Ophthalmology Assistant – Associate of Applied Science Degree Program

Ophthalmology Assistant – Associate of Applied Science Degree Program

In our Ophthalmology Assistant program in Texas, you will be trained in the skills needed to assist ophthalmologists and optometrists in patient eye care.

The College of Health Care Professions is institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) and was founded by doctors over 30 years ago. Our Ophthalmology Assistant Program is designed by industry experts with a focus on core skills and flexibility to prepare you to begin your new career as a health professional in less than two years. Our blended program offers lectures online and hands-on labs and externships in-person during the day.

What is an ophthalmic assistant?

  • Ophthalmic assistants help ophthalmologists and optometrists perform their day-to-day duties and work directly with patients performing preliminary exams, administer medications and fitting eyewear.
  • Ophthalmic assistants work in a variety of environments like hospitals, medical and optometry offices, stores, and care centers.

Program Details

Program Length

Blended: 80 weeks

Available Locations

Fort Worth
COURSES

You can take this program via blended learning at our Fort Worth campus.

Blended learning is comprised of both online classes and in-person classes allowing you to learn ophthalmology techniques online while receiving the hands-on medical training you need in person.

MODULE IMODULE IIMODULE IIIMODULE IVMODULE VMODULE VIMODULE VIIMODULE VIIIMODULE IXMODULE X

Master Student/Study Skills

MSS130

Students will become familiar with basic study and learning skills to include learning styles, goal setting, memorization techniques, reading comprehension, note taking, test taking, critical thinking, effective communication diversity, and technology. Prerequisite: None

Lecture8hr.
Laboratory0hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours8hr.
Credits0.5 

HIPAA / OSHA / Infection Control

HIP130

Students will learn about the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This course will identify rights for individuals and the processes that health care providers must implement to support individual rights. Students must demonstrate knowledge of the rules for the use and disclosure of information. Students will learn about transmission of disease, hand washing techniques and gloving. This course will ensure that students are aware of biohazards and airborne pathogens, including infection control procedures and laboratory safety. Students must demonstrate infection control procedures and laboratory safety. Prerequisite: None

Lecture10hr.
Laboratory0hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours10hr.
Credits0.5 

Anatomy and Physiology of the Eye

OPT110

This course introduces students to the eye's function, anatomy, and physiology. Students will be introduced to common ocular conditions, diseases, disorders, and terminology. In addition, students will discuss the eye as an optical system and identify its components. Finally, students will discuss common ophthalmic acronyms and abbreviations. Prerequisite: None

Lecture48hr.
Laboratory0hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours48hr.
Credits3 

Introduction to Ophthalmic Assistant

OPT100

Students will learn the roles of the Ophthalmic Assistant and other associated roles of the ophthalmic care team. Students will be introduced to visual acuity testing and basic vital signs. Students will discuss the medical ethics, legal issues, and regulatory issues associated with their position. Finally, students will discuss certification and the requirements to move from assistant to technician as their career progresses. Prerequisite: None

Lecture30hr.
Laboratory30hr.
Externship48hr.
Total Hours108hr.
Credits4 

Optometry and Optics

OPT200

This course introduces students to optometry, optical, and refractometry basics. Students will explore contact lenses, lensometry, spectacle lenses, and measuring the patient's prescription. Additionally, students will discuss the various types and uses of spectacles and contact lenses. Finally, students will examine common ophthalmic equipment and learn the basics of refractometry to determine a patient's prescription. Prerequisite: Module I

Lecture48hr.
Laboratory30hr.
Externship64hr.
Total Hours142hr.
Credits5 

Critical Thinking*

CRT100

This course introduces critical thinking skills. Students gain an introductory level experience in deductive/inductive reasoning skills. The student will discuss experiences of everyday life and the repercussions of decision-making at various levels Prerequisite: None

Lecture48hr.
Laboratory0hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours48hr.
Credits3 

Comprehensive Ophthalmology

OPT210

This course will introduce students to the basics of a comprehensive eye examination, ocular pharmacology, examination testing, and CPR. Students will discover common ophthalmic exam testing: keratometry, tonometry, extraocular muscles, perimetry, and auto refractions. Finally, students will practice their skills while working in a comprehensive clinic. Prerequisite: Module II

Lecture60hr.
Laboratory30hr.
Externship64hr.
Total Hours154hr.
Credits6 

English Composition*

ENGL101

This course provides the student with instruction and practice in expository writing and emphasizes grammatical and mechanical accuracy and proper essay form. Emphasis is placed on clarity, logical organization, unity and coherence of central idea and supporting material. Prerequisite: None

Lecture48hr.
Laboratory0hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours48hr.
Credits3 

Cornea and Anterior Segment

OPT220

This course will introduce students to the anatomy and function of the cornea and anterior segment. Students will explore testing including pachymetry, topography, slit lamp, dry eye assessments, and cataract evaluation testing. Students will examine the common pharmacology and diseases of the cornea and anterior segment. Additionally, students will examine refractive surgery and pre/post-operative care for surgery. Finally, students will practice their skills while working in a comprehensive clinic. Prerequisite: Module II

Lecture60hr.
Laboratory30hr.
Externship64hr.
Total Hours154hr.
Credits6 

College Mathematics*

POFM114

This course covers basic mathematics including addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Also covered is fraction notation and mixed numerals, decimals, ratios, rates and unit prices, proportions, solving various problems using percent equations and proportions, sales tax, commissions, and discounts, interest, data, graphs, and statistics, measurements, geometry, real numbers, algebra, and equations. Prerequisite: None

Lecture48hr.
Laboratory0hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours48hr.
Credits3 

Glaucoma

OPT230

This course will introduce students to the basics of Glaucoma. Students will explore the conditions that damage the optic nerve and the various types of glaucoma. Additionally, students will examine testing, therapeutics, and treatments of glaucoma. Finally, students will practice their skills while working in a comprehensive clinic. Prerequisite: Module II

Lecture60hr.
Laboratory30hr.
Externship128hr.
Total Hours218hr.
Credits7.5 

Retina and Posterior Segment

OPT240

This course will introduce students to the anatomy and function of the retina and posterior segment. Students will explore testing including amsler grid, optical coherence tomography, fundus photography, color vision, and fluorescence angiography. Additionally, students will examine the common pharmacology and diseases of the retina and posterior segment. Finally, students will practice their skills while working in a comprehensive clinic. Prerequisite: Module II

Lecture60hr.
Laboratory30hr.
Externship128hr.
Total Hours218hr.
Credits7.5 

Oculo-Plastics

OPT250

This course will introduce students to the basics of the specialty of Oculo-plastics. Students will explore common surgical procedures dealing with the orbit (eye socket), eyelids, tear ducts, and the face. Additionally, students will examine common surgical materials, equipment, and surgical assisting skills. Finally, students will practice their skills while working in a Comprehensive clinic. Prerequisite: Module II

Lecture60hr.
Laboratory30hr.
Externship64hr.
Total Hours154hr.
Credits6 

Introduction to Psychology*

PSYT101

This course covers the interrelationship between biology and human behavior. Included in the course are theories involved in sensation and perception, consciousness, learning, memory, thought, language, mental abilities, motivation and emotion, effects of stress, personality traits, social psychology, and psychological disorders and their treatments. Prerequisite: None

Lecture48hr.
Laboratory0hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours48hr.
Credits3 

Neuro-Ophthalmology

OPT260

This course will introduce students to the basics of the specialty of Neuro-Ophthalmology. Students will explore the merger of neurology and ophthalmology, and their related systemic diseases that have manifestations in the visual system. Additionally, students will examine common testing, vision problems due to brain injuries or diseases, including trauma, a stroke, or an infection. Finally, students will practice their skills while working in a comprehensive clinic. Prerequisite: Module II

Lecture60hr.
Laboratory30hr.
Externship64hr.
Total Hours154hr.
Credits6 

Interpersonal and Communication Skills *

POFT103

Emphasis on the application of basic psychological principles and the study of behavior as they apply to special populations. Topics include procedures for self-understanding and social adaptability in interpersonal communication with patients, teachers and co-workers in an ambulatory care or hospital setting. Prerequisites: None Prerequisite: None

Lecture48hr.
Laboratory0hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours48hr.
Credits3 

Comprehensive Clinical I

OPTC300

This course will place students in a clinical setting to gain hands-on experience as an Ophthalmic Assistant. Students will apply knowledge and skills acquired in the classroom and laboratory in preparation for the certification exam. Prerequisite: Modules I-VIII

Lecture16hr.
Laboratory0hr.
Externship188hr.
Total Hours204hr.
Credits5 

Comprehensive Clinical II

OPTC310

This course will place students in a clinical setting to gain hands-on experience as an Ophthalmic Assistant. Students will apply knowledge and skills acquired in the classroom and laboratory in preparation for the certification exam. Prerequisite: Modules I-IX

Lecture16hr.
Laboratory0hr.
Externship188hr.
Total Hours204hr.
Credits5 

About the Ophthalmology Assistant Program

The goal of our Ophthalmology Assistant Degree Program is to prepare you for an entry-level career as an ophthalmology assistant. You will learn how to evaluate patients, assist with interventions and procedures, corrective lenses, imaging, and perform office and clinical skills.

Graduates of our Ophthalmology Assistant Program will study the anatomy of the eye and acquire the skills necessary to become an invaluable asset to an ophthalmology or optometry practice. You will be able to provide assistance in patient care, administrative tasks and creating a caring environment for patients and their families as they move through the examination and treatment process.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Ophthalmology Assistant Program

What does an ophthalmic assistant do?

As a graduate from our Ophthalmology Assistant Program, you’ll be equipped with all of the knowledge you need to be an entry-level ophthalmology assistant. Some of the skills and knowledge your will acquire include:

  • Generate important preliminary information to be used by the ophthalmologist or optometrist
  • Review patient status
  • Perform preliminary eye function testing
  • Administer eye medications
  • Assist in selecting and fitting eyeglasses
  • Instruct patients in the care and use of corrective lenses
  • Schedule patient appointments and surgeries

What externship experience will I receive?

Included in blended program is a 1,000-hour clinical externship, which is built into the program to put learned skills into practice with our local healthcare employer partners to allow our students to gain real-life hands-on work experience and to prepare students for the Certified Ophthalmology Assistant (COA) exam.

How to become a certified ophthalmology assistant?

Once you graduate from our Ophthalmology Assistant Program, you will receive an Associates of Applied Science (AAS) Degree. We will train you for your COA certification to become a certified ophthalmic assistant from the necessary credentialing agencies. Upon graduation, you’ll be more than ready to take the Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA) examination, administered by the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (JCAHPO). This certification cost is included in your tuition.

What are some ophthalmic assistant jobs?

With ophthalmology assistant training, you will be able to work in one of many different healthcare settings. Some of those include:

  • Ophthalmology office
  • Optometry office
  • Physician office
  • Other health practitioner
  • General medical and surgical hospitals
  • Health and personal care stores
  • Outpatient care centers

For additional career titles and earning potential, please visit www.bls.gov.

Our Career Services team will work with you to ensure you are aware of your career options, trains you in interview skills and provides job placement assistance to find you the healthcare career of your dreams.

If you are ready or if you need more information, simply fill out the form to have one of our Admissions Advisors contact you! Take the first step towards your new healthcare career as an ophthalmic assistant.

Apply Today

How to Become an Ophthalmology Assistant

If you are ready to enroll, you must first meet the following requirements:

  • A high school diploma or GED
  • A Scholastic Level Exam score of at least 19
  • The ability to read and write in English
  • Have good coordination and be neat and professional at all times

Get answers to our frequently asked questions. We are here to help you every step of the way from personalized student support, job placement assistance and career services for life. We can help you get started with financial aid options and affordable payment plans that are available to those who qualify. Contact an Advisor Today!

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