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2007-2008 Programs of Study

Ophthalmic Technician (2180)

Associate in Science or Associate in Applied Science

Mission Statement

Creating competent, ethical, confident entry–level health care practitioners committed to professional development through life–long learning in a positive, non–discriminatory and supportive learning environment.

The Career

The ophthalmic allied health professional is a skilled person, qualified by didactic and clinical ophthalmic training, who performs ophthalmic procedures under the direction or supervision of a physician licensed to practice medicine and surgery, and qualified in ophthalmology.

The function of the ophthalmic allied health professional is to assist the ophthalmologist by performing tasks, collecting data, administering treatment ordered by an ophthalmologist, and supervising patients.

Duties that may be performed by an ophthalmic allied health professional include:

  1. Taking a medical history.
  2. Performing diagnostic tests.
  3. Taking anatomical and functional ocular measurements of the eye and surrounding tissue.
  4. Testing ocular functions, including visual acuity and visual fields.
  5. Administering topical ophthalmic and oral medications.
  6. Instructing the patient in personal care and the use of contact lenses.
  7. Caring for and maintaining ophthalmic instruments and equipment.
  8. Caring for and maintaining and sterilizing surgical instruments.
  9. Assisting in ophthalmic surgery in the office, hospital or ambulatory surgical center setting.
  10. Taking optical measurements including A–Scan ultrasound.
  11. Assisting in the fitting of contact lenses.
  12. Such other tasks as may be delegated consistent with sound medical practice (e.g. use of computerized ophthalmic equipment).
  13. Performing ophthalmic clinical photography and fluorescence angiography of the eye.
  14. Administering advanced ocular motility and binocular function tests.
  15. Carrying out ocular electrophysiological procedures.
  16. Performing advanced microbiological procedures.
  17. Providing supervision and instruction of other ophthalmic personnel and patients.

Ophthalmic allied health professionals supply important information to the physician who is treating the patient and assist in areas such as surgery and patient education/compliance; they are not independent practitioners and do not diagnose or treat eye disorders, nor do they prescribe medications.

The ophthalmic assistant is a skilled person, qualified by academic and clinical training, who performs ophthalmic procedures under the direction or supervision of the physician licensed to practice medicine and surgery and qualified in ophthalmology. Assistants are prepared to assist an ophthalmologist to diagnose and treat eye disorders and disease; test patient’s far acuity, near acuity, peripheral vision, depth perception and color perception. Under direct supervision the assistant will apply drops to anesthetize, dilate or medicate eyes. They will test patient’s field of vision, including central and peripheral vision, for defects, and chart test results.

The Program

The goal of this associate in science degree program in Ophthalmic Technician is to produce competent, ethical and confident entry–level healthcare practioners committed to professional development in the eye care field through life long-learning in a positive, non–discriminatory and supportive learning environment. This program is limited access and requires separate application. Specific information on program admission requirements, application and costs can be obtained from the coordinator for the Ophthalmic Technician program, North Campus.

Expected Job Growth and Earnings

According to the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology, ophthalmic medical personnel are in high demand. This demand is due to technological advances in vision care and an aging population with many vision care needs. Starting salaries for ophthalmic technologists/technicians ranges from $22,000 to $35,000 annually and experienced technologists in supervisory positions may earn $35,000 to $45,000 annually.


This A.S. degree program articulates into a bachelor’s degree program. For more information, please visit the Transfer Services Web site.


Estimated cost of tuition is $4,781 (tuition rated for Florida residents, as of 7/07). Contact the program manager for additional costs (textbooks, materials, fees).


Course Number and Title
General Education  
ENC 1101 English Composition I
SPC 2016 Speech Communication for Business and the Professions
  or SPC 2040 Introduction to Speech Communication
  *Social and Behavioral Science
  Credit Hours

Required Professional Courses
OPT 1330 Introduction to Vision Care
OPT 2090 Introduction to Vision Care Clinic
OPT 1210 Anatomy and Physiology of the Eye
OPT 1110 Physical and Geometric Optics
OPT 2222 Ocular Pathology and Pharmacology I
OPT 2800L Vision Care Clinic I
OPT 2375 Refractometry
OPT 2375L Refractometry Practicum
OPT 1150 Ophthalmic Lenses
OPT 2500 Contact Lens Theory
OPT 2801L Vision Care Clinic II
OPT 2350 Advanced Clinical Procedures I
OPT 2940 Ophthalmic Medical Practicum I
OPT 2223 Ocular Pathology and Pharmacology II
OPT 2351 Advanced Clinical Procedures II
OPT 2802L Vision Care Clinic III
OPT 2941 Ophthalmic Medical Practicum II
**OPT 2287 Ophthalmic Medical Practicum III
  Credit Hours
Total Credit Hours

*Refer to A.S. degree General Education Requirements.
**All other program courses should be completed prior to registering for the practicum.

Record of Conviction of a Crime

Most clinical agencies require students to undergo drug screening and criminal background checks prior to placement in the agencies for clinical experiences. Students whose drug screening and criminal background checks are deemed unsatisfactory may be denied access to clinical experiences by the clinical agencies. Failure to qualify for and meet clinical requirements at clinical sites may prevent completion of the program. Withdrawal from the program may be necessary if students cannot be placed for clinical experiences.

The cost of the background check and drug screen is borne by the student. Additionally, it is the student’s responsibility to have all paperwork completed by the program’s published deadline.

Students who are unable to complete the clinical requirements after acceptance into selective access programs are not eligible for refunds of tuition.


You have two options in this program: the associate in science (A.S.) degree, which can prepare you for employment or transfer to a state university, and the associate in applied science (A.A.S.) degree, which is intended primarily for students who want immediate employment after graduation. If you choose the A.S. degree you must take MAC 1105, MGF 1106 or a higher level mathematics. The A.A.S. degree requires MAT 1033 or higher. Please see an advisor to determine the option that is best for you.

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