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EWTG Luncheon Announcement - June 22, 2005
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Orthoptist/Orthoptics

What is a certified orthoptist?
Certified orthoptists are allied health professionals uniquely trained in evaluation and management of children and adults with eye movement abnormalities. They practice orthoptics and are recognized among the highest levels of ophthalmic medical personnel.

What training does an orthoptist have?
After obtaining a baccalaureate degree, orthoptists receive 2 years of orthoptic training in a program accredited by the American Orthoptic Council (AOC). Certification requires passage of written and practical examinations administered by the AOC. AOC certification maintenance is achieved by participation in national and regional ophthalmology/orthoptic meetings.

Where does an orthoptist work?
Orthoptists typically work in cooperation with pediatric or neuro ophthalmologists. The work settings include university hospitals, multi specialty clinics and private offices. Instruction of orthoptic students, medical students and residents is often provided by orthoptists. Some orthoptists participate in clinical and/or basic research often resulting in the presentation/publication of scientific papers

Who is seen by an orthoptist?
A person with one or more of the following complaints or symptoms: Strabismus (misaligned eyes), amblyopia (poor vision), poor stereopsis (depth perception), diplopia (double vision) (Diplopia (Double vision)), nystagmus (wiggly eyes), headaches or eye strain with reading.

What treatment does an orthoptist give?
The orthoptist performs tests to measure visual acuity, focusing ability, binocular functions and eye movements. Through interpretation of tests and clinical evaluation, the orthoptist aids the ophthalmologist in designing management regimens including amblyopia treatment, orthoptic exercises, glasses,  prisms and eye muscle surgery. Occlusion of an eye, optical penalization, and pharmacologic penalization are examples of treatment given for amblyopia. Optical devices including lenses, prisms and bifocals are utilized to help with ocular alignment and to relieve symptoms like double vision. Orthoptic home exercises are sometimes given for reading problems due to convergence and focusing difficulties (convergence insufficiency). These exercises do not treat learning disabilities.

Will I see the orthoptist without seeing the ophthalmologist?
Orthoptists some times work independently by seeing patients with an ophthalmologist on the premises. This includes children undergoing amblyopic treatment, patients wearing prisms and patients in need of strabismus measurements and evaluation of binocular vision.

Is there anything more important to BOMA OWNERS and MANAGERS than that they "BE PREPARED FOR THE CRISIS?"

BOMA/GLA doesn’t think so, and neither does the Security and Emergency Preparedness Committee who planned and presented the program of this title on November 15.

As Assistant Chief Greg West of the LAFD said, there’s no question that there will be a "Crisis, "only a question of what and when. And only planning and practice can reduce the damage that a major crisis brings. Other seminar speakers were Commander Mark Leap of the LAPD; Asst. General Manager Anna Burton of the Emergency Preparedness Department and Carlos Villarreal, Vice President for National Security and Life Safety for Trizec Properties, Inc.

For those in attendance, the simulation seminar, planned and moderated by Randy Noblitt, President of R. J. Noblitt Company, provided a test of building reactions to a series of crises that could easily unfold on an unsuspecting building manager and the building team one day in the future. Beginning with vandalism and violence in the lobby and progressing to an earthquake, injuries and deaths, the property manager and her staff had to react quickly and precisely to the events as they unfolded. Cell phones wouldn’t work, the elevators were stalled, a fire hydrant was broken and flooding, glass was falling from the windows and freeways were clogged and closed.

Those attendees who could claim pre-planning in their buildings were able to take appropriate action. Those would could not, were nearly helpless. What do you do with the dead and injured? Is it safe to evacuate the building? Do you have first aid materials? What’s happening in other buildings? What is happening to the families of your staff members? Can you shelter your tenants in place for five days if needed?

This is the second annual Crisis Management Seminar BOMA/GLA has presented. Let’s hope you didn’t miss either of them and that you are prepared for the crisis when it occurs.

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