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What does an Ophthalmology Technician do?

By Steve R.
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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An ophthalmology technician is a person who supports an ophthalmologist, a medical specialist who detects and treat eye disease, in offering eye care for patients. Also known as an ophthalmic technologist, an ophthalmology technician is an allied health professional who works in hospitals, clinics, medical centers, and private practices. Responsibilities typically include carrying out diagnostic exams, such as measuring a patient's vision, maintaining equipment, and clarifying concepts to patients. In addition, a technician may assist during eye surgery and needs to understand about ophthalmic pharmacology and corrective lenses.

Working for a ophthalmologist, a technician gathers information requested by the eye specialist. A technician performs various daily duties, such as collecting patients' medical histories, and gathering eye measurements. During an eye evaluation, an ophthalmology technician looks at eye muscle function and measures eye pressure, muscle movement, and pupil reactions. Also during an eye exam, he will record a patient's scope of vision and color vision. During surgery, a technician provides assistance by getting the surgical room ready and helping to monitor the patient.

Ophthalmic technicians are skilled in using ophthalmic instruments, such as phoropters, tonometers, sonographers, and ultrasounds. As a technician becomes more advanced, he gains skills in ocular motility, administering prescriptions, and ophthalmic imaging. With more training and skill sets, a technician is able to explain various surgical procedures and medicines.

A person trained as an ophthalmic technician may advance in his career. Eventually, he may become an office manager or ophthalmic medical technologist. Down the road, an ophthalmic technician also may opt to become a certified medical technologist and become qualified to serve as a surgical assistant.

To become an ophthalmology technician, a person needs to have a high school diploma or equivalent. A person will generally need additional education, such as completing a one- or two-year program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. Classes typically revolve around anatomy, physiology, ophthalmic optics, and microbiology. Other courses cover ophthalmic pharmacology and diseases of the eye. Another way to become an ophthalmology technician is to gain employment as a ophthalmic assistant and advance to the technician position.

A salary of an ophthalmology technician may vary, depending on his skills and professional experience. Typically, a person can expect to make anywhere between $30,000 to $70,000 in the field. Generally, an individual who works at surgical centers and assists with surgical procedures will have a higher salary than a person who works for a private practice.

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