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Ophthalmic Technologist

   

Ophthalmic Technologists are specialists in eye health care that assist the Ophthalmologist in caring the patient. They are trained to collect medical histories, administer eye medications, and perform tests that help to ensure the accurate diagnosis and treatment of a diseased eye. Ophthalmic technologists use sophisticated equipment, such as ultrasound and ophthalmic photographs, to gather information about a patient’s condition during eye examinations. They may also be called upon to assist with eye surgeries, using intricate technical instruments and equipment. They are usually in charge of making sure that the patient understands his or her diagnosis and the treatment that is prescribed.

 

Career specialties in this field include ophthalmic photography, ophthalmic ultrasonography, contact lenses, ophthalmic surgical technology, electrophysiology, and low-vision optics. Ophthalmic technologists usually supervise and instruct other ophthalmic personnel, such as ophthalmic assistants and technicians. Individuals interested in this eye health care specialty should have excellent communication skills, be able to handle hectic schedules, be highly organized, and be able to rely on their own judgment.


Work Environment:

 

Ophthalmic technologists are generally employed by ophthalmologists in private practices, clinics, or hospitals. The typical workweek is 40 hours long and may include evenings or weekend depending on the patients’ needs.


High School Preparation:

 

High school students interested in ophthalmic technology should take courses in biology, chemistry, physics, health occupations/medical professions education, computer skills, algebra, foreign language, English, literature, history, and social studies.


College Requirements:

 

Individuals interested in becoming an ophthalmic technologist must have a high school diploma or equivalent. Students should complete two years of college (60 credit hours) with an emphasis on science and then apply to a two-year technologist training program. Upon graduation from an accredited program, students may become certified by taking an examination given by the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology.

 

Students interested in ophthalmic technology should contact schools for information on admission and course of study.

For educational institutions in Mississippi
offering this course of study click here.

Career Outlook:

 

Employment opportunities for ophthalmic technologists should be very good over the next decade. The demand will continue to increase because of the growing elderly population in this country. As the baby boom generation grows older, more vision care specialists will be needed to keep up with demand. Employment opportunities will also become available as people within the profession retire or leave the workplace for other reasons.

 

Salary:

 

Average Annual Salary

$34,400

 

Salary Range

$28,500-$42,600

 

Professional Organizations:

 

Association of Technical Personnel in Ophthalmology

2025 Woodlane Drive

St. Paul, MN

55125-2995

Phone: (651) 731-7239

Fax: (651) 731-0410

www.atpo.org

 

Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology

2025 Woodlane Drive

St. Paul, MN

55125-2295

Phone: (800) 284-3937

Fax: (615) 731-0410

www.jcahpo.org

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