University of Catania
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Orthoptics and ophtalmologic Assistance

Academic Year: 
Degree Level: 
Bachelor's Degree
Teaching Facility: 
Department of Biomedical and Biotechnological Sciences
Access Requirements: 
Nationally scheduled
Italian Classification: 
L/SNT2 Professioni sanitarie della riabilitazione
Teaching Languages: 

Course Overview

The degree course in Orthoptics and Ophthalmology Assistance is a three-year course and prepares professionals in the health professions of the rehabilitation area who carry out activities aimed at prevention, treatment and visual rehabilitation, in order to carry out the skills required by the relative professional profile. The degree course also has the objective of making students acquire individual communication skills in order to interact with other health workers who are part of the rehabilitation team.

The achievement of professional skills is implemented through a theoretical and practical training course. The first is aimed at learning all the elements necessary to carry out orthoptic rehabilitative treatments in the ocular motility and binocular vision disorders and to perform instrumental and ophthalmologic semiology techniques; the second one is based on a practical, individual and group training activity, aimed at clinical work on the patient, carried out at conventionated facilities, under the supervision of specially assigned professional tutors, for the achievement of the professional skills.

From 2016 until 2021, two Erasmus agreements, one for study and one for traineeship, signed with the University of Lisbon (Escola Superior De Tecnologia Da Saúde De Lisboa) allow students to take courses in orthoptics and to carry out an internship or a training at the orthoptic rehabilitation clinics of the host institution, benefiting from a mobility grant.

Educational Goals

At the end of the course, students will be able to acquire:

  • the integrated competences in the field of the pathophysiology of binocular vision and of the clinical frameworks linked to it in the various phases of the life cycle (evolutionary, adult and geriatric age);
  • skills necessary for the planning and organization of rehabilitation services in the various public and private areas of the NHS, as well as in the school environment.

The educational path of the course in Orthoptics and Ophthalmology Assistance in the three years will be as follows:

  • 1st year: acquisition of essential knowledge of biology, physiology and anatomy, as foundations of the discipline and professional methodology, fundamental requisites to carry out orthoptic rehabilitation treatment during the first internship experience, aimed at the orientation of the student to the professional fields of reference and to acquisition of basic skills.
  • 2nd year: acquisition of knowledge concerning the functioning of the normal eye and the eye affected by pathologies, deepening the knowledge on the main agents that determine the onset of infectious processes in the different ocular districts. Information will be provided on the possibilities and limits, indications, contraindications and risks of the various methods of investigation, the basic knowledge on the radiological semeiology of the main pathologies of the visual apparatus
  • 3rd year: acquisition of clinical foundations (in terms of symptoms, signs, diagnosis and therapy) on brain pathologies that have an important involvement of the visual system. Identification of strategies for the treatment and rehabilitation of visual disabilities from strabismus to amblyopia in children and adults. Acquisition of the clinical knowledge of the various forms of strabismus and their non-surgical rehabilitative treatment and of the theoretical knowledge of the surgical techniques of strabismus and postoperative orthoptic treatment. Particular attention is given to the methods inherent to the professional exercise, to the ability to work in a team and to the acquisition of management elements useful for professional development in work contexts.

Students must know at least one language of the European Union, in addition to Italian, in the specific field of competence, for inclusion in the world of work. Students can also customize their study plan with elective educational activities and freely chosen training activities among those offered annually by the course on the teachers' proposal (computer courses, additional foreign language courses other than English, seminars, participation in conferences).

Job Opportunities

Graduates in Orthoptics and Ophthalmology Assistance can perform:

  • free-professional activity in private health facilities and / or affiliated with the NHS
  • dependency activities in public health facilities