An ophthalmic assistant works as an assistant to either one ophthalmologist or a group of ophthalmologists. An ophthalmic assistant works directly with patients as well as with patient records in an ophthalmology office. In general an ophthalmic assistant meets with a patient before their scheduled appointment to take the patient's history concerning their general health and the health of their eyes. The ophthalmic assistant also usually asks patients if they have particular concerns they want to address with the ophthalmologist and if they have a preference for glasses or contacts (if needed). Ophthalmic assistants must also be able to record the information obtained during the patient encounter in the patient's chart accurately.
Ophthalmic assistants often assistant in administrative tasks for the ophthalmology office. This may include answering phones, scheduling patient's appointments, accepting payments, and contacting insurance companies. Ophthalmic assistants usually are also responsible for the maintenance of the office and office equipment, which includes maintaining an adequate level of necessary stock.
Typically, an ophthalmic assistant is required to have a high school diploma when applying for an entry-level position with an ophthalmologist's office; the industry's standard is on-the-job training for an ophthalmic assistant. Additionally, ophthalmic assistants must have good verbal communication and listening skills to make patient encounters successful. Usually, an ophthalmic assistant works during regular business hours in an ophthalmologist's office, although some ophthalmic assistants will work a variety of different schedules.
Ophthalmic Assistant Tasks
- Coordinate patient care and influx of patients.
- Provide technical ophthalmic and administrative assistance.
- Take patient history and perform preliminary examination of patient.
- Assist ophthalmologist with office patient procedures.