An optometrist assistant, sometimes referred to as an optometric technician, supports a doctor in the commission of duties relating to vision and care of the eye. In some cases, an assistant's job duties may vary greatly and include general office work, while other optometrist assistants have more narrowly focused job descriptions. A paraprofessional of this kind will be required to help and counsel patients, attend to doctor needs, and monitor equipment and applications.
There are many types of employment circumstances for an optometrist assistant, including governmental agencies, private companies, and heath care facilities. The predominance of work place situations for these types of assistants is in a private doctor's office. Many others work for health organizations, such as hospitals and labs. Another type of employment situation an optometrist assistant might find is a job with a private company that wishes to sell eye care products.
For those paraprofessionals working in private offices, the typical day might involve helping patients to exam rooms, preparing them for the doctor, and scheduling appointments. An optometrist assistant might also be in charge of teaching patients the correct procedures for caring for the eye after surgery, wearing lenses properly, and strengthening the eye. The office also may have a department where the assistant can help patients choose, adjust, and purchase glasses and other eye care materials.
Some optometrist assistants do not work much with patients, but focus more on the preparation and distribution of items used to support eye health. This kind of optometrist assistant may work in a lab, producing, repairing, and coordinating the delivery of frames, contact lenses, and other eye care items. In some cases, an optometrist assistant may do a combination of patient care and lab work.
An optometrist assistant also may focus more on general office duties, such as phoning patients, arranging schedules for doctors, and monitoring office supplies and paperwork. In larger organizations, this assistant may supervise others and be required to train and evaluate them. An optometric technician, on the other hand, may focus more on technical requirements, such as preparing equipment used to test the eye, performing eye assessments, and assisting the doctor during examinations and surgeries.
Most optometrist assistants gain most of their career education while working on the job. In some cases, an optometrist technician may have completed schooling in optometric techniques and applications. The situations for an optometrist assistant can vary greatly, and focused training in one sector of this industry can be helpful in furthering one's career.