Orthoptic and ophtalmologic assistance
COURSE STRUCTURE DIAGRAM WITH CREDITS
- 6 CFU
- 6 CFU
- 8 CFU
- 6 CFU
- 8 CFU
- 7 CFU
- 8 CFU
- 6 CFU
- 16 CFU - COMPULSORY SUBJECTS, CHARACTERISTIC OF THE CLASS
- 9 CFU
- 6 CFU
- 6 CFU
- 6 CFU
- 6 CFU - OPTIONAL SUBJECTS
- 7 CFU
- 26 CFU - COMPULSORY SUBJECTS, CHARACTERISTIC OF THE CLASS
- 4 CFU - A FOREIGN LANGUAGE, FINAL EXAMINATION
Profile of the programme
The Degree Course in Orthoptic and Ophtalmologic Assistance is conducted within the Department of Biomedical, Biotechnological and Translational Sciences. It has a duration of three years and is organised according to training objectives, semesters and integrated courses. Orthoptic and Ophtalmologic Assistance graduates are health professionals who, at the request of the Ophthalmologist, treat motor and sensory vision problems and disorders and implement instrumental ophthalmic and semeiologic techniques. Orthoptic and Ophtalmologic Assistance graduates are responsible for the organization, planning and quality of the activities carried out in the context of their profession; they practice their profession in public or private healthcare facilities, as freelancers or employees.
In order to gain access to the First Cycle Degree course, applicants must have a secondary school leaving diploma or other qualification obtained abroad recognized as equivalent in accordance with the regulations in force (article 6 paragraph 2 of Ministerial Decree. 270/04). Candidates must also possess a suitable background, as well as having achieved a suitable ranking in the admission exam. The number of students admitted onto the Course is determined according to national and regional programming, the availability of teaching staff, educational facilities (classrooms and laboratories) and assistance facilities which can be used for conducting practical activities according to the standards defined by the Department of Biomedical, Biotechnological and Translational Sciences. Basic understanding of biology, chemistry, mathematics, computing and physics are also required, up to higher secondary school level, as well as sound general knowledge. Acknowledgement of studies conducted in Degree Courses in other Italian Universities, and the credits obtained there, may be recognised subject to examination of the curriculum sent by the University of origin and the programmes of the Courses accredited in that University. The documentation needed for the application is submitted by the student to the Students' Registry Office which, after verification and running administrative checks on taxes, transfers etc, sends the documentation to the President of the Degree Course. Recognition of the credits acquired by the student in another course of the same University or other University, including in the event of transfers or changes in Study or Department Course, is under responsibility of the President of the Course which the student has applied for, and is performed in accordance with pre-established and suitably publicised rules. After assessing the application and the number of recognised credits achieved, the President of the Course consults the Course Council before authorising enrolment of the student in the course. Enrolment in a given year of the course is in any case subject to the availability of places, the number of which is fixed.
Key learning outcomes
The Degree Course in Orthoptic and Ophtalmologic Assistance aims to prepare graduates who have acquired the basic grounding for qualitative and quantitative understanding of biological and pathological phenomena, the principles of physiopathology needed to perform othoptic rehabilitation treatments in disorders affecting ocular motility and binocular vision, the principles of re-educations of handicaps affecting visual function, and the basics for performing instrumental ophthalmic semeiology techniques. Graduates in Orthoptic and Ophtalmologic Assistance must be able to:
1. Plan and conduct, in conjunction with other professionals, measures to promote health, screening and prevention of vision disorders, as well as early diagnosis aimed at individuals and the community as a whole.
2. Plan, implement and assess technical and diagnostic activities concerning the psycho-physical assessment of the visual function, objective and subjective refractometry, the quality and characteristics of the sensorial and motor aspects of normal and pathological binocular vision, electrophysiology, and diagnosis with static and dinamic imaging of the eye.
3. Plan, implement and assess activities to re-educate vision, and define these re-education targets while taking into account the pathology, educational needs and the requirements of the individual.
4. Contribute towards planning and organising the collation of diagnostic information and the production process itself, including an analysis of costs, the introduction of new technologies and materials, and the identification and correction of factors that can influence them.
5. Implement and guarantee quality control for the services provided, and identify the appropriate measures needed to reach or maintain the expected qualitative standards.
6. Take coherent action in keeping with the disciplinary, moral and ethical principles of the profession in the various situations included in the training.
7. Recognise and respect their own roles and competences as well as those of the other professionals involved, in order to ensure the proper functioning of the diagnostic and therapeutic process.
8. Demonstrate teaching skills orientated towards tutorial activities destined for students on internships and staff training. Particular importance is given to practical training and clinical internships, which are considered as an integral and qualifying part of the professional training, performed under the guidance of tutors belonging to the specific professional profile. These activities are coordinated by a lecturer of the highest levels of training for the professional profile of Orthoptist and Ophthalmic Assistant, suitable for the training standard specifically stipulated by European Union regulations and directives. The total amount of hours needed for training the professional Orthoptist and Ophthalmic Assistant must in any case meet the training standard specifically stipulated by European Union regulations.
The knowledge acquired by the graduate, totalling 180 credits, will constitute the cultural, scientific and interpersonal background needed to acquire full professional competence and to understand, tackle and manage the pathological events which require rehabilitation and/or therapy for individuals of all ages. This knowledge is acquired by students through taking part in classroom lessons, training internship, (during which they are supervised by lecturers and tutors) and by studying the subjects offered on the Degree Course on an individual basis. In particular, by using their biochemical, physical, statistical, computing, biological, pharmacological, anatomical, physiological, histological, genetic and pathological competences in the nursing sciences, students will achieve a solid grounding in the integrated biological aspects and functions of human organs and systems, in close interaction with the Course's main subjects. Students must also strengthen the requirements for their future profession by means of key competences in ophthalmology, neurology, psychology, child neuropsychiatry, general and applied hygiene, general and specialised paediatrics, and systems for processing information. Learning these subjects will allow students to acquire vital concepts regarding the human sciences, moral codes and professional ethics, the physiopathologies affecting the visual apparatus and orthoptic semeiotics and methodology, the causes and triggers of illnesses, treatment of the individual and neurological illnesses affecting the eye and sense organs. Students will also acquire knowledge of radiation protection in accordance with the contents of Appendix IV of Legislative Decree 26 May 2000, no. 187.
Knowledge and understanding
Upon the end of their training, graduates in in Orthoptic and Ophthalmologic Assistance have to prove their knowledge and understanding in the following fields, be they basic or specific: biomedical sciences, useful in understanding both the physiological and pathological developments concerning the normal functioning and the anomalies of sight during the various stages of human age: psychosocial sciences, in order to understand the cognitive and social aspects of sight as a function, as well as the dynamics connected with sight damage and the handicap it carries. Vision sciences also are a must, both on their basic and specific levels, since they must help graduates understand the specific fields of interventions for orthoptists, as well as the methods to assess sight as a function and to prevent visual handicaps during pre-school years, without overlooking all the evidence informing decisions.
Ethics, Law and Sociology also prove useful, since they must help graduates understand (a) the complexity of National Health Services; (b) the importance to act in compliance with laws and directives, fully considering those ethical values and dilemmas that may be encountered; (c) the degree of professional autonomy, considering also other team members active the fields of health and rehabilitation.
Health-based sciences come into the fore when prevention strategies are needed and the safety of both operators and patients must be protected; knowledge in the field of ICT and foreign languages (especially English) are needed as well, since the relevant literature is available, both on paper and online, mostly in English.
The main methods and training activities used towards the desired outcomes will be the following: lectures to introduce specific topics, followed by traineeships and tutoring, involving patients as well. The theoretical notions will be tried and tested “in the field”. Other tools will be interactive seminars discussing specific cases and focused training instances, as well as specific videos, images and other graphical props. The results will be evaluated through written and oral exams, as well as theoretical and practical tests on patients.
Applying knowledge and understanding
Graduates, upon the end of their education and training path, will be able to manage patients within rehabilitation settings, using also clinical reasoning and problem-solving based tools, using all those integrated skills and tools at their disposal in order to prevent, heal and help recover from visual handicaps. Undergraduates will develop their knowledge along their path, considering real-life interactions with people, interpersonal and inter-professional relationships, as well as managing the most important features of such a career. Such skills will come to a head only by attending the (mandatory) workshops and traineeships, each bestowing a specific number of University credits.
Each student can rely on a specific tutor for each year; the effective gain in professional skills is systematically gauged, starting with a specific booklet attesting student attendance. The whole of knowledge and skills acquired is evaluated overall by a specific kind of exam. The activities involved in such an exam are the province of a Coordinator whom (a) promotes meetings between students and Tutors (b) proposes training activities (c) helps students with their self-training and (d) offers students advice on (bibliographical) sources. Teaching tools: classwork activities, workshops, traineeships, reading, understanding and discussing international literature. The evaluation of such knowledge and understanding is to be carried out through the following verification tools: theoretical and practical exams, written reports, oral and written presentation of projects, simulations or effective trials on patients.
Having concluded their education and training path, graduates will know and apply, in full autonomy, all those techniques concerning orthoptic and ophthalmologic assistance, using reasoning as their primary tool when choosing their options. More precisely, this autonomy will involve effective responses to the health needs of individual and communities, both as a single operator and as part of a team, choosing the best therapeutic strategies, detecting the most apt approaches, gathering data (including an analysis of the social context they operate in), examining the people they take care of and issuing evaluations and diagnoses for them, on the short, medium and long terms.
Furthermore, the aforementioned autonomy will also be a product of setting up a therapeutic program, choosing and applying those techniques and methods (including the intensity, type and time connected with the professional approach) more apt to specific cases, following the best international and Evidence Based guidelines . Concerning ethics, this autonomy will manifest itself in the respect of all the relevant norms, be they juridical, deontological or health-based.
Furthermore, the autonomy of our graduates in this field will assert itself in a wise and effective use of their communication skills, knowledge and techniques, emotions, values and experience, in their daily practice on behalf of individuals and communities . Teaching tools: classwork activities, workshops, traineeships, reading, understanding and discussing international literature. Verification tools: oral and written reports on technical and professional issues, discussion of clinical case studies, as well as definition and implementation of rehabilitation plans and documents on real clinical cases.
Graduates in Orthoptic and Ophthalmologic Assistance are able to effectively evaluate themselves and their educational level in order to keep their knowledge at the maximum level required by their professional activity. They shall also be able to build up and implement self-training paths focusing on their skills and competence, especially considering the Evidence Based Practice in the field of Orthoptics and Ophthalmology. During this three-year course, graduates will acquire such learning skills and competences that they will be able to attend a second-level degree course in Class LM/SNT/02, specialization courses and instances of permanent and recurring higher learning (such as first-and second-level Master’s Degree and other specific courses), instances of further study (such as Lifelong Learning in the field of Medicine) and the like, retaining a high degree of autonomy. Such skills will concern students first and foremost and will be developed and verified by studying for the exams and passing them, by attending courses and assessing traineeships. Traineeships will in fact integrate theory and practice, especially considering the critical use of scientific literature and bibliography, also when preparing for the finals. The main teaching tools will rely on classroom activities, seminars, workshops, simulations and traineeships.
Knowledge and understanding will be evaluated as follows: Exams and tests, both theoretical and practical, written and oral contributions on technical and professional issues, discussions on clinical cases, research and production of teaching materials.
Upon the end of their learning path, graduates must be able to effectively manage communication, i.e. their capacity to build up a meaningful therapeutic relationship and having a good rapport with other professionals, be they from their area of expertise or from other areas.
The graduates in this field should also be able to write specific papers and reports and to build up and implement a rehabilitation intervention, both orally and in writing, using an adequate language, without overlooking the fact that they should be understood by non-experts as well.
Finally, they should be able to effectively communicate in scientific contexts, in order to communicate and share ideas, issues and their solutions.
Communication skills will be evaluated as follows: classroom activities, workshops, simulations and traineeships.
Verification tools: written reports focusing on the communication-based aspect of rehabilitation settings, briefings with tutors and coordinators, oral and written presentations of projects, traineeships.
Final examination, if any
Pursuant to Article 7 of Interministerial Decree dated 19 February 2009, the final examination includes:
a) a practical examination during which the student must show that he or she has acquired the theoretical and practical knowledge and skills involved in his or her own specific professional profile.
b) drafting of a project (Degree thesis) and its dissertation.
The two separate parts of the final examination must be assessed on an equal basis, and both contribute towards the grade awarded for the final examination. In the event that the assessment of the practical examination should not be satisfactory and is considered as failed, it must be repeated in full in another session. Assessment of the final examination will be made with a mathematical average (given out of 30) of the:
- Practical examination: marked out of 30 by the Board. In the event of an insufficient grade (less than 18/30) for the practical examination, the examination is halted and must be repeated in full in another session.
- Dissertation of the Thesis: graded out of 30, with a minimum grade of 18/30.
- The grade of the Degree, marked out of 110, is made up of the following parameters:
- A weighted average of the marks obtained in the academic examinations, with 60% for course examinations and 40% for the internship examinations (one for each year of the Course).
- Grade of the final examination, awarded by the Board, calculated according to the average marks (out of 30) of the final examination, with the following table:
Grading intervals for final examination: Interval of points awarded
from 18/30 to 22/30 from 1 to 3 points
from 23/30 to 26/30 from 4 to 7 points
from 27/30 to 30/30 from 8 to 10 points
- The grade for the practical examination and the grade for the thesis dissertation must be given in the report of the practical examination and the report of the thesis dissertation, showing the mathematical average of the two tests.
- The exam is deemed to have been passed if the grade is at least 66/110.
- Honours may be awarded with a unanimous of the Board to those candidates that achieve a final score of 110/110.
- The examination is organised in two sessions which are set at national level by decree of the Ministry for Education, Universities and Research, in conjunction with the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Policies. The student may draft the project in English if desired. In order to be able to sit the final examination for obtaining the qualification, students must:
a) have passed all the relevant course examinations and knowledge tests, and have acquired all the certificates and credits stipulated by the Regulations;
b) be up to date with payment of university taxes, fees and additional expenses;
c) enrol in the final examination.
The final examination of the Degree course has the same value as a State examination, which qualifies the holder to exercise professional activities. The Board for the final examination is chaired by the President of the Degree Course. It comprises no less than 7 and no more than 11 members appointed by the Dean upon proposal by the Course Council. It must contain at least 2 members appointed by the Professional Board, where applicable, or by the professional Associations identified by means of the relevant decree issued by the Ministry of Health, based on representativeness on a national level in Italy. The dates of the sessions are communicated to the Ministries of Education, University, Research and Health, which can send experts to represent them at the individual sessions. In the event that the aforementioned components should not be appointed, the Dean can exercise the power to replace them.
The Representatives of the Ministries are not counted amongst the members of the Board for the final examination.
Obligations that must be fulfilled in order to gain admission to the final examination are as follows:
a) present the title of the thesis to the Head five months before the presumed date of its discussion by using a form (submit two copies) signed by the supervising lecturer;
b) a typewritten draft of the thesis must be handed in at least thirty days before its discussion to the Co-Supervisor, with whom a meeting to discuss the work must be scheduled. The Co-Supervisor shall prepare a brief explanatory note on a pre-printed form for the Course President.
c) the student must prepare twelve copies of a summary (maximum two typewritten pages of three hundred words each)
which he or she must deliver, together with four copies of the Thesis and the certification request, to the Students' Registry Office at least twenty days before the examination. The aforementioned summary will be sent via the Students' Registry Office to the members of the Board several days before the thesis discussion.
d) the undergraduate student must conclude all course examinations at least twelve days prior to the date of the Degree examination, and hand in the student ID card to the Students' Registry Office no later than the same date.