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Optometric Assistant Job Description

Hemangi Harankhedkar
An optometric assistant is like right hand to the optometrist and helps him in his mundane office work. The following story presents more on the job profile of an optometrist's assistant.
An optometrist is an eye doctor, and the one who assists him in his routine work is called an optometric assistant or an optometrist assistant. The job comes with its own set of responsibilities, and one needs to be alert and patient when dealing with the patients.
The routine work of the assistant involves keeping a track of appointments for the day, managing accounts, guiding the patients with the use of contact lenses, eye glasses and other eye gear, administering eye drops to the patients, etc.
A high school diploma is enough to make you eligible for the job, though with relevant certification, you can have higher career opportunities.

Career Path

As said earlier, a high school diploma or passing the GED exam makes you eligible for the entry-level job. Many universities and technical schools also offer certification programs that teach medical assisting and other intricacies of the field.
Certificate from the American Optometric Association would surely be an added advantage, and one should aim for this certificate if looking for a long term career. In the quest, one should be ready to learn and should be ready to start at a lower level. The opportunities in this field are many, and job portals and employment offices make the search easy.

Training

The training generally depends on the place where you have joined. On most instances, the training is given on the job. The training lasts for a few months and grooms the person thoroughly for the job.
The training covers each and every aspect of the work and decides the suitability of the person for the job. In the training period, the person can also decide if he is suitable for the job. It is basically the learning phase for the person, and there is less workload.

Responsibilities

As is the case with any other job, this job also demands responsibility and sometimes demands working at odd hours. The responsibilities though, differ from one place to other, but are generally same. A person should have good communication skills and should also be well-groomed for the job.
The general responsibilities are as under:
  • Schedule all the appointments for the day and correspond with the patient if there are any changes in appointment timings.
  • Prepare the patient for eye examination and give instructions, if any.
  • Test the patient for color perception, near and far acuity, and other tasks given by the doctor.
  • Guide patients with the use of eye glasses and contact lenses.
  • Administer eye drops to the patients under the doctor's guidance and instructions, and then monitor the patient's progress.
  • On some instances, he has to manage accounts and book keeping.
  • Maintain patient records and update them from time to time.
  • Clean the medical instruments and update the inventory, maintain a record for the same.

Salary

Now comes the most important part - the salary. The pay scale varies as per region, workplace, and experience of the person. The salary one can expect annually is between $20,000 - $40,000. The salary naturally rises as the experience grows, and with certification from some trusted organization with you, expect to pocket some more money!
The presence of certification on the resume increases its value, and a person has higher chances of employment and higher salary with it.
The medical field is always in boom and there are many jobs available. If one specializes as per choice, like specialization is eye wear fitting, the opportunities grow even more. The job demands good learning skills and patience. One cannot ignore hard work and commitment for a successful job experience and career growth!