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What is an ophthalmic technologist?
An ophthalmic medical technologist is a valuable member of the eye care team. A skilled technologist performs diagnostic tasks and measurements under the direction and supervision of a licensed physician who specializes in ophthalmology.
Ophthalmic medical technologists do not diagnose illnesses or plan treatment but perform many supportive services for the physician. They can take visual and medical histories, create ophthalmic photographs to document retinal or corneal defects, perform anatomical and functional ocular measurements and tests, assess abnormalities of color vision, measure function of the eye muscles and assist in ophthalmic surgery.
The profession provides continual opportunities to help people maintain or improve their vision. Because the ophthalmic medical technologist develops a rapport with patients, it is important that the technologist have a caring demeanor and excellent communication skills.
Ophthalmic medical technologists are employed in a variety of clinical settings for which the ophthalmologist is responsible. These settings include private offices, group practices, hospital specialty clinics and university clinics. Because technologists are the most highly-skilled technical personnel in the field, many assume supervisory roles and teach other members of the allied health team.