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Research Spotlight

Optometrists are used to looking after their patient’s visual needs in the consultation room. But it is also important that they look after their own comfort and health.

When an optometrist examines their patient’s eyes, they may need to place their body in awkward and sustained postures. Over time, this can take its toll on the body and the optometrist may experience work-related discomfort (WRD).

In what is likely to be a world-first, Dr Jennifer Long has developed a suite of resources to help students recognise the signs of WRD and understand how to make adaptations to their work environment to reduce their personal risk of WRD. Resources have also been developed for clinical supervisors and lecturers to assist their teaching for this very important issue.

This project builds on Dr Long’s PhD research into work-related discomfort in Australian optometrists. Guidelines for optometrists and employers of optometrists have already been published by Optometry Australia, the professional association for optometrists.

Two of the clinic supervisor resources, an introductory video into WRD in optometry and a guideline for clinical supervisors are available through UNSWtheBOX.