Ophthalmic technologists perform many of the same clinical duties as Ophthalmic technicians, but have more advanced education, training, and experience. Ophthalmic Medical Technologist (COMT) perform clinical ophthalmic procedures under the direction or supervision of licensed ophthalmologists. They are not independent practitioners.
Ophthalmic technologists duties:
-take ophthalmic photographs
-take optical measurements, including A-scan ultrasound
-perform ophthalmic clinical photography of the eye
-perform fluorescein angiography of the eye
-administer advanced ocular motility and binocular function tests
-carry out ocular electrophysiological procedures and advanced microbiological procedures
- may also assist in ophthalmic surgery, including laser surgery
-provide instruction and supervision to other ophthalmic personnel
Ophthalmic technologists use specialized ophthalmic instruments and equipment such as a tonometer which is used to measure the fluid pressure in the eye; and an ophthalmometer which measures the eye’s dimensions, capacity, and refractive errors
Ophthalmic technologists students take courses in anatomy and physiology, history taking, ocular anatomy and physiology, ophthalmic pharmacology, ocular motility and diseases of the eye, diagnostic and treatment procedures, care and maintenance of ophthalmic equipment, ophthalmic surgery procedures, and clinical practicum.
Ophthalmic Technology lends itself to various avenues of specialization:
•Ophthalmic Surgical Assisting
Graduates of accredited programs are eligible to take the national certifying examination at the approved levels. Certification as an ophthalmic technologist may be obtained from the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology. Ophthalmic technologists with special orthoptic training qualify for the national certifying exam given by the American Orthoptic Council (AOC). Continuing education hours are required every three years for recertification.