Life expectancy has increased dramatically in recent decades. Healthcare priorities shift from infection and acute care to chronic disease care and the management of disabilities. These circumstances begin to challenge health care systems and providers. Increased health care costs drive the need for diverse public health strategies. Future eye care needs specialized clinical professionals who are skilled to work in multidisciplinary health care teams. Become Master of Health Care, Clinical Optometry at Oamk!
Educational and professional objectives
This education provides biomedical and specialized ocular sciences at the advanced level to formulate a differential diagnosis and to make evidence-based management plans independently for prescribing treatments to manage ocular diseases. In addition, you will learn to recognize ocular signs of systemic diseases that can be used as information for treating patients’ general health, or that may lead to previous detection of unidentified systemic health disorders. A multidisciplinary approach to manage patients who require treatment for their chronic and/or acute conditions and the need for appropriate referrals will also be taught.
After graduation, you will be able to work independently as a clinical eye specialist; clinical instructor and lecturer, or a clinical researcher in different kind of eye care organizations as a part of a multidisciplinary health care team on a national and international level.
Possible job titles after graduation
- Lead eye clinician / Lead optometrist
- Hospital optometrist
- Clinical instructor and lecturer
- Clinical researcher
The key content areas are
- Assessment and management of the ocular and related systemic health conditions
- Acting in a multidisciplinary healthcare organization
- Conducting evidence-based research and using that for enhancing evidence-based clinical decision-making skills in an interdisciplinary healthcare organization
This education is offered as a flexible part-time-based education, partly online, and partly on-campus. Education consists of 6 theory modules (clinical biomedicine and advanced ocular sciences) that also include clinical work-shops. Four modules are offered annually. Contact teaching on campus lasts 2 days. After completion of theory modules, students will complete their mentor-guided research activities.
Structure of studies
- Methods of research and knowledge production module 10 ETCS
- Clinical biomedicine 10 ETCS
- Advanced ocular sciences 10 ETCS
- Neurology and neuro-optometry 10 ETCS
- Pharmacology 10 ETCS
- Electives: Binocular vision; Pediatric optometry; Specialty contact lenses; Low vision; Ocular surgery; Diagnostic pharmacology; Clinical biomedical research; Special training in primary eye care 10 ETCS
- Research 30 ETCS
Oamk keeps the rights what electives are offered in the current year.
Didactic work will be evaluated competency area-based using multiple choice question examinations. Scientific work will be evaluated based on the written work and oral examinations.
The studies include a 30-credit research-oriented research development task, ie Master thesis. Students will start to work with their Master thesis immediately at the beginning of studies. The thesis is typically a work-oriented development project that produces novel research data for the field of eye care. You can do your Masterwork in your workplace, or even as a start-up plan for your own business. You can also do your thesis in the Oamk project.
Preparing the master thesis requires a systematic approach, content expertise, independent judgments on how to limit the work, methodological competence, collaboration, and interaction skills as well as presentation and publishing skills.
Master thesis is a mentor-guided research project that represents students’ individual work. The final thesis, including the consultation and topic approval with the instructing lecturer, is started at the beginning of the studies. Students will continue their thesis throughout their studies until the second intensive period when the thesis should be finished. The number of online meetings and consultations with instructing lecturer are offered to help students with their thesis project.
Course instructors from multiple medical and health care disciplines have an international level of degrees and working experience, providing an exciting learning environment. You will mainly perform your clinical work at your workplace. Oamk encourages students to arrange international clinical replacements that complement the international aspect of their individual work. Students have a possibility for an international externship rotation.
Applicants must have completed an Optometrist’s bachelor’s degree or higher. Finnish vocational-level optician degree or an international Optometrist’s diploma degree and Optician’s diploma degree from the field of optometry also fulfill the application criteria. In addition, the applicants must have an education that allows them to use diagnostic pharmaceutical medications, license to fit contact lenses as well as two (2) years of work experience in a relevant field. The relevant field is considered to be the area for which you are now applying for and the field from which the degree will be awarded.
International applicants who have not obtained the education that provides them the rights to use the diagnostic pharmaceuticals in their home country will perform pharmacology and diagnostics course as their elective module. All qualification criteria must have been completed by the 31st of July 2020. Universities of applied sciences also accept work experience obtained after completion of a post-secondary or higher vocational level diploma in Finland (in any field of education) but prior to taking the higher education degree. In such cases, too, at least two years of work experience obtained in a relevant field is required.
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