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How Do I Become an Ophthalmic Medical Technician?

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  • Written By: Nicole Long
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 07 November 2016
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The path an individual takes to become an ophthalmic medical technician involves specialized training. This includes specific educational programs and certification requirements. Ophthalmic medical technicians also need to demonstrate an attention to detail, have good communication skills, and work well with a diverse population.

Ophthalmic medical technicians assist ophthalmologists with a variety of tasks and responsibilities. They talk with patients, gather pertinent information regarding any current or past eye problems, and also help administer diagnostic tests. In some offices, ophthalmic medical technicians assist with eye surgeries and administer eye medications.

Someone looking to become an ophthalmic medical technician should consider seeking out the appropriate educational path for the career. This includes completing a high school diploma or equivalent and demonstrating success in courses dealing with mathematics and science. A postsecondary associate's degree program in ophthalmic medical technology is also usually required. Some employers may offer on-the-job training in lieu of postsecondary education for exceptionally bright students and job candidates.

Certification is often required to become an ophthalmic medical technician. This helps ensure all candidates entering the profession meet the standards and guidelines set by the profession. Certification occurs once a candidate has met the educational standards and practical experience necessary for the profession. Some areas may require candidates to pass a written examination or provide evidence of ongoing education or training in the field. Ensuring ophthalmic medical technicians are qualified is the key to providing top notch eye care.

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Someone hoping to become an ophthalmic medical technician should be comfortable with numbers and measurements. This requires a strong attention to detail and a focus on accuracy. Attention to detail and focus is important in most ophthalmic technology duties, including taking eye measurements and measuring out medications.

Good communication skills are essential for someone hoping to become an ophthalmic medical technician. The ability to get the appropriate information from a patient can mean the difference between an accurate or missed diagnosis. Ophthalmic medical technicians must also be able to understand medical terminology and be able to translate sometimes complicated information into easy to understand information for clients.

The ability to work with a diverse population base is also crucial to become an ophthalmic medical technician. Technicians may work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, and private ophthalmic practices, which will require adapting to various groups of the population. In addition, technicians should feel comfortable speaking with a wide variety of age groups, including young children and older adults.

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