Minnesota Scope of Practice

If you can handle the snow, the land of 10,000 lakes is a wonderful place to live and practice optometry! Because of the abounding love of biking, boating, and exploring the outdoors, Minnesotans are one of the healthiest U.S. populations. The statewide love of hockey, however, often provides optometrists many opportunities to manage post-concussive binocular vision problems. Home to the Minnesota Vikings, the state’s NFL team, the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul are also home to the University of Minnesota and the Mall of America. If you are looking to explore the cultural side of the state, the Twin Cities offer hundreds of theatre performances, diverse restaurants, and endless musical venues for its residents. Culture, sports, and the great outdoors make Minnesota a fantastic state to practice optometric medicine!

In Minnesota, optometrists CAN:

  • Prescribe spectacle lenses, contact lenses, and prisms
  • Diagnose and treat glaucoma with topical and oral drugs (though oral carbonic anhydrase inhibitors may not be prescribed for longer than seven days)
  • Perform procedures such as foreign body removal, dilation and irrigation, punctal occlusion, and eyelash epilation
  • Prescribe oral antivirals for courses of treatment of ten days or less
  • Employ or prescribe therapeutic or rehabilitative vision care
  • Co-manage post-operative care
  • Provide and aid in care of ocular prosthetics
  • Order laboratory tests required for the examination, diagnosis, and treatment of a disease or condition related to the human eye
  • Prescribe or administer orthoptic therapy (vision therapy)

In Minnesota, optometrists CANNOT:

  • Perform cataract extractions, retinal surgery, or refractive surgery (such as LASIK)
  • Administer medications, including anesthetics, by injection, including subcutaneous infiltrative, intralesional, intramuscular, intravenous, and subconjunctival routes
  • Prescribe oral steroids
  • Prescribe schedule II or III oral medications
  • Perform laser or non-laser injections into the posterior chamber of the eye to treat any macular or retinal disease
  • Administer general anesthesia

As optometry is a legislated profession, the Minnesota Optometric Association (MOA) is always busy at work defending the scope of practice of optometry and working to expand it. Additionally, the MOA is currently fighting to prohibit online eye exams in Minnesota to protect patients and defend the role of optometrists within the community.

For more articles pertaining to scope of practice for optometrists, click here!

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