Certified ophthalmic technicians (COTs) principally conduct eye tests for patients at an ophthalmology office. Some examples of these tests are contrast sensitivity tests, visual acuity tests, HRR color vision tests, and Amsler grids. All tests must be conducted properly with accurate measurements recorded. Some of these tests require the ability of COTs to operate specialized equipment, such as an autorefractor or a potential acuity meter (PAM). Other services performed by the COT include basic patient services such as applying eye drops, obtaining permissions, and gathering patient history. As a medical position, this job requires the ability to follow the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and regulations for various drugs.
COTs generally work in an ophthalmology office, usually directly under the ophthalmologist. Other colleagues include assistants and secretaries, but COTs spend most of their time working directly with the patients. This job generally takes place during regular business hours, although alternative hours may be required depending on when their office is open. Physical requirements for this position may include aiding patients with disabilities and cleaning and maintaining equipment.
Generally, relevant certifications are required to be a COT; these certifications are obtained from organizations such as the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (JCAHPO). Prior experience is often preferred, as is general knowledge on working in a medical environment. A high school diploma or equivalent is generally required as well.
Certified Ophthalmic Technician (COT) Tasks
- Perform visual acuity testing and assist in minor office procedures.
- Record, review and verify patient information.
- Assist ophthalmology patients by providing information and services; patient evaluations, vision health testing, lens fitting and care orientations.