(1) It is the intent of the Board that all applicants for licensure as optometrists attain the highest level of licensure available under the law including diagnostic and therapeutic certification as provided in T.C.A. §§ 63-8-102(12)(E) and 63-8-112(4). Attaining therapeutic certification must include attaining certification to use pharmaceutical agents by injection.
(2) Diagnosis Certification. Any applicant who submits or has submitted a transcript which contains at least six (6) quarter hours in the courses provided in T.C.A. § 63-8-102(12)(E) and becomes or became licensed to practice Optometry in Tennessee shall be diagnostically certified.
(3) Therapeutic Certification:
(a) To certify optometrists to administer and prescribe pharmaceutical agents for treatment, perform primary eye care procedures, the performance or ordering of procedures and laboratory tests rational to the diagnosis of conditions or diseases of the eye or eyelid. No optometrist shall be certified to prescribe or use pharmaceutical agents for treatment purposes in the practice of optometry unless and until he meets all of the following:
1. Show evidence to the Board by providing a certified transcript of ninety (90) classroom hours in pharmacology and sixty (60) classroom hours in ocular disease from a college or university which is accredited by an agency approved by the Council on Post Secondary Education of the U.S. Department of Education.
2. Show evidence to the Board by providing a certified transcript from a college or university which is accredited by an agency approved by the Council on Post Secondary Education of the U.S. Department of Education, of forty (40) hours of clinical experience acquired on or after April 22, 1987. The clinical experience is to include diagnosis and treatment of ocular disease including the use of pharmaceutical agents.
3. Be diagnostically certified, as provided in T.C.A. § 63-8-102(12)(E) and paragraph (2) of this rule.
4. Has taken and successfully passed the examination administered or approved by the board.
(b) All optometrists licensed to practice in Tennessee who are therapeutically certified by the board must show the board by proof of completion of the following clinical review courses by 7/1/94, or their equivalent obtained from the experience of current practice and licensure in a state with a similar scope of practice act. The clinical review courses are:
1. A 24 hour board approved transcript quality credit clinical course as it relates to the diagnosis, treatment, and management of glaucoma.
2. A 6 hour board approved transcript quality credit course as it related to the clinical application of oral medication necessary for the treatment of diseases of the eye/eyelid including the use of controlled substances.
(c) These courses may count toward meeting the annual continuing education requirements as determined by the Board. Any optometrist not completing these requirements will be subject to therapeutic privilege suspension until such time as the clinical review is complete. Any optometrist aggrieved by the Board's written decision suspending his or her therapeutic certification privileges shall have 30 days from the date such decision is received to request a contested case hearing under the provisions of the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act. The board will extend the July 1, 1994 deadline date only in cases of hardship as determined by the board. Graduates of accredited schools of optometry after May 5, 1993 are excluded from these requirements. In order to obtain therapeutic certification, any optometrist graduating before May 5, 1993 must meet the requirements of Rule 1045-02-.03 and must complete the clinical review courses prior to licensure.
(d) No therapeutically certified optometrist shall use pharmaceutical agents by injection except to counter anaphylaxis until they have received approval from the board. The board will not approve the use of injections until the optometrist demonstrates to the board's satisfaction sufficient educational training and/or clinical training, and submits proof of current certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The education must be obtained from a course approved or offered by the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross, or any other entity approved by the board.


Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 1045-02-.07
Original rule filed May 15, 1981; effective July 22, 1981. Repeal and new rule filed November 30, 1990; effective January 14, 1991. Amendment filed February 14, 1994; effective April 30, 1994. Amendment filed January 4, 2002; effective March 20, 2002. Amendment filed March 22, 2007; effective June 9, 2007. Amendment filed July 29, 2015; effective 10/27/2015.

Authority: T.C.A. §§ 4-5-202, 4-5-204, 63-8-102, 63-8-112, and 63-8-115.

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