The certified retinal screening photographer – STEP 1 - Learning the basics

Becoming a certified EyePACS photographer is quite easily accomplished in three manageable steps without ever leaving the clinic. Some clinic staff become trained and certified in a day! Today we describe the first step of the process: learning about the retina to be photographed and the characteristics of diabetic retinopathy.

As a clinic staff member, you can learn to capture important retinal photos right in the primary care setting. It begins with photographer certification to ensure you understand how to capture clear images free of factors that obscure part or all of the retina. If a significant portion of the retina is obscured, a proper diagnosis might not be feasible, and a patient might need to be referred for specialty eye care outside the clinic. You will also come to understand the visual consequences of poorly controlled diabetes and the role you can play in reducing vision loss and blindness. 

Camera operators – or “photographers” – in training complete two modules. In the first module, you will capture practice images and upload them on a case-by-case basis to the certification website. Each case captures a comprehensive, panoramic view of the back of the eye, providing the consultant with sufficient area to inspect for fine, sight-threatening diabetic lesions. EyePACS trainers provide feedback for improvement for each case.

In the second module, photographers are asked to answer ten questions that cover the basics of diabetic retinal screening. You can find more details about photographer training, including instructional videos, forms and protocols, and the EyePACS Photographer Manual here on our site.