Ophthalmic Assistant

Job Description

The Ophthalmic Assistant is responsible for performing specialized ophthalmic testing under the supervision of a physician. The position supports other direct patient care activities as delegated by the physician or nurse.


  • Engages in population appropriate communication. Has knowledge of growth and development milestones and tasks. Gives clear instructions to patients/family regarding treatment. Involves family/guardian in the assessment, initial treatment and continuing care of the patient.
  • Identifies any physical limitations of the patient and deploys intervention when necessary.
  • Recognizes and responds appropriately to patients/families with behavioral health problems.
  • Interprets population related data and plans care appropriately. Identifies and responds appropriately to different needs resulting from, unique psychological needs or those associated with religious / cultural norms.
  • Performs treatments, administers medication or operates equipment safely.
  • Recognizes and responds to signs/symptoms of abuse or neglect.
  • Performs Visual Acuity Testing and documents in medical record.
  • Snellen Chart distance Acuity testing.
  • Color vision testing.
  • Near Acuity testing.
  • Specialized acuity testing for low-vision patients.
  • Adjusts testing based on patient individual needs i.e. child, elderly, disabled, diabetic.
  • Pinhole Acuity test screening for refractory error or other causes.
  • Swing light test screening for direct and consensual pupillary reaction and different pupillary defect.
  • Intraocular pressure screening for glaucoma with tonopen.
  • Pupillary Assessment

The Ophthalmology Assistant initiates the first steps of the comprehensive eye exam under the direction of the Ophthalmologist.
  • Obtains and documents a preliminary medical and ophthalmic history of the patient to include:
  • Chief complaint and history of present illness.
  • Past ocular history.
  • General medical and social history.
  • Family ocular and medical history.
  • Allergies to medications, pollen, food, etc.
  • Obtain and complete list of medications both prescribed or over the counter and herbal, including dosage and purpose.
  • Obtains vital signs to include blood pressure, height, weight, pulse rate and temperature, if applicable.
  • Recognizes and alerts provider of abnormalities. Implements age appropriate care for specific patient population including provision of direct patient care.
  • Performs Visual Field testing to detect abnormalities in the visual field and to monitor changes.
  • Positions patient for testing, explains procedure and answers questions.
  • Utilizes targets in ascending order of size and brightness.
  • Operates equipment plotting patients visual field directly on paper form for physician reading.
  • Isopters are appropriately labeled and documented on paper form.
  • Troubleshoots and maintains equipment.

Scheduling / Customer Service
  • Schedules new and follow-up patient appointments in EPIC
  • Processes in-coming referrals updating status in medical record.
  • Answers department telephone using customer service standards.
  • Answers questions referring appropriate calls to nurse when needed.
  • Administers ophthalmic dilating eye drops.
  • Ensures there is a written order.
  • Verifies medication allergies.
  • Utilizes clean techniques with thorough hand washing.
  • Documents in medical record.
  • Monitors for adverse reaction.

Assists physician with invasive procedures.
  • Room set-up including instruments, equipment and sterile field.
  • Ensures that all required paperwork is complete including consent, time-out performed and documented.
  • Applies eye dressing and/or shield.
  • Maintains laser safety.
  • Assist physician during procedure with instruments and positioning patient.
  • Thoroughly cleans instruments and equipment and prepares for sterilization.
  • Maintains inventory of supplies, stocks on a weekly rotation, checks and monitors expiration dates.
  • Completes end-of-day charge reconciliation.
  • Participates in quality improvement activities and meetings.
  • Completes all required continuing education


Education & Skills:

Education: High school diploma or GED required

License & Certification: Holds COA or will achieve COA certificate within 2 years of hire.

Skills: Experience in Ophthalmology or Optometry practice preferred.