STAPLE workshops provide optometry students with valuable fitting experience

Every year, CooperVision is proud to support STAPLE workshops at schools and colleges throughout the US.  The Soft Toric and Presbyopic Lens Education Program® (STAPLE) provides contact lens education through hands-on workshops to optometry students. Program participants gain experience in fitting soft toric and soft multifocal contact lenses on patients recruited specifically for the event. Students learn in a collaborative environment, staffed by optometrists from their schools and local communities.

Recently, CooperVision and Wink Productions, who set up the workshops for each school, took some time to gather feedback from STAPLE workshop participants and faculty members who have opportunity to witness firsthand the value of the program. Here's what they had to say:

"I am so grateful for the STAPLE program. When it comes to learning, I learn best with hands on experience. It was great to have extra time to work through the process without worrying about keeping on time in clinic. It was a wonderful experience being able to work with my classmates and preceptors to truly understand the process of fitting contact lenses. We even got to talk to the awesome representatives from each company and become more knowledgeable on specific designs of particular lenses and ask any questions about the company and the products. I felt more confident in my fitting abilities thanks to the STAPLE program."

-Heather Ashley, OD Candidate, Class of 2019, Southern College of Optometry


“I have had the privilege of experiencing the STAPLE program as a student, contact lens resident, and now faculty speaker. The STAPLE program is a unique opportunity for students to bridge the gap between the classroom and the clinic. The collaborative workshop setting provides a stress-free environment for students to gain hands-on experience and confidence in fitting contact lenses.”

-Rob Ensley, OD, FAAO, FSLS, Gaddie Eye Centers


“It was an honor working with the STAPLE program! It was a great opportunity to learn about different brands of toric and multifocal contact lenses and work directly with the brands and brand ambassadors. Thank you for giving me the chance to work with this team!”

-Madhavi Uppal, Class President, Class of 2019, Inter American University of PR, School of Optometry


“I have the unique pleasure of experiencing the STAPLE program from a student, resident, and faculty perspective. The STAPLE program has shaped my career in ways I would not have expected as a third year Optometry student. During my first experience with the STAPLE program in Optometry school, I had the opportunity to not only learn clinical contact lens applications on real patients, but the program also connected me with one of my now mentors, and good friend, Dr. Shalu Pal. She was    the contact lens expert chosen to represent the "real world" of Optometry in private practice, and I was impressed with her communication and lecturing skills. As I chatted with her throughout the workshop, she mentioned that she had completed a residency at Northeastern State University, Oklahoma College of Optometry, in contact lenses. Her description of her experience inspired me to following in her footsteps, and I was accepted for the same NSUOCO Cornea and Contact Lens Residency program a year later. As a resident, I again was able to participate in the program, by helping to line up volunteer patients for the workshop and guide the students with step by step instructions while in the workshop. As a resident, I could see what an impact this program had on the students. They were able to try a variety of contact lenses on real patients in a short amount of time, which left them confident as they started their contact lens rotations in the clinic.

Now, as a owner of my own private practice, I've been honored to return to several schools across North America to continue speaking for the STAPLES program, ensuring the next generation of Optometrists feels confident prescribing any toric or multifocal lens they come across! My  interactions with the students have always been very rewarding, and every year they seem to   become more proficient with contact lenses. STAPLES initially gave me the clinical tools I would need to become a competent Optometrist, but little did I know it would also give me the networking opportunities and professional speaking opportunities to open career paths down the road I could   not imagine as a student. I could not be a more enthusiastic supporter of the STAPLE program. This opportunity would not have been possible without the leadership and support of the industry sponsors. I hope our industry leaders will continue to participate this program for years to come.”

-Andrea Lasby, OD, FAAO, FSLSMission Eye Care


“We are so thankful to our industry partners for sponsoring the STAPLE workshops at SCO. The workshops are an integral part of our students' contact lens education. It would be difficult get them pre-clinic experience with torics and multifocals without this amazing program. Thank you!”

John Mark Jackson, OD, MS, FAAO, Professor of Instructional Enhancement, Southern College of Optometry

Read more about STAPLE and CooperVision's support of this valuable program here.

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