St. Catherine University's orthoptics department takes a value-based and holistic approach that’s interdisciplinary, team oriented, and centered on people, patient and community. Students will acquire the knowledge and skills to provide care to patients with a wide variety of ophthalmic needs and will learn to work effectively with patients of all ages and abilities, as well as their families.
The St. Catherine University orthoptics curriculum is accredited by the American Orthoptic Council and is deeply rooted in the liberal arts (which teaches you to think big picture) and Catholic Social Teaching (to respect and help others).
ORTH 3000 Ophthalmic Concepts for Orthoptists I — 4 credits
This course introduces principles of physics and optics in the context of Orthoptic practice and the unique needs of this patient population. Examination techniques, patient approach, trouble-shooting and problem-solving approaches in the context of Orthoptic practice are discussed. Basic clinical skills are introduced in the classroom lab, supported by student placement in local Ophthalmology practices for an introductory clinical rotation.
Prerequisite: Acceptance to orthoptics major.
Corequisite: ORTH 3010.
ORTH 3010 Ocular Motility I — 4 credits
This course is an introduction to eye care, including the role, duties and responsibilities of the Orthoptist. Ethics, professional associations and certification, and patient privacy and confidentiality (HIPAA) will be discussed. The structure and function of the human visual system, binocular vision, the development of vision, neurologic control of eye movements and abnormalities of these systems will be discussed. Students are introduced to the elements and techniques of a basic sensorimotor evaluation, including evaluation of sensory status and measurement of eye alignment and eye movements. This course also includes completion of a programmed text in medical terminology. Service learning is an integral component of the Orthoptics major. Students participate as vision screeners for the E.Y.E. program in the Minneapolis Public Schools.
Corequisite: ORTH 3000.
ORTH 3020 Ocular Motility II — 4 credits
This course is a continuation of the topics presented in Ocular Motility I. Neuro-anatomy, sympathetic and parasympathetic pathways, and sensory and motor physiology and pathology will be reviewed. Horizontal, vertical and torsional deviations and appropriate diagnostic techniques will be introduced. Students will learn about pathophysiological conditions of the globe and orbital region, systemic disease that may have ocular and oculo-motor involvement, and congenital ocular and neurologic anomalies affecting the eye. Ocular emergencies and ophthalmic triage will be also discussed. Service learning continues as an integral component of the Orthoptics major. Students participate as vision screeners for the E.Y.E. program and are encouraged to apply as Lead Screeners for the program.
Prerequisite: ORTH 3010.
Corequisite: ORTH 3150.
ORTH 3100 General Ophthalmic Clinical Skills Practicum — 4 credits
Students continue in the same clinical setting from the fall semester, spending the J-term there all day, every day, gaining experience and confidence in the performance of basic clinical skills. A patient case will be selected, with input from the clinical preceptor, to research and present to the class during a weekly video conference, with the instructor as moderator. Continued participation in the monthly orthoptic evening seminars throughout the academic year is expected.
Service learning is an integral component of the orthoptics major. Students continue participation vision screeners for the E.Y.E. program in the Minneapolis Public Schools.
Prerequisites: ORTH 3000, ORTH 3010.
ORTH 3150 Ophthalmic Concepts for Orthoptists II — 4 credits
This course is a continuation of the first semester, covering additional topics in ophthalmic optics and an introduction to the general principles of ophthalmic pharmacology. This includes the study of the general types, routes of administration, adverse side-effects and the mechanism of action of commonly used medications in ophthalmology practice. Clinical experience, one day each week, will continue this semester. Clinical preceptors will allow students increasing autonomy in the clinic as they develop confidence and facility in the required foundational ophthalmic skills. Students will keep a journal and log their hours.
Students will present a patient case to the class each week, selected with approval by the clinical preceptor. These cases will be presented during weekly video discussions, following the format of formal case presentations used for the national Orthoptic certifying examinations.
Prerequisite: ORTH 3000.
Corequisite: ORTH 3020.
ORTH 3800 Clinical Externship I — 2 credits
In the summer between the third and fourth years, students will be placed in an externship where they can continue to refine their clinical skills. Students will work with certified orthoptists in a clinical setting. Students will enter the patients they see into a log book, which records their experiences throughout their time in the program. In addition, students will keep a clinical journal, which will be submitted electronically to the program director on a weekly basis. Students will interact with other students electronically through moderated discussion boards.
ORTH 4000 Clinical Externship II — 4 credits
This externship is designed to meet the requirements for certification as an orthoptist as established by the American Orthoptic Council. Students are placed in clinical sites with certified orthoptists and pediatric ophthalmologists, where they continue to refine clinical skills. The students function as an integral part of the clinical care team and will be expected to participate in all scheduled clinical activities for their site. Students continue to enter patients into the log and will continue to keep a clinical journal, which will be submitted electronically to the program director for grading on a weekly basis. The class will continue to interact electronically through moderated discussion boards and weekly video conferences, where they each will present a patient case, approved by their clinical preceptor.
ORTH 4010 Ocular Motility III — 4 credits
This course is a continuation of the topics presented in Ocular Motility II. Students review of neuro-anatomy and basic motility measurements, supranuclear control systems for eye movements, paretic and supranuclear strabismus, special forms of strabismus, and nystagmus. New topics include principles of medical genetics, and the surgical and non-surgical treatment of sensory and motor ocular abnormalities. Students concentrate on refining clinical examination techniques and the presentation of patients to physicians and parents. Discussion of treatment plans with patients will be practiced in the classroom. Students also learn basic concepts of sterile field, operating room and minor surgery set-up, gowning and gloving, and the most commonly used ophthalmic surgical instruments.
A weekly clinical rotation in an ophthalmology clinic is included. Case presentations will be discussed during class. Service learning continues as an integral component of the Orthoptics major. Students continue their participation in the E.Y.E. program.
Prerequisites: ORTH 3020, ORTH 3150, ORTH 3800.
ORTH 4020W Ocular Motility IV Seminar — 4 credits
This online writing-intensive seminar is designed to keep students in touch with each other and the instructor during the extended clinical externship. Topics of discussion in this class will be centered on pathology and clinical examination techniques observed during the course of the clinic day. Students are expected to research the ocular pathology they encounter in the clinic and present their findings to the class during weekly video class discussions. Students prepare a major research paper on a topic chosen with the guidance of the instructor and clinical preceptors. During online discussions, students and faculty will provide input during the paper development process. This paper will be presented to the orthoptic students and faculty at a final gathering at the end of the semester.
Corequisite: ORTH 4100.
ORTH 4100 Clinical Externship III — 6 credits
This externship is designed to meet the requirements for certification as an orthoptist as established by the American Orthoptic Council. Students continue at the clinical sites where they spent the J-term, where they continue to refine clinical skills. The students function as an integral part of the clinical care team and will be expected to participate in all scheduled clinical activities for their site with increasing independence. Students continue to enter patients into the log and will continue to keep a clinical journal, which will be submitted electronically to the program director for grading on a weekly basis. The class will continue to interact electronically through moderated discussion boards and weekly video conferences, where they each will present a patient case, approved by their clinical preceptor.
Corequisite: ORTH 4020W.
ORTH 4200 Orthoptic Residency — 0 credits
Upon successful completion of the courses in the orthoptics major and baccalaureate degree, this five month clinical component to is designed hone clinical skills and prepare for professional practice. This residency experience enables students to meet the minimum number of patient examinations required by the American Orthoptic Council. The level of supervision and direction from the faculty at St. Catherine University is minimal at this point. Students continue to be supervised by clinical preceptors, who are certified orthoptists, in pediatric or neuro ophthalmology practices. Patient encounters are entered into the student log book and the clinical journal is continued. Preparation for certification board examinations is stressed during this residency experience.