June 5, 2019 | POSTED BY | Articles, News, Organized Optometry, Scope of Practice
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Scope of Optometric Practice in the Natural State

Bathhouse Row in Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas

Adventure Awaits in Arkansas

The south-eastern United States is home to a plethora of opportunities for Optometrists, none of which are more exciting than in the state of Arkansas. For optometrists, this amazing state offers some of the most extraordinary outdoor activities and earns its name of “The Natural State.”  From the lush and beautiful mountains of the Ozarks to the fields of the Mississippi River Delta, Arkansas has many destination sights for the adventure seekers.

Outdoor Opportunities

Home to the Buffalo River and the White River, Arkansas is the trout capital of the world. Beyond fishing, with 270 hiking trails and over 50 state parks, this great state has plenty of outdoor activities. If you are looking for treasure, you can find it in Crater of Diamonds State Park where you can sift for diamonds and keep all you find. For those who are into relaxing, Hot Springs, Arkansas, earned its name from the natural hot springs that surround the area. If you want a little more excitement while in Hot Springs, you can try your luck at the horse races. From horseback riding to camping to golfing, the Natural State has something for everyone.

Festivals and Culture

If hiking and fishing doesn’t interest you, the music and art festivals will. Live music, food, and wine tasting will get you moving at the Little Rock Riverfest. Little Rock, the capital, has many other festivals, but there are regions all throughout with different events. With Victorian houses hugging the cliffsides, Eureka Springs is a beautiful location and the site for many cultural festivals like the Blues Weekend. Northwestern Arkansas has a collection of cities that is one of the fastest growing areas in the country, but be sure to learn to call the Hogs while in Fayetteville at the University of Arkansas. This area is also home to the Bikes, Blues, and BBQ festival.

Living in Arkansas

The cost of living is very low in Arkansas, ranking fourth overall in the nation based on USAToday, yet it is the headquarters companies such as Walmart, Tyson, and J.B. Hunt. This is a wonderful opportunity for Optometrists to make a great living serving an amazing and diverse community.

Scope of practice in Arkansas

The scope of practice is growing and developing as well. Earlier this year, Arkansas legislation passed an updated scope of practice for Optometry granting SLT and YAG Laser privileges as well as injections and minor lid surgeries. Gaining laser and injection privileges gave the state one of the highest scopes in the nation, none of which could have been accomplished without the dedication of the Arkansas Optometric Association. If politics is something of interest to you, Arkansas is on the forefront of the Optometric movement.

In Arkansas Optometrists CAN:

  • Prescribe and sell eyeglasses and contact lenses
  • Prescribe and administer topical and oral drugs to treat conditions of the eye, lids, and adnexa, including up to schedule III controlled substances
  • Remove foreign bodies from the cornea, conjunctiva, lid, or adnexa
  • Prescribe and administer epinephrine, benadryl, or other comparable medication for the emergency treatment of anaphylaxis or anaphylactic reactions
  • Perform selective laser trabeculoplasty and YAG laser capsulotomy*
  • Perform injections in the lid and adnexa*
  • Remove lid lesions, and chalazion incision and curettage*

*Passed March 27, 2019 and will not go into practice until 90 days after the legislative session.

In Arkansas Optometrists can NOT:

  • Perform Laser Peripheral Iridotomy
  • Prescribe schedule II controlled substances
  • Perform Intravenous and Intraocular injections
  • Perform posterior segment or retinal laser procedures

Arkansas is not only a wonderful place to practice optometry but an outstanding state to live and raise a family.  From the beautiful scenic adventures to the growing cities, Arkansas has something to offer for everyone. For more information on practicing in Arkansas, contact the Arkansas Optometric Association. Here is our complete legislative list for scope of practice in the United States.