An optical assistant works in an optometrist's office and primarily assists with clinical and clerical duties. Optical assistants must have a keen eye for and attention to detail as they sort, scan and copy important medical documents. Communication is also a key component for this position. This job requires the ability to interact with patients, medical professionals and billing organizations on a daily basis. Understanding how to manage time and multiple tasks at once is a must for this position. In addition, being fluent in more than one language is also considered a plus for this role.
Optical assistants usually do not work alone: In a standard eye care medical facility, multiple optometrists and optical assistants all work together to tend to patient needs. Clients range from infants to elderly adults. At times an optical assistant must train new assistants or familiarize new optometrists with the standard procedures in the office. A typical day as an optical assistant would include answering phone calls for patient inquiries, receiving patients at the front desk, filing billing and medical documents and calling insurance providers to verify insurance policies.
This job is conducted during normal business hours anywhere between 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. throughout the week and occasional weekend morning/afternoon hours between 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. as well. Usually a high school diploma or similar degree is all that is required for this type of position, but strong written and verbal communication is essential to this job. Individuals with a college education and experience in a related field often excel at this position.
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.