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Ophthalmic Assistant Certification Meridian Charter Township MI

Posted: March 29, 2021


If the eyes are the window to the soul, then taking good care of them is vitally important. With our ophthalmic assistant program near Meridian Charter Township, MI, you can help patients maintain and improve their vision and ocular health.

Speak to our Admissions team today to learn how the resources and courses available at Career Quest Learning Centers can help you get started in your new entry-level career as an ophthalmic assistant in just 8 months.

What Is an Ophthalmic Assistant?

As an ophthalmic assistant, no two days will be the same. You’ll spend the majority of your time interacting with patients as you collect their medical history, perform basic eye exams, and explain various procedures. Some of your daily tasks may include:

  • Distributing and administering medications
  • Performing basic eye exams
  • Measuring and testing pupils
  • Obtaining patient ocular and medical history
  • Billing, coding, and invoicing
  • Explaining ocular surgery procedures
  • Explaining glasses and contacts options
  • Helping patients understand proper eye care

Depending on the setup of the practice, you might also work at the front desk of an ophthalmologist office or vision care center, so you may occasionally answer phones or respond to basic questions from prospective patients.

Our Ophthalmic Assistant Program near Meridian Charter Township, MI

In our ophthalmic assistant program near Meridian Charter Township, MI, you’ll learn the professional skills needed to enter the workforce as an entry-level ophthalmic assistant. Classes you’ll take as part of our 8-month program include:

  • Allied Healthcare Procedures
  • Optical Office Administration
  • Basic Eye Exam
  • Ocular Anatomy and Pathology of Eyes
  • Ophthalmic Surgical Procedures and Microbiology
  • Ophthalmic Patient Services and Education

Real-World Experience Through Externships

Hands-on experience can solidify on-the-job skills that are regularly discussed in the classroom. We require that all students in our ophthalmic assistant program complete an externship.

Not only does this externship give you the opportunity to practice your skills in a real-world setting, it can also help improve your confidence in your overall abilities when you enter the workforce and begin your new career.

Prepare for the COA Exam

While it’s not required, many professionals in this field find that obtaining the Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA) certification can help open even more doors and allow them to progress their careers. If you choose to become certified, our program and required externship will prepare you to sit for the COA certification exam.

Ophthalmologist vs Optometrist vs Optician

The ocular healthcare field is full of experts with varying areas of expertise who can help patients in a variety of ways. If you’re about to embark on a new career as an ophthalmic assistant, then it’s important to understand what an ophthalmologist does and how that’s different from optometrists and opticians.

What Is an Ophthalmologist?

Ophthalmologists tend to handle the surgical side of eye care. They’ll help with laser surgery or any other surgeries a patient may need. They also handle more serious eye conditions, like severe macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy, though they often do so on the basis of their specialty. Other than that, they can also perform basic eye exams and prescribe glasses or contact lenses.

Who Are Optometrists and Opticians?

Optometrists usually perform routine eye exams, write eyeglasses or contact prescriptions, and perform contact lens fittings. They typically handle the medical side of things and will often refer a patient to an ophthalmologist for any more serious issues or surgeries.

Opticians use prescriptions written by optometrists or ophthalmologists to help patients select and fit their prescription glasses properly. They can also help them understand different lens types and coatings. However, they don’t perform exams or diagnose/treat eye issues.

Skills and Qualities Ophthalmic Assistants Need

If you want to enter the exciting ophthalmic assistant career path, then there are a few skillsets you’ll need to practice. Our program near Meridian Charter Township, MI, can help you hone your industry-specific abilities through comprehensive coursework. The skills you’ll practice include:

  • Measuring visual acuity
  • Understanding ocular medications and procedures
  • Understanding ocular anatomy and physiology
  • Performing tonometry tests
  • Eye exam procedures
  • Basic computer skills, data entry, and typing

Other Skills that Ophthalmic Assistants Need

In addition to the industry-specific hard skills (i.e. technical skills) that you’ll learn in the classroom, your externship experience will give you the opportunity to practice certain soft skills that are typically only learned with real-world, hands-on experience, like:

  • Accuracy
  • Attention to detail
  • Customer service
  • Active listening
  • Adaptability
  • Empathy
  • Respect for patient privacy
  • The ability to work as part of a team

Where Do Ophthalmic Assistants Work?

Ophthalmic assistants typically work wherever ophthalmologists do. Ophthalmic assistants are in increasingly high demand in vision care centers. They also work in hospitals, as well as private ophthalmology practices.

With such a wide array of opportunities available, our Career Services Department can help secure the right role for you. As part of the lifetime professional development assistance we offer to students in our program, you’ll receive support with job searches, cover letter and resumé writing, and interview prep.

Career Growth as an Ophthalmic Assistant

As an ophthalmic assistant, you’ll be in an entry-level position that leaves you poised for future career growth. Many ophthalmic assistants continue to improve their skills and gain the experience necessary to become an ophthalmic technician. Ophthalmic technicians assist with routine tests, treatments, and minor surgeries, including administering anesthetics and dilating drops, as well as preparing injections.

If you love your work once you enter the field and you’re interested in taking this next step, reach out to the Career Services Department at our career college to learn how you can continue to progress in your career.

Enroll in Our Ophthalmic Assistant Program and Get Your Certificate near Meridian Charter Township, MI

As you take your first steps toward your new role, Career Quest can help you get ahead in just 8 months with services like:

  • Lifetime career placement assistance
  • Small class sizes
  • Straightforward scheduling
  • Tuition discounts to eligible students
  • Inclusive tuition with no additional materials fees

Classes are filling up now. If you’re ready to begin your next career, contact our college and enroll in our ophthalmic assistant program near Meridian Charter Township, MI, today!