The Ophthalmic Clinical Assistant (OCA) is a technically educated eye care assistant who is trained to perform special testing and patient services in the Ophthalmic office. Ophthalmic assistants are knowledgeable in the terminology and practice of ophthalmology, but have less education and training in clinical duties than technicians and technologists.
Students who successfully complete the Ophthalmic Clinical Assistant Program will be eligible to take the computer-based Ophthalmic Assistant Examination administered by the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology. The Clinical Ophthalmic Assistant certificate expands the curriculum of the Optometric Technician Program.
Ophthalmic assistants are just aides, and many of their tasks are to be done under the supervision of an ophthalmologist or other superior. They cannot diagnose eye conditions or diseases, prescribe any drugs, inject any medication, or perform surgical procedures themselves.
Clinical Ophthalmic Assistants salaries for new vary widely based upon geographic location and practice settings. The current national average is approximately $21,000 to $35,000 annually.
The availability of Clinical Ophthalmic Assistant positions is very good at the local and national levels in a variety of settings including university departments of Ophthamology, private practice offices, and retail settings.
Ophthalmic assistants who have gained experience may be promoted or given the title of ophthalmic technician with more advanced training opportunities.