What is an Ophthalmic Medical Technician?

An ophthalmic medical technician helps an ophthalmologist in offering eye care for patients. Ophthalmic medical technicians can be considered as a mid-level ophthalmic medical employee, since they have more advanced responsibilities than ophthalmic assistants, but may still be supervised by ophthalmic medical technologists for more complicated/advanced situations.

Unlike opticians who help the public with their contact lenses and glasses, ophthalmic medical technicians work directly with ophthalmologists, helping with patient eye examinations and tests. They are “physician extenders,” enabling ophthalmologists to see more patients in a day.

What does an Ophthalmic Medical Technician do?

An ophthalmic medical technician helping a patient with their eye examination.

Working for an ophthalmologist, an ophthalmic medical technician gathers patient information requested by the doctor. Responsibilities typically include collecting patient medical histories, administering diagnostic tests, maintaining ophthalmic and surgical instruments, administering eye medications, and carrying out any other tasks in order to help minimize the time spent by the ophthalmologist.

Diagnostic eye testing includes measuring a patient's vision function; testing vision acuity; testing color perception; examining the eyes and cornea; measuring eye pressure, muscle movement, and pupil reactions; applying drops and medications; and clarifying any questions or concerns to patients.

Ophthalmic medical technicians are also trained in ophthalmic instrumentation, which includes phoropters, tonometers, sonographers, and ultrasounds. Other skill sets attained are Lensometry, intermediate tonometry, A-scan biometry, and pachymetry.

Ophthalmic medical technicians are not trained or licensed to provide medical diagnosis, treatment without supervision, or perform surgery by themselves. They can administer medications but cannot prescribe drugs for patients. They cannot carry out certain procedures without permission or guidelines from an ophthalmologist.

Are you suited to be an ophthalmic medical technician?

Ophthalmic medical technicians have distinct personalities. They tend to be social individuals, which means they’re kind, generous, cooperative, patient, caring, helpful, empathetic, tactful, and friendly. They excel at socializing, helping others, and teaching. Some of them are also conventional, meaning they’re conscientious and conservative.

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What is the workplace of an Ophthalmic Medical Technician like?

Ophthalmic medical technicians generally work under ophthalmologists in settings like private practice, hospitals, clinics, outpatient facilities, surgical centres, and educational institutions. Technicians working in surgical centres, with duties helping out in surgical procedures, may earn more than those in private practice.

Ophthalmic Medical Technicians are also known as:
Ophthalmic Technician