Optical assistants, also known as optometric assistants, are medical assistants who help optometrists in both clinical and administrative duties. They usually work in private practices, vision care clinics, or other facilities that offer eye car. Some of their duties may include greeting patients, answering their questions, making phone calls for the optometrist, responding to correspondences, maintaining records, scheduling patient appointments, helping the optometrist with vision tests, and helping patients understand how to care for and use contact lenses.
Assisting with eye care is a big part of the optical assistant role. Not only do they inform patients about proper use and handling of contract lenses, but they also provide patients with fitted frames for their eyeglasses. Knowing the needs of the patient is important because optical assistants are there to help pick the right frame and teach patients how to adjust those frames to fit comfortably. In some cases, optical assistants are expected to repair both eyeglasses and contact lenses.
There are only 23 states that require optical assistants to obtain a license. However, every state usually requires at least the completion of an apprenticeship or a formal training program. Optical assistants must also complete and pass a state certification exam, which is administered by the American Board of Opticianry and the National Contact Lens Examiners. The pursuit of continuing education in this field is encouraged and sometimes required to maintain licensure.
Optical Assistant Tasks
Assist Optometrist with examinations and maintain patient charts.
Take patient history and perform preliminary examination of patient.
Fit and dispense glasses and contact lens for patients.