Optometry is a healthcare sector concentrating on the identification and management of eye and vision-related ailments. In British Columbia, Canada, optometrists are accredited by the British Columbia Doctors of Optometry to diagnose and manage conditions pertaining to the eyes and vision. However, there are defined boundaries to the procedures they are allowed to perform.
In British Columbia, optometrists are not permitted to execute invasive or laser surgeries, undertake injections such as subtenon, retrobulbar, intraocular, or botulinum toxin, or administer intravenous or general anesthesia. They are also forbidden from acquiring or exchanging any license with the purpose of showcasing it as evidence of the holder's qualification to practice optometry.
Moreover, they cannot recommend pharmaceutical substances that haven't been meticulously reviewed by the board for such applications without undergoing an extensive examination concerning the utilization and potential adverse effects of such substances in the realm of optometry, and substantiating their clinical proficiency in prescribing the drugs outlined in the non-topical optometric formulary and those sanctioned by the board for topical application.
Furthermore, optometrists in British Columbia are obligated to notify the board of any punitive actions taken against them by another licensing authority, health regulatory board, peer-review organization, healthcare facility, professional optometrist society or association, governmental agency, law enforcement agency, or court for deeds akin to conduct that might be a basis for disciplinary proceedings. Additionally, telehealth does not encompass email exchanges, fax transmissions, or voice-only telephone interactions between a licensed optometrist and a client, nor the utilization of automated computer applications or regulated websites to identify or manage eye or refractive disorders.
Interestingly, the range of practices for optometrists in British Columbia extends to laser surgery for addressing glaucoma, albeit contingent upon the specific circumstances at hand. Nevertheless, personnel operating under the close guidance of a licensed optometrist are barred from participating in ophthalmic or eye care routines. It is also imperative to note that claiming to be an expert or practising in the optometry field without procuring a license from the British Columbia Doctors of Optometry is prohibited. Furthermore, they must regularly pursue approved educational courses or other sanctioned avenues for continual education at a minimum biennially, and furnish a certification to the board via a designated form.
The authority of optometrists regarding medicinal prescriptions spans from Schedule II (limited to hydrocodone) to List V. Despite the occasional overlapping domains of ophthalmologists and optometrists and their collaborative efforts, it's vital to recognize their distinct areas of expertise.
To know more about optometry practice in British Columbia, visit the official website of the British Columbia Doctors of Optometry at: https://www.bcdoctorsofoptometry.ca/.