Optometry and Audiology - Ian Potter Museum of Art

Optometry and Audiology

Optometry and Audiology (3rd Year)

Medical Dental Health Science

These Potter sessions bring together Optometry and Audiology (third year cohorts) with the aim of promoting inter-professionalism between healthcare practitioners. Working in small groups (of mixed cohorts) students are assigned a specific work of art or object to analyse from the perspective of their specific discipline. In this task they are encouraged to consider their role as health professionals and the role of the client or patient and weigh up the different perspectives of the audiologist and optometrist, engaging their critical skills in observation, empathy, attention, listening and communication.


‘This is a unique experience for students from allied health professions to learn inter-professionally and in an art museum. The session is for students to look at artwork to think about communication and professional skills required to be an allied health professional. Students break into small groups (half audiologists, half optometrists) and spend time interpreting a work of art. Looking at art reminds students about non-verbal cues we use and how we interpret these and how we might interpret them differently. It recognizes that people can have the same/different perspectives. It allows students think beyond their clinical skills to thinking about cultural and social aspects of care for patients including understanding issues like observing, empathy, attention and listening. The task of interpreting a work of art challenges the students to think more laterally about the concept of clinical communication and professionalism. Upon reflection of the artwork, students quickly realise there are multiple perspectives and interpretations of the same work. This is not dissimilar to allied health, where consideration of other perspectives is an important component to being a health professional. This experience provides students with the opportunity to broaden their ideation of what clinical communication and professionalism means to them, and to reflect on their own clinical communication skills.’
– Anthea Cochrane (Optometrist) and Donella Chisari (Audiologist)