After more than two years of planning and five months of construction, equipment delivery and assembly, the revamped Optometry Clinical Procedures Lab
is now open and filled with students finessing their screening and examination techniques.
Assistant professor in the University’s Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO)
Dr. Rachel Brackley is ecstatic to see the lab up and running as she was an integral part of its creation. She chaired the seven-member faculty committee who helped envision the final lab, determined the space, equipment and technology needed to provide students with the richest educational experience possible.
“We began this project in February of 2015, and it is very exciting to see the results of the committee’s time and effort,” she said. “It has been very rewarding to work with the students in the lab and see their enthusiasm about the new equipment and space.”
One of the first groups to work in the new lab was the Clinical Skills 4 class, led by Dr. Jamie Neiman. She believes the new lab “is a real asset to the current Optometry students and future ones.” Many of the students were pleased with both the aesthetic and technical upgrades in the lab, such as the live streaming video screens where students can see techniques the professor is demonstrating from anywhere in the room.
“It’s great that we can look at all the screens around the room and see what the preceptors are talking about,” Marni Robins ’19OD said. “It’s a lot easier to understand what’s going on.”
Featuring state-of-the-art ophthalmic equipment from a variety of manufactures, the lab allows students to refine their examination skills and become flexible clinicians who are able to use a variety of equipment, which will be helpful in private or commercial practice upon graduation. The newly renovated 34 bays each include slit lamps with teaching tubes and access to electronic medical records, making the transition to patient care at The Eye Institute and in externships fairly seamless. The size and layout of the lab also allows for classes to be taught by multiple instructors. Lessons can include learning a few different skills at once as students rotate in small groups to various stations throughout the room.
University president Dr. Michael H. Mittelman believes the lab will help Salus PCO standout for students when choosing which optometry school to attend.
“At Salus we are committed educating our students to the best of our abilities, which includes providing the latest technology and clinical training available,” he said. “Students are using state-of-the-art equipment to help them perfect the clinical skills needed to be top-quality healthcare providers as they excel in their graduate studies and professional practices.”
The complementary optometric virtual reality simulation lab
is the next phase slated for completion. It will provide Optometry students with realistic, three-dimensional training scenarios for both indirect and direct ophthalmoscopy.
Learn More About the Lab