Innovative Technology at UHCO

Optometric Clinical Skills Simulation Lab

Dr. Heather Anderson, Assistant Professor at UHCO has led the initiative for the simulation lab, along with efforts by Assistant Professor Dr. David Berntsen and Clinical Associate Professor Dr. Amber Gaume Giannoni. With this new technology, every student will be enriched with an exposure to over 200 clinical cases of pathology built into the patient simulators. This mode of education capitalizes on the philosophy of pattern recognition to identify disease presentation and equalizes the exposure to conditions experienced by all students.

In addition, these simulators provide objective means of assessing student performance in examination and diagnosis. The simulators can be utilized in a classroom setting, as well as with independent study. Each student sets up a private account and receives objective feedback about the quality of their examination (areas of retina examined and light exposure time), as well as feedback about their performance detecting pathology and answering multiple choice questions about disease progression and management.  Student progress can be monitored through a secure web portal by designated instructors.

The simulation equipment will benefit students throughout their four year curriculum.

  • Basic Examination Skills (getting views)
  • Anatomical Structures & Examination of Healthy Retina
  • Basic Findings and Diagnoses – Common Pathologies
  • Clinical Cases – additional findings & management strategies

The initiative is a reflection of UHCO’s on-going commitment to provide a tier one educational experience that will train future optometrists to provide the highest quality of vision care.