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Hello everyone! Because I respect all your opinions I would like some feedback on this. I have been researching for some HCE that is fairly quick, inexpensive, and unusual. I have been trying to find something other than CNAs, LVNs or even Paramedics. Something different - then I came across this and would like to hear from all of you. Do you all think it would be a good plan B as well? Our Ophthalmic Assistant program is a full time training technical school with a 6 month duration designed to give our students the extensive knowledge and experience needed to prepare them to excel in the ever changing field of Ophthalmology. Our fully functioning exam room set up and state of the art diagnostic testing areas allow our students to practice their new skills on the same equipment they would be using in the office on patients. Students will graduate the program with a certificate of completion and the understanding and knowledge required to sit for the JCAHPO Certified Ophthalmic Assistant Exam (COA), the certifying body of allied health professionals in ophthalmology. And it doesn’t stop there! Continue on with advanced certifications like Certified Ophthalmic Technician (COT) or Certified Ophthalmic Medical Technician (COMT), with your COA as a launching pad for expanding your career! Classes take place Monday-Friday for 3 months followed by 3 months of split class room and clinic rotation. This allows for maximum exposure and hands on experience before you even step foot in an office as an employee. At half the cost and a quarter of the time of a traditional Associate’s degree program, HEA’s OA program allows you to enter the workplace sooner and with more experience than many other applicants. Cost for enrollment is $1250 and includes all textbooks and materials. ---- What is an Ophthalmic Assistant? An ophthalmic assistant, or OA, is a person who works with an ophthalmologist (eye surgeon) to provide patient care by performing many different eye-related clinical functions. Ophthalmic assistants help ophthalmologists care for patients by taking histories, performing various procedures and tests, and preparing patients to see the doctor. Their work provides the ophthalmologist with important information to help diagnose and treat patients. A typical day in the life of an ophthalmic assistant might include these tasks: Taking patient medical histories Instructing patients about medications, tests, and procedures Performing various vision and diagnostic tests Assisting ophthalmologists with patient procedures Coordinating patient scheduling Supervising and training other ophthalmic assistants Ophthalmic assistants enjoy virtually unlimited job opportunities nationwide and internationally because of their specialized skills. Ophthalmic assistants also have many opportunities for career advancement. Most of today's ophthalmic assistants began as entry-level personnel and worked their way up to management positions through continuing education, training, and certification. Salary Expectations of an Ophthalmic Assistant According to a 2011 salary survey by the Association of Technical Personnel in Ophthalmology, the average salary for certified ophthalmic medical assistant respondents to the survey was about $43K per year nationally. Of course experience and geographic location play a role, but trained OAs are in high demand all across the country in a variety of office and hospital settings. As cited by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a 13% rate of employment growth is predicted within the Ophthalmic Assistant field between 2010 and 2020.
This is just a quick shout out to all of those pre pa students with "unconventional" health care experience. There is a feel among the pre pa community that being a paramedic or a nurse is the way to be the perfect applicant. I know that not everyone thinks this, but I hear it enough to where I want to give some hope to those who may have some experience that is a little different. I am a COA (Certified Ophthalmic Assistant) this is a valid form of HCE(Health Care Experience) for pre pas. COAs: Collect histories of present illness. Have knowledge about the effects of common systems diseases i.e. Diabetes, Hypertension, Hyperthyroidism,Ischemia. (For more eye specific review of ocular diseases see my post here.) Instill medications in the form of dilation drops and anesthetic drops Assist optometrists and ophthalmologist in clinical procedures Volunteer abroad such as my trip to Mexico Scribe for ophthalmologist and optometrists Code using IDC 9/CAPT This is just one example of what some may say is not real health care experience. I heard of pas who were ultra sound techs, physical therapy aids, lab assistants, and some even had no health care experience (not recommended). Don't get me wrong I think that Paramedics, EMTs(I am one of these to), and Nurses rock. I just think that it is important to get out of the idea that you have to be a "cookie-cutter" applicant to get accepted. Do what interests you and be great at it!