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The education and training of the optometric practitioner in South Africa

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dc.contributor.advisor Prof. Jannie Ferreira; Prof. Sarah Gravett en_US
dc.contributor.author Jacobs, Melanie
dc.date.accessioned 2012-02-06T06:49:31Z
dc.date.available 2012-02-06T06:49:31Z
dc.date.issued 2012-02-06
dc.date.submitted 2001
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/4337
dc.description M.Phil. en_US
dc.description.abstract This study has been undertaken to determine: 1. the attributes of the competent optometric practitioner as well as 2. the teaching-learning programme to ensure competency. The teaching-learning transformation in South Africa towards outcomes-based education and training urges an investigation into the scope of optometry (what does an optometrist do?) as well as the core curriculum and learning content (what should they be taught?). The aim of this study was to investigate the attributes of competent optometric practitioners in South Africa with specific reference to the teaching-learning programme offered by Rand Afrikaans University (Johannesburg). This study suggested reflective practitioning as an alternative strategy towards the practicing of optometry. Reflective practice is a special kind of practice that involves a systematic inquiry into the practice itself, even as the practice is under way. It requires that the practitioner is open to scrutiny of beliefs, values and feelings that may be strongly held and about which there is great sensitivity. Thus, reflective practice is mindful consideration of one's actions. A study of the scope of optometry was used to compile a profile of a competent optometric practitioner. This profile is a combination of four main features, namely the competent optometric practitioner doing (practice management, etc.), the competent optometric practitioner knowing (technical and scientific skills, etc), the competent optometric practitioner being (honest and reliable, etc) and finally the competent optometric practitioner being in the world (flexible and adaptable, etc). An empirical investigation was performed by means of a structured questionnaire completed by second, third and final year optometry students at Rand Afrikaans University. The aim of the questionnaire was in the first instance to determine the respondents' perceived level of importance of 86 optometric as well as generic competencies. Secondly the questionnaire aimed to determine the perceived level of efficiency of performance, of these 86 competencies, by the students. The empirical findings were expected. The respondents made it clear that the list of competencies were very important in the practicing of optometry. Their involvement in private practices, community clinics and the Phelophepa healthtrain made their opinions valid. The implication of these findings would be the extension of the current teachinglearning programme to include more of these competencies. It was thus rather strange that these students could rate their perceived level of performance of these competencies as efficient. The exclusion of most of these competencies in the current teaching-teaming programme indicated that they could have acquired these skills and knowledge informally or that they have a vague perception of what the real execution of these competencies implies. This study recommends a review of the optometric teaching-teaming programme at RAU (as well as other institutions in SA) thereby placing a greater focus on primary health care. The review should also include relevant practice-oriented modules and offer greater scope for specialisation in the various fields that optometry render. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject Optometry study and teaching en_US
dc.title The education and training of the optometric practitioner in South Africa en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US

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