RECOMMENDED PRIVILEGES FOR OPTOMETRISTS SEEKING HOSPITAL PRIVILEGES AS
APPROVED BY THE NORTH CAROLINA STATE BOARD OF OPTOMETRY
A. Privileges granted to optometrists shall be on the basis of their licensure,
training, experience, demonstrated competence, judgment and current credentials
as determined by the Board. Scope and extent of their medical and surgical
privileges shall be specifically delineated and granted in the same manner as
all other medical and surgical procedures.
B. Optometrists may consult on inpatients, see outpatients in the emergency room
or outpatient departments, and may admit patients to the hospital in
conjunction with a medical physician in accordance with the provisions of N.C.
G.S. 131E-86. The names of both the optometrists and medical physician are
required for the part of the history and physical and treatment plan related to
the optometric care of the patient. A physician will be responsible for the
completion of the history and physical appropriate to the service on which the
patient is admitted and determine if consultation is needed, the overall risk
assessment, the effect of treatment on the health of the patient, and will have
the final authority on all treatments carried out in the hospital. The
physician shall record in the patient's medical record his/her willingness to
provide such care. Optometrists granted clinical privileges shall be assigned
to the Department of Family Practice.
C. Optometrists may prescribe medication and write orders for the evaluation and
treatment of conditions of the eye and its related structures within the limits
of their license and privileges granted pursuant to these by-laws. Systemic
conditions or any conditions involving other organ systems which may present
signs and symptoms of the eyes should be evaluated in conjunction with a
PROPOSAL FOR DELINEATION OF PRIVILEGES FOR STAFF OPTOMETRISTS
• 1. Utilize the hospital laboratory facilities for routine laboratory studies
such as glucose tolerance, thyroid, etc.
• 2. Utilize the hospital radiology and other imaging facilities for X-ray or
other studies in case of suspected intraocular foreign bodies, orbital
fractures, tumors, retinal detachments, choridal neovascularization, etc.
• 3. Utilize the hospital laboratory facilities for routine cultures and cell
• 4. When patients of staff optometrists are hospitalized under the care of
another physician for treatment of a problem unrelated to their eyes and
develops an eye problem while in the hospital, they would have the privilege of
seeing their patients for the eye problem only during that hospitalization.
• 5. When their patients are seen in the emergency room for an eye injury or
other ophthalmic problem, the patient would be referred to them for outpatient
follow-up on the same basis as the patient of any other doctor in the
• 6. They would have the right to provide consultation services either in the
emergency room or hospital for patients with ophthalmic problems. In this
regard, they should be willing to provide consults for patients under their
care at that time and be willing to serve on a rotating basis to take calls of
this type for the convenience of the hospital staff.
• 7. The right to admit patients for ocular emergencies provided that they have
the prior concurrence or consultation of a medical doctor who is a member of
the hospital staff.
• 8. Privileges are limited to those activities which optometrists are authorized
to perform pursuant to Article 6 of Chapter 90 of the North Carolina General
Statues and Chapter 42 of the NCAC.