Free online training for healthcare professionals

Nurse smiling with a patient ready to have an injection

The Macular Society has launched a free online training package to help healthcare professionals develop a greater understanding of macular degeneration.

We have teamed up with learning specialist Perceptive to create the training courses, which aim to provide a comprehensive guide to central vision loss and how to manage it.

The training has received full Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and Certificate in Education & Training (CET) accreditation. Each course is divided into a selection of modules, each ending with a multiple-choice test. A range of supporting video content will help professionals provide the best possible care to people with macular conditions.

The first course, ‘An Introduction to Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)’, is now available. The course is divided into three modules: Anatomy and Disease Pathophysiology, Low Vision Aids and Technology. Additional courses are set to follow covering topics such as Early AMD, Skills for Seeing, Nutrition and Eye Health, and Charles Bonnet Syndrome, visual hallucinations which are thought to affect half of all people with macular disease.

Among the first healthcare professionals to trial the new online course was Richard Rawlinson, a dispensing optician with over 30 years’ experience in the optical sector.

He said: “This is an excellent module and very easy and not at all onerous to complete. The content would transfer well to a peer review or developed into an interactive CET session.

“The modules all work well on PC, Tablet and mobile phone (my personal preference was iPad). The interactive parts ensure that you pay attention and don’t just skip through to the end. Branding in the Macular Society colours helps reinforce the important messages and the inclusion of patient videos is a very good idea.

“The videos and text are a really useful guide to the assistance mobile phones and tablets can provide for patients. Access to Work is important and I’m delighted this has been included. The questions at the end help define some of the important areas that professionals may not be familiar with.”

Cathy Yelf, Macular Society chief executive, said: “One of our top priorities is to ensure people with macular disease receive the best possible medical care. This new training programme will help healthcare professionals develop their knowledge of macular conditions, gain a better understanding of both the physical and emotional impact of sight loss, and give advice on techniques that people can use to make the most of their remaining vision.

“The courses are free and any healthcare professionals are welcome to take part. All you need to do is go to our new dedicated learning website and register your details.

“We’ve received excellent feedback from those who’ve already taken part in the training. We’re looking forward to developing the package further with the addition of more courses in the near future.”

View the free online training here