Often the term Optometrist makes us confused. They start thinking that it is some kind of scientist-type or nurse-related jobs. But as simple as it is, an optometrist is an independent eye care professionals. They specializes in the examination, diagnosis, treatment, management and prevention of diseases and disorders of the visual system, the eye and associated structures. We all know there are code of ethics for all professions and so do we have. But in this article, we are trying to cover one which is provided by NHPC. I have taken the reference from the booklet that is provided by NHPC.
Ethical standards for optometrists
An optometrist should
- Understand the concept of duty of care and associated responsibilities.
- Promote and maintain collegial,respectful and unselfish relationships with members of their own profession.
- Practice with conscience and integrity in a manner that is in the best interest of the informed patient, enhancing the status of the profession and promoting public confidence.
- Practice and advance the current standard of care and ensure that their practice modalities, resources and their accurate and legible recording of results and outcomes.
- Maintain high standards of contemporary professional competence and knowledge,ensuring any diagnosis made,advice provided,or treatment given is based on these principles.
- Ensure that referrals to and from colleagues and kindred professionals are appropriate and action in a manner that is in the patients best interest.
- Not practice under conditions that compromise their professional independence, judgement or integrity,nor impose such conditions on other optometrists.
- Disclose any significant proprietary interest they have in care options recommended.
- When promoting their practice or profession,ensure any claims made are sustainable, truthful and reflect their status as a registered health practitioner.
- Learning of the profession for the benefit of the wider community.
- An optometrists shall ensure that comprehensive, accurate, up-to-date clinical records are kept and that appropriate privacy provisions are maintained.
- Provision should be made for a continuity of an appropriate standard of care to be available if the optometrist is absent from the practice.
- Optometrist should ensure all non-qualified staffs are aware of their legal and ethical obligations relating to the practice of optometry.
Source: Nepal Health Professional Council (NHPC) Booklet.