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    Hello everyone, I was just wondering if you lot could help me out because im so torn between both of these courses and confused as which ones is the one for me? I seem to have a interest in both but I could appreciate if those who are currently undertaking this course/finished this course or hope to do this course could let me know the pro's and con's of both and which one has higher salary as well as which course would allow me to get a job faster easier? Also about the course details? Thankyou so much!!
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    Hi Krish! We are student Orthoptists at the University of Liverpool, so although we don't know much about the Dental Hygiene and Therapy courses out there, we can answer your questions about Orthoptics! At both Liverpool and Sheffield, Orthoptics is a 3 year course (it is also offered at Glasgow Caledonian as a 4 year course) consisting of both university based lectures/seminars/clinical teaching sessions and clinical placement in hospital eye departments across the country. We specialise in the diagnosis and treatment of ocular motility disorders - seeing patients of all age ranges (including lots of children!), but also cover more general eye problems such as glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy etc. In terms of applying for jobs, most Orthoptists start within the NHS on a salary of around 21,000-22,000, with opportunities to progress and specialise. Here at Liverpool, we have 3 placements a year (varying from 1 week to 4 weeks), which can be in any part of the UK - making it a great chance to travel and see different places and departments. Travel and accommodation costs are reimbursed by the NHS in most cases, and the course tuition fees are also paid by the NHS. Teaching at the University varies from lectures for the whole course (usually around 34-40 students per year), to smaller tutorials and practical sessions in smaller groups. The assessment is a mix of practical exams, written exams and assignments. We personally love the course as it is a good mix of theory and practical, and offers great opportunities to see different departments and interact with lots of different patients. Hope this helped!

    We also have facebook (University of Liverpool Orthoptics), twitter (@livuniorthoptic), instagram (@livuniorthoptic) and pinterest pages (@LivUniOrthoptic). We regularly update the facebook and twitter pages with posts related to orthoptics and what it's like to be a student orthoptist. We also answer questions on these pages, so feel free to message us if you want to ask more questions!
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    (Original post by Livuniorthoptic)
    Hi Krish! We are student Orthoptists at the University of Liverpool, so although we don't know much about the Dental Hygiene and Therapy courses out there, we can answer your questions about Orthoptics! At both Liverpool and Sheffield, Orthoptics is a 3 year course (it is also offered at Glasgow Caledonian as a 4 year course) consisting of both university based lectures/seminars/clinical teaching sessions and clinical placement in hospital eye departments across the country. We specialise in the diagnosis and treatment of ocular motility disorders - seeing patients of all age ranges (including lots of children!), but also cover more general eye problems such as glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy etc. In terms of applying for jobs, most Orthoptists start within the NHS on a salary of around 21,000-22,000, with opportunities to progress and specialise. Here at Liverpool, we have 3 placements a year (varying from 1 week to 4 weeks), which can be in any part of the UK - making it a great chance to travel and see different places and departments. Travel and accommodation costs are reimbursed by the NHS in most cases, and the course tuition fees are also paid by the NHS. Teaching at the University varies from lectures for the whole course (usually around 34-40 students per year), to smaller tutorials and practical sessions in smaller groups. The assessment is a mix of practical exams, written exams and assignments. We personally love the course as it is a good mix of theory and practical, and offers great opportunities to see different departments and interact with lots of different patients. Hope this helped!
    Hello thankyou so much for your detailed reply. I have a few questions,would there be a pay rise in orthoptics after a year or so? Also what is taught in the course? What do the placements involve doing? Is it stressful? How long to you have patient contact,for example,15 mins/more per patient? Is it a good career choice as in would one be able to get a job straight after finishing the course? How long are the hours of work? Ive heard alot about optometry but been told its very competitive,is orthoptics competitive aswell? Also why is it that not alot of people are aware of the orthoptics course?

    Lol sorry for all the questions
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    Hi Krish!

    Sorry for the delayed reply, we did respond with helpful links to guide you to some of the answers to your questions but our response was deleted! It may therefore be useful for you to google and go onto our university homepage, where there is a specific page for Orthoptics which outlines the course details etc! You can also go on the NHS website to look at pay scales - a newly qualified Orthoptist usually starts at band 5 and then progresses and specialises to work up the bands.

    In terms of what it taught, in first year, basic theory and clinical skills are developed - like eye and eye muscle anatomy and important clinical tests used by Orthoptists. You also learn the basics of eye movement systems and how your eyes work together to be able to perceive depth and 3D. In second year, we learn how to apply the knowledge gained in first year to a wide range of clinical scenarios - also considering treatment options. You also develop your existing clinical skills, and learn new vision tests. You also have the opportunity to undertake an orthoptic based clinical research project. In third year, you focus on an evidence based practice approach to clinical care and consolidate all previous knowledge.

    Placements involve working with qualified Orthoptists in eye departments across the country. You get to see patients and carry out clinical tests, putting into practice the theory of diagnosing and treating disorders of the eyes. Clinical tutors are there to help guide you and give you constructive feedback, supporting your learning. Patient contact time varies from department to department, but an appointment typically lasts between 15-30 mins (it may be longer if you have an adult patient with a complicated case). The hours of work are usually Monday-Friday 9-5, but again this varies in different departments and once qualified, there are options to work part time. Orthoptists are also usually involved in work outside of clinic such as vision screening in schools, so not all working hours are spent in the eye department of a hospital.

    In terms of employment opportunities, the number of spaces on the course is calculated by the NHS as an estimate as to how many jobs will be available when students graduate - therefore job prospects are usually good. Due to the limited number of spaces on the course and increased interest in Orthoptics, competition for a space is growing, however as it is a lesser well known profession (albeit an important one!) don't let this put you off applying! Answering your question as to why people are not aware of Orthoptics - we aren't sure! But it may be due to the fact that it is a relatively small profession and the course is only offered at Liverpool, Sheffield and Glasgow Caledonian Universities.

    Hope this was helpful. Let us know if you have any further questions - but our webpage on the university website is very informative!
 
 
 
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