Shortly after we launched this blog in late 2015, two of our dedicated program coordinators, Anna Sorenson (San Jose) and Amanda Joslin (Seattle) authored a series of instructive posts for EyePACS photographers. Anna explained the three steps to becoming a successful EyePACS-certified photographer, and Amanda logged her “aha moments” as she, new to the job, learned to use the iCam.
That series of articles, posted to our blog two years ago, remains a frequently-accessed source of information and confidence for our growing cadre of certified photographers in 350+ clinics in five countries. Because these articles are read by someone every week, it seemed wise to link all ten of them right here, right now, to make it easy for ALL certified and would-be-certified retinal photographers to learn the basics, troubleshoot their potential errors, and build their confidence in helping to detect diabetic retinopathy.
Here is a list of the ten helpful articles, each with a link and a brief synopsis. As you click on each link, and the blog opens, you might have to scroll just a bit to find the specific article you’re looking for:
The Certified Retinal Screening Photographer, Step 1: Learning the Basics.Why certification is important and how the DR screening photographer contributes to saving sight. Introduces the two training modules: capturing images and testing.
The EyePACS Photographer, Step 2: Operating the Camera. Explains the on-site training EyePACS representatives provide, including set up for the session, entering data and uploading the images, and how to deal with unusable images.
Become an EyePACS Photographer, Step 3: Navigating the Certification and Clinical Web Sites. How the eight images you’ve captured are uploaded to the certification and clinical web sites using your account (which will be created when you are certified).
Join Me as I Learn to Use the iCam– our new program coordinator shares “aha” moments.
· Lesson 1: Starting in Focus. Explains how to correctly align the focus bars, including identification of “ghost bars.”
· Lesson 2: Avoiding Small-Pupil Artifacts. Finding the optic disc and the very important macula in patients with small pupils: What can you do short of dilation?
· Lesson 3: Illumination. Tips for adjusting flash level to patient eye color.
· Lesson 4: Unclear Media Caused by Misalignment. You’ll want to avoid the hazy ring around the image when the camera isn’t positioned correctly. The solution? aligning the white working distance dots. (And what if you can’t find the first dot?!)
· Lesson 5: Taking External Images. How to capture important images of the entire external eye for use by the consulting image reader. Troubleshoots what might go wrong.
· Lesson 6: Image Artifacts. Reviews the most common obscuring artifacts, from smudges to eyelashes to water droplets, with tips for proper lens cleaning.
· Lesson 7: Correct Eye Position. To get that important panoramic view of the retina, familiarize yourself with the fixation targets you’re asking the patient to view, including use of the printed guide EyePACS provides. Also explains how to image retinas of a patient with a nonfunctional eye.
We invite you to peruse these articles as often as you find them helpful. Remember, though, that our program coordinators are standing by to assist you by phone (800-228-6144) and email: firstname.lastname@example.org. On-site assistance can also be arranged. We firmly believe that the certified EyePACS photographer in the primary care clinic is the first key to identifying and successfully treating diabetic retinopathy while vision can still be saved.