Associate in Science
Creating competent, ethical, confident entry–level health care practitioners committed to professional development through life–long learning in a positive, non–discriminatory and supportive learning environment.
The ophthalmic allied health professional is a skilled person, qualified by didactic and clinical ophthalmic training, who performs ophthalmic procedures under the direction or supervision of a physician licensed to practice medicine and surgery, and qualified in ophthalmology.
The function of the ophthalmic allied health professional is to assist the ophthalmologist by performing tasks, collecting data, administering treatment ordered by an ophthalmologist, and supervising patients.
Duties that may be performed by an ophthalmic allied health professional include:
- Taking a medical history.
- Performing diagnostic tests.
- Taking anatomical and functional ocular measurements of the eye and surrounding tissue.
- Testing ocular functions, including visual acuity and visual fields.
- Administering topical ophthalmic and oral medications.
- Instructing the patient in personal care and the use of contact lenses.
- Caring for and maintaining ophthalmic instruments and equipment.
- Caring for and maintaining and sterilizing surgical instruments.
- Assisting in ophthalmic surgery in the office, hospital or ambulatory surgical center setting.
- Taking optical measurements including A–Scan ultrasound.
- Assisting in the fitting of contact lenses.
- Such other tasks as may be delegated consistent with sound medical practice (e.g. use of computerized ophthalmic equipment).
- Performing ophthalmic clinical photography and fluorescence angiography of the eye.
- Administering advanced ocular motility and binocular function tests.
- Carrying out ocular electrophysiological procedures.
- Performing advanced microbiological procedures.
- Providing supervision and instruction of other ophthalmic personnel and patients.
Ophthalmic allied health professionals supply important information to the physician who is treating the patient and assist in areas such as surgery and patient education/compliance; they are not independent practitioners and do not diagnose or treat eye disorders, nor do they prescribe medications.
The ophthalmic assistant is a skilled person, qualified by academic and clinical training, who performs ophthalmic procedures under the direction or supervision of the physician licensed to practice medicine and surgery and qualified in ophthalmology. Assistants are prepared to assist an ophthalmologist to diagnose and treat eye disorders and disease; test patient’s far acuity, near acuity, peripheral vision, depth perception and color perception. Under direct supervision the assistant will apply drops to anesthetize, dilate or medicate eyes. They will test patient’s field of vision, including central and peripheral vision, for defects, and chart test results.
The goal of this A.S. degree program in Ophthalmic Technician is to produce competent, ethical and confident entry–level healthcare practitioners committed to professional development in the eye care field through life long-learning in a positive, non–discriminatory and supportive learning environment. This program is limited access and requires separate application. Specific information on program admission requirements, application and costs can be obtained from the coordinator for the Ophthalmic Technician program, North Campus.
Expected Job Growth and Earnings
According to the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology, ophthalmic medical personnel are in high demand. This demand is due to technological advances in vision care and an aging population with many vision care needs. Starting salaries for ophthalmic technologists/technicians ranges from $22,000-$35,000 annually and experienced technologists in supervisory positions may earn $35,000-$45,000 annually.
The Ophthalmic Technician program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Ophthalmic Medical Programs (CoA-OMP).
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