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  • Writer's pictureLFaits

I Finally Know What CAP Means

During the summer, we received our academic calendar. I remembered seeing the acronym “CAP” and having no stinkin’ clue what it meant. …BUT NOW I KNOW WHAT IT MEANS!

In our second quarter of our FIRST YEAR, we are entered into the Clinical Assistant Program, a.k.a. CAP. Once a week for 5 weeks, we help out and shadow a 3rd year student in the Illinois Eye Institute- the clinic that is attached to our school that provides vision and eye care services to the public.

When ICO said that we’d see patients in our 1st year, they weren’t lying! While we’re in the exam room with a 3rd year student, we are able to perform any skill (with permission from the 3rd year student) that we have learned thus far. At this point in time, we have learned all of the entrance tests that are done in the beginning of an exam and the use of automated equipment.

This includes: 

  1. Auto-refractor/Auto-keratometer/Non-contact tonometry (NCT) – gives us information about your glasses prescription, front surface of your eye, and eye pressure

  2. Humphrey visual field – tests your side vision

  3. Automated lensometer

  4. Manual lensometry

  5. Case history – “What brings you in today?

  6. Visual acuity – test how well you see

  7. Cover test (distance and near) – test how your eyes align

  8. Near point convergence – test how your eyes work together

  9. Confrontation visual fields – test your side vision

  10. Extraocular muscles – test how your eyes move together

  11. Pupillary distance – distance between your eyes 

  12. Pupils – test how your eyes react to light

  13. Stereopsis – test your 3D vision

  14. Amsler grid – test your central vision

  15. HRR color vision – tests your color vision

You can see the list is pretty extensive already and we are nowhere close to finishing it off! We have been practicing these skills on our own classmates in the Eyepod. We even had a practical over all of it with a 16-minute limit. Now, we have the chance to perform them on actual patients! This puts our skills to the real test. It’s honestly amazing how much we have learned in 4 months since we began school here. It’s been a challenge but an enjoyable one nonetheless. After all, this is ONLY the beginning!


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