What is the ophthalmic assistant job description, the ophthalmic technician job description, and the ophthalmic technologist job description?


Ophthalmic medical personnel (OMPs) do tasks that the eye doctor can delegate to others. Mostly, they are information gatherers and facilitators.  They do measurements and tests that provide the doctor with the information needed to arrive at a diagnosis and to prescribe treatment.  They also assiist with documentation and patient services. Some ophthalmic medical personnel (OMP) assist with surgical procedures. Here is a list of common tasks performed by ophthalmic medical personnel:

  • History taking
  • Visual acuity measurement
  • Refractometry (measurements for the glasses prescription)
  • Tonometry (measure eye pressure)
  • Measure pupil size and reactivity
  • Test and measure eye muscle function
  • Visual field testing
  • Corneal thickness measurement
  • Corneal curvature measurement
  • Corneal topography
  • Retinal nerve fiber layer measurement
  • Retinal thickness and topography
  • Fluorescein angiography
  • A and B-scan ultrasonography
  • Assist with contact lens fitting, and patient instruction
  • Prepare for and assist with in-office procedures
  • Surgical assisting

In the work environment, ophthalmic assistant duties don't often differ much from ophthalmic technician duties. For certification purposes, the content areas of the ophthalmic technician exam are more extensive than the content areas on the ophthalmic assistant exam, following the "PHD" principle (Pilled Higher and Deeper).

Personnel in the higher levels of certification are expected to take on more responsibility as far as leadership, training others, supervising personnel, and assuming management duties. See related information on how to get a higher salary, and factors that affect salary.

Ophthalmic assistants and techicians are also sometimes referred to as "ophthalmic medical assistant or ophthalmic medical technician" or "ophthalmic clinical assistant or ophthalmic clinical technician".