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My Experience Attending the Ophthalmic Imaging Crash Course, OPS New Orleans 2013

Posted By Melissa Ward, Friday, December 6, 2013
Updated: Friday, December 6, 2013

Two days before heading to New Orleans to attend JCAPHO, my office manager asked if I had signed up for any imaging classes. When I signed up for this conference about 3 months before, I had not really been doing much imaging in the retina clinic where I work, just OCTs here and there. About 2 months after registering for my classes, another tech and I were chosen to start learning how to do fluorescein angiography. I was really excited because I knew that this would open so many doors. I am involved in a few clinical trials at our clinic, doing the lab draws and other tasks. I love this part of my job and I know that a lot of our retina studies involve fluorescein angiography as part of screening subjects, monitoring them throughout the study. I knew that mastering fluorescein angiography would make me a better tech in the clinic as well as being able to use those skills in clinical research.

Friday morning, I found the hotel where the OPS conference was being held and easily registered for this Ophthalmic Imaging Crash Course on site. I was very surprised and pleased to find that there were only about 15 people in this course.


Photo by Sarah Moyer

The way that this all-day crash course was set up was extremely educational. There were 30 minute lectures with 1 hour workshops to follow each lecture. The workshops were absolutely my favorite part as I am a hands-on learner. I was lucky enough to have a great teacher to assist with the hands-on training. Tony Medina was very knowledgeable and made the learning atmosphere very comfortable and inviting. I came out of this crash course feeling confident that I could go back to my clinic in Silverdale Washington and practice the skills that I learned. I could also share my new knowledge with my fellow tech in training.


 Photo by Sarah Moyer

During the OCT workshop, Tony taught us the basics of OCT imaging and showed us a few tricks for hard-to-capture patients. During the Fundus Photography and Fluorescein Angiography workshops, we were shown the basics on the same instrument we have in our clinic.


Photo by Sarah Moyer

When I came back to work, I shared my experience with our new lead technician and he is now very excited to teach us to be great photographers. My fellow tech and I are practicing as much as we can, watching the veteran photographers, and familiarizing ourselves with the equipment often. Now two weeks out from attending this course, I have been taking a lot of fundus photos and have done three assisted angiograms, utilizing both machines I used during the Crash Course.

Sarah Moyer had asked me if I would change anything about this crash course. Honestly, this course is designed to be helpful for someone like me who is just being introduced to ophthalmic imaging as well as someone who hasn’t even touched a camera in the clinic. Therefore the outline of this course is great! Maybe students can be organized in groups by skill, which would make the workshop time for productive and useful. First time users have different questions than intermediate techs. On the other hand, perhaps at the end of the program the teachers could stick around to answer those personalized questions.

Overall I am grateful to be one of the first to experience this new course and I am excited to share my experience with other prospective ophthalmic photographers. All of the speakers and teachers were wonderful and very insightful. Thanks to the speakers and workshop instructors: Kirsten Locke, Melanie Zuckero, Laura Savage, James Soque, Michael Kelly, Sarah Moyer, Tony Medina, Jaclyn Pisano, and Beth Koch!



Photo by Jaclyn Pisano


Melissa Ward, Certified Medical Assistant/Ophthalmic Technician, Silverdale, WA  

Tags:  AAO  blog  cute  education  Educational Meeting  Fluorescein Sodium Dye  Ice Breakers  Interactive  Meaningful Use  New Orleans  New Orleans Interactive  Study  Travel 

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James Soque CRA OCT-C COA FOPS says...
Posted Saturday, April 26, 2014
Thank you for your recording of the first ever Ophthalmic Imaging Crash Course in New Orleans, as part of the Annual Program for the OPS, and for sharing your thoughts!
We enjoyed this venue immensely, and are going to offer it to our members in the upcoming 46th Annual Program, Chicago, IL, October 2014 and I hope to be a part of it again.
Best of luck in your endeavors, and know that we are always here to support and to guide you in these efforts in Digital Imaging.
Well Done!
Jim Soque
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