Sally Lee is a final year optometry student at Queensland University of Technology and our major prize winner in the 2020 SCC Online Series student competition. In her entry, Sally outlines how the online conference has assisted her in her final year of study. 

As a final year optometry student and a future Specsavers optometrist, I thoroughly enjoyed participating in the SCC Online Series 2020 and getting a taste of what a CPD event is like for an optometrist. Whilst I would have loved to have been there in-person, as it has traditionally been, and I enjoyed the recorded lectures and being able to re-watch events I have missed during the live events whilst studying for exams. The one thing I noticed across all the different lectures was that the content promoted evidence-based practice with insight into the best, current, available evidence as well as upcoming research. Evidence-based practice leads to better patient outcomes and the importance of it has been emphasised in our curriculum and it was really great to see this applied in clinical optometry.

Throughout SCC Online 2020, I especially liked the full coverage across the different scope of practice within optometry. In the beginning, I only watched the lectures on topics that I was less intimidated by and enjoyed such as contact lenses and dry eyes. I neglected topics such as AMD or Glaucoma due to fear of being unable to understand the content. However, I was definitely glad I ventured beyond my comfort zone and listened to lectures from Professor Mitchell Lawlor and Professor Robyn Guymer on Glaucoma and AMD, respectively. The lectures were very easy to follow, and I found the ophthalmologists relating their contents back to the RANZCO referral pathways were extremely helpful and simplified intimidating topics, especially for a new graduate.

Having the disease process theory related back to cases really consolidated classic presentations and management plans to follow. I feel more confident to be able to use the information from the OCT as well as the retinal camera, utilising it to their full capacity.

Prior to SCC, I was unaware of organisations such as Diabetes Australia, Keepsight and Glaucoma Australia. I enjoyed getting to know what the organisations were about and being aware of them to better support patients.

SCC has made me extremely excited to graduate and start working at Specsavers with the privilege of having incredible technological and mentoring support. I’ll definitely see you all at SCC 2021 as a fully-fledged optometrist!