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The eyes have it: opportunities in ophthalmic assisting.

Ophthalmic assistants, also called ophthalmic medical personnel, are allied health workers who help eyecare patients. These workers' responsibilities include taking medical histories and educating patients about the use of contact lenses. Some ophthalmic assistants help eye doctors (ophthalmologists) with surgical procedures.

Ophthalmic assistants work in clinics, medical centers, and hospitals. Positions may require a high school diploma, and certification is preferred but not required. Most ophthalmic assistants learn through on-the-job training and gain certification while working; others begin in a training program and seek employment after completing the program. Certification consists of three progressive levels of training; an additional specialty option is available for surgical assisting.

For more information, write to the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology, 2025 Woodlane Drive, St. Paul, MN 551252998; call JCAHPO toll-free, 1 (800) 284-3937; or visit online, Scholarships in medical assisting are available from the commission's foundation. For more information, write to the foundation office at the commission's address, or visit online at To contact the Association of Technical Personnel in Ophthalmology, the professional organization for ophthalmic assistants, visit online at
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Title Annotation:GRAB BAG
Publication:Occupational Outlook Quarterly
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 22, 2004
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