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    Florida State College
  Apr 16, 2021
2010-2011 Catalog [Aug. 2010-Aug. 2011] 
2010-2011 Catalog [Aug. 2010-Aug. 2011] [Archived Catalog]

Ophthalmic Technician (2180) (A.S.)

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Associate in Science

Mission Statement

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 Career

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:

  1. Taking a medical history.
  2. Performing diagnostic tests.
  3. Taking anatomical and functional ocular measurements of the eye and surrounding tissue.
  4. Testing ocular functions, including visual acuity and visual fields.
  5. Administering topical ophthalmic and oral medications.
  6. Instructing the patient in personal care and the use of contact lenses.
  7. Caring for and maintaining ophthalmic instruments and equipment.
  8. Caring for and maintaining and sterilizing surgical instruments.
  9. Assisting in ophthalmic surgery in the office, hospital or ambulatory surgical center setting.
  10. Taking optical measurements including A–Scan ultrasound.
  11. Assisting in the fitting of contact lenses.
  12. Such other tasks as may be delegated consistent with sound medical practice (e.g. use of computerized ophthalmic equipment).
  13. Performing ophthalmic clinical photography and fluorescence angiography of the eye.
  14. Administering advanced ocular motility and binocular function tests.
  15. Carrying out ocular electrophysiological procedures.
  16. Performing advanced microbiological procedures.
  17. 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 Program

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.

Program Accreditation

The Ophthalmic Technician program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Ophthalmic Medical Programs (CoA-OMP).

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Total Credit Hours: 72

General Education (Credit Hours: 15)

*Refer to A.S./A.A.S. General Education Requirements .

*Mathematics Credit Hours: 3
*Humanities Credit Hours: 3
*Social and Behavioral Science Credit Hours: 3

Record of Conviction of a Crime

Most clinical agencies require students to undergo drug screening and criminal background checks prior to placement in the agencies for clinical experiences. Students whose drug screening and criminal background checks are deemed unsatisfactory may be denied access to clinical experiences by the clinical agencies. Failure to qualify for and meet clinical requirements at clinical sites may prevent completion of the program. Withdrawal from the program may be necessary if students cannot be placed for clinical experiences.

The cost of the background check and drug screen is borne by the student. Additionally, it is the student’s responsibility to have all paperwork completed by the program’s published deadline.

Students who are unable to complete the clinical requirements after acceptance into selective access programs are not eligible for refunds of tuition and fees.

Graduation Requirements

In order to be awarded the associate in science or associate in applied science degree, students must have met the following requirements:

  1. Earned a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 (C) at Florida State College in courses eligible toward the associate in science or applied science degree programs (A.S. Florida State College GPA or A.A.S. Florida State College GPA).
  2. Earned an all–college cumulative grade point average of 2.0 (C) on all courses attempted, including transferred credits. (All college cumulative).
  3. Completed at least 25 percent of credit semester hours required for the degree at Florida State College.
  4. Completed a minimum of 60 semester hours, as specified by the degree, of which a minimum of 15 semester hours must be General Education requirements.
  5. Earned a grade of at least a “C” in each course used to satisfy the A.S./A.A.S. General Education Requirements .
  6. Can demonstrate mastery of the Information Literacy Assessment. Refer to the assessment section  for details.
Note: Students are cautioned to pay particular attention to the following statements.
  1. Graduation dates will be the date at the end of the college term in which the students complete the academic requirements for the degree or certificate for which students are applicants. (The removal of an incomplete grade does not affect students’ graduation dates, since the grade change is effective as of the end of the term in which the incomplete grade was assigned rather than the term in which the incomplete work was made up.)
  2. If students expect to complete the coursework under the terms of the catalog in effect during the term of their first registration, they must graduate within five years or they will need to be reassigned to an active catalog. Accordingly, students who enter under this catalog (2010/2011) must graduate by the end of the Summer Term 2015, or they will automatically be reassigned to the 2014/2015 catalog requirements. Changes to requirements as mandated by law or by rule of the District Board of Trustees may supersede this provision.
  3. The General Education Requirements may be taken on any Florida State College campus or center.
  4. Many courses in this catalog have prerequisite and/or corequisite courses which are listed in the course descriptions. Students are advised to be guided by these requirements.
  5. Students who place into college preparatory courses are required to complete designated college preparatory courses with a grade of “C” or better regardless of program of study.
  6. Students enrolling in associate in applied science programs must pass all sections of the placement test before award of an A.A.S. degree, regardless of the degree program’s general education requirements.
  7. Degree–seeking students whose native language is not English, who fall below a designated cutoff score on the English as a second language (ESL) entry placement test, will be required to take ESL courses with EAP prefix prior to registering for other college credit classes. The level of these courses will be determined by the entry placement scores. Individual exceptions will be determined by the ESL program manager.
  8. Degree–seeking students identified as non–native speakers must take an English as a second language (ESL) placement test prior to taking the College’s standard course placement test. Students who place into ESL, as determined by the test, must complete ESL courses before registering for other college credit classes. Non–degree seeking college credit students who plan to take English or reading courses must also meet these requirements. Exceptions to these requirements can be made by the ESL program manager or designee.


This A.S. degree program articulates into a bachelor’s degree program. For more information, please visit the Transfer Services Web page and look for your A.S. program of study.

University Transfer

This associate in science degree program is intended primarily for students who desire to complete an associate in science degree and become employed. Students who decide to pursue university transfer study must meet certain course and test requirements. For details refer to the University Transfer Guide.

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