Eye Care Providers (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
As members of the allied health professions, ophthalmic technicians are ophthalmic medical personnel (OMP) trained as a part of a professional team of eye-care providers. OMP perform assigned procedures under the direction or supervision of an ophthalmologist licensed to practice medicine and surgery. OMP may receive formal educational training or be trained at the workplace. There are various levels of national certification for OMP, including certified ophthalmic assistant (COA), certified ophthalmic technician (COT), and certified ophthalmic medical technologist (COMT). Such certification is supervised by the Joint Commission of Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (JCAHPO).
Some of the most common tasks performed by OMP at all levels of certification include taking patient histories, maintaining instruments, administering tests and evaluations, taking eye measurements, providing patient services, and performing a variety of clinical tasks including surgical assisting.
Ophthalmic allied health professionals possess skills and knowledge attained by didactic and clinical ophthalmic educational training. Their function is to assist the ophthalmologist by collecting data, administering treatment ordered by the ophthalmologist, and supervising patients. OMP do not practice independently or see patients separately from a medical practice.
John D. Sheppard, MD, MMSc
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