Sunday, September 16, 2018, New England College of Optometry (NECO) hosted 140 students at the NECO Clinical Training Center (CTC) to participate in the fall STAPLE program (Soft Toriec and Prebyopic Lens Education). STAPLE includes two separate workshops during the year, one held in the fall focused on soft-toric contact lenses, and one in the spring semester featuring soft multifocal contact lenses. Both workshops provide a hands-on contact lens workshop for third year students in the four-year OD program, as well as AODP and ASIP programs.
STAPLE is a collaborative effort on behalf of Alcon, Bausch + Lomb, CooperVision, and VISTAKON, a division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care. The STAPLE program brings together optometry students in the US and Canada with industry representatives to provide hands-on experience and exposure to different products. Representatives from each company were on hand to assist students and answer questions on soft toric contact lenses. Students were able to fit four types of toric lenses on volunteer patients. The STAPLE program notes, “The goal of these multi-company workshops is to provide generic education that will benefit the student through a valuable lens fitting experience in the soft toric and multifocal lens categories.” (source: www.stapleprogram.com)
This year, the program was held in the new NECO Clinical Training Center. NECO faculty member Anita Gulmiri, OD notes, “The CTC space helped make the program a huge success.” The technology and design of the space allowed for increased participation and review by students.
The program began with a one hour lection on soft toric contact lenses, followed by a two hour workshop on fitting at least four types of soft toric lenses, represented by four separate manufacturers. Dr. Gulmiri explains, “The space allowed the manufacturer representatives to work directly with students to help them fit the lenses. We were able to project the video slit lamp onto each computer in the lens so more students could view the lenses simultaneously.”