2005-2007 Academic Catalog
Ophthalmic Technician Program
Department: Ophthalmic Technician
Program Director: Aaron Vijai Shukla
Program Option: A.A.S.
The College of St. Catherine developed the two-year Ophthalmic Technician Program in response to a shortage of well-trained ophthalmic medical personnel in the Twin Cities and the state. Previously, there was no technician-level program in the state.
In the Ophthalmic Technician Program, you will learn through classroom lectures and discussion, laboratory demonstrations and practice, and clinical experiences in eye clinic settings in the Twin Cities area. The curriculum includes 30 semester credits of liberal arts and sciences courses and 40 semester credits of ophthalmic courses. Approximately 1,000 hours of supervised clinical experience is built into the curriculum and students will rotate through various eye clinics in the Twin Cities.
Upon graduating at the end of the two-year program, you will be eligible to take the Certified Ophthalmic Technician (COT) certification examination administered by JCAHPO (Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology). The COT certification is the intermediate level of expertise and represents an excellent balance of knowledge and skills. In its career ladder JCAHPO has also established a certification pathway for COTs, who have been in the profession for three years, to take the examination for the advanced level of certification (COMT).
Ophthalmology is the branch of medicine specializing in the anatomy, functions, pathology, diagnosis and treatment of the eye. Ophthalmologists are medical physicians, with an M.D. or D.O. degree, who specialize in the diagnosis and medical and surgical treatment of eye diseases and conditions, vision measurements for glasses and/or contact lenses (refraction), eye muscle disbalances, and the prevention of low vision or blindness and care for the blind. With the increasing technological advancements in procedures and instruments, and the aging population as well as diagnosis and treatment of pediatric eye conditions at earlier ages, this healthcare profession is expanding rapidly to meet the needs of persons of all ages. Within the healthcare profession, the ophthalmic medical technology field is expanding rapidly and experiencing a strong need for qualified technicians. This field offers excellent opportunities for employment in diverse practice arenas as well as opportunities for specialization.
As a COT you will be an important part of an eye care team, working under the direct supervision of an ophthalmologist and obtaining important medical information and performing ophthalmic tests, measurements, and protocols for the physician treating the patient. You will perform tasks such as obtaining medical histories; measuring vision, powers of spectacle lenses, corneal curvature, eye pressure, eye deviations, and pupil reactions; and performing visual field, muscle movement, pupil abnormality, tear function, ultrasound, stereo and color tests. Additional tests and measurements may also be ordered by the ophthalmologist.
As a COT you may work in private clinics, hospitals, medical centers, or university research and training centers. COTs also function as clinic managers, trainers, instructors or program directors at accredited educational programs. Positions in research, technical writing, sales and consulting are also options for qualified COTs.
Once you have earned the Certified Ophthalmic Technician (COT) credential, you will have additional opportunities to broaden your knowledge and move into specialties such as orthoptics (eye deviations and disbalances), and subspecialties such as ophthalmic surgical assisting, and ophthalmic coding and reimbursement.
Students who are currently working in the field but have no formal education related to this profession will be required to complete all program requirements.
General Physics (must include sections on the electromagnetic spectrum, light and optics)
Required Ophthalmic Core:
OPH 1010 Introduction to Ophthalmic Technology Medical Law and Ethics
OPH 1020 Ocular Anatomy & Physiology
OPH 1030 Physical & Geometric Optics
OPH 1040 Physiologic Optics, Spectacles, and Contact Lenses
OPH 1050 Ophthalmic Pharmacology
OPH 1060 Ocular Motility
OPH 1210 Clinical Rotation I (Practicum)
OPH 1220 Clinic Skills Lab I
OPH 1230 Clinical Rotation II (Practicum)
OPH 2010 Eye Diseases and Ocular Emergencies
OPH 2020 Ophthalmic Imaging, Photography and Angiography
OPH 2030 Clinic Skills Lab III and Skills Review
OPH 2040 Instrument Maintenance and Project
OPH 2050 Ophthalmic Surgical Assisting
OPH 2240 Clinical Rotation III (Practicum)
OPH 2250 Clinic Skills Lab II
OPH 2260 Clinical Rotation IV (Practicum)
BIOL 2400 Anatomy & Physiology I
PHIL 2000 Ethical Problems in Healthcare
PSYC 1000 General Psychology
HIMP 1020 Medical Terminology
Liberal Arts & Sciences core and CIL requirements:
BIOL 2420 Human Disease
CIL 1400 Health, Social Justice, and Civil Engagement
ENGL 1100 Composition I
ENGL 2XXX Literature Elective
SSCS 1000 Power and Social Change
Additional Elective (2 credits)
This page was created on 05/02/2007 and last updated on 05/02/2007.
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