Being a certified ophthalmic technician enables one’s career to go forward in the field. Certification is a way through which an ophthalmic technician can demonstrate his competence, thereby conferring to his patients a sense of assurance that they are being taken care of by well-trained individuals. Moreover, certification benefits the field of ophthalmology as it is a way to ensure and uphold the excellent quality of personnel that are admitted into the field. While some institutions do not necessarily require their employees to have a certification (provided they have completed the training), there are those that really require their ophthalmic technicians to be certified.
What are the requirements for certification ?
The basic requirements for certification include: a high school diploma or an equivalent, completion of an accredited training program designed for ophthalmic technicians, a defined quantity of employment experience, a certification from an ophthalmologist validating your documents, and of course a passing mark in the qualifying exam.
While a high school diploma and completion of an accredited program are mainstay requirements, the amount of work experience and Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (JCAHPO) credits required vary depending on the level of certification that you are applying for.
For example, applying for an ophthalmic assistant requires 1000 hours (about 6 months of work time); for an ophthalmic technician at least 2,000 hours (one year experience) plus 1a2 JCAHPO Group A credits; while to be an ophthalmic technologist requires 6,000 hours (three-year-work experience) plus 2 JCAHPO Group A credits within the 12 month.
In addition to the levels of certification mentioned above, the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel offers other specialized certifications such as the Registered Ophthalmic Ultrasound Biometrist and Ophthalmic Surgical Assisting to name some. As with the main certification levels, these sub specializations have their own requirements before one can be considered a certified personnel in the field.
Aside from the written examination a practical exam is also given to evaluate the skills of an ophthalmic technician. In the practical part of the certification, the technician is asked to demonstrate how to properly perform some fundamental ophthalmologic tests given a period of time.
Ophthalmic technician Certification Fees
Aside from the academic and practical skills requirements for certification, take note that one needs to pay a certain amount. As with the number of work hours and credits required, the amount paid for certification varies depending on the level of certification being applied for as well as the order of retake of the examination. Also, a separate fee is paid for the practical part of the evaluation.
Once an ophthalmic technician is certified, his or her certification is recognized internationally by various organizations such as American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) and the Canadian Opthalmological Society (COS). As mentioned above, accomplishing certification allows one to get employed in diverse institutions not both within the country where he or she is situated as well as in other locations where he might decide to pursue his career.