To meet the needs of the growing eye-care industry, Richland College recently launched a new ophthalmology assistant program, accredited by the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology.
Students who complete the 256-hour program and pass the national certification exam can become certified ophthalmology assistants. COAs aid ophthalmologists, retinal specialists and other eye-care professionals in an office or clinical setting, and they also document patient medical history, perform pupil assessments and visual acuity measurements, administer some medications and provide patient education. Upon passing the COA national certification exam, students can continue their training to become ophthalmology technicians or ophthalmology technologists, with national certification exams also available for these higher-level eye-care professions.
Day and evening courses are available, and the program can typically be completed in two to three semesters. Courses offered in the program include Visual System (OPTS 1011), Ophthalmic Techniques (OPTS 2041), Basic Contact Lenses (OPTS 1015) and Vision Care Office Procedures (OPTS 1060).
Interested prospective students can learn more about the program, including eligibility requirements and approximate tuition costs, by visiting https://www.richlandcollege.edu/cd/ce/cepgms/health/pages/ophthalmology-assistants.aspx.