One of the core values here at Cornea Associates is the pursuit of growth and learning. We strive to maintain a well-qualified staff of ophthalmic technicians. This past month over a dozen of our staff attended a live course over a Saturday that focused on work-up skills for a clinical technician in an ophthalmic setting. This sort of continuing education helps us provide optimal patient care because we are committed to the continued education of our growing staff.
When a patient is examined at a medical practice, their first stop after checking in with reception is a work-up with a clinical technician. Depending on the nature of the exam and reason for evaluation or treatment, a technician could perform over a dozen specialized diagnostic tests before a patient even sees their physician. These diagnostic tests or imaging can help the doctor identify and diagnose medical conditions and are often essential to determining the most appropriate course of treatment for patient. It’s easy to imagine, then, how important it is that these measurements be accurately performed and recorded by a reliable and qualified technician.
At Cornea Associates, our technician team boasts 16 Certified Ophthalmic Assistants, three Certified Ophthalmic Technicians, and three Certified Patient Service Specialists. In order to receive the first of these qualifications, a technician has to meet a dedicated number of clinical hours, be sponsored by a physician, and pass a written exam of 200 multiple choice questions that span 19 specific content areas in ophthalmology. In order to receive the second of these qualifications, a technician must have maintained a COA certification for at least a year and then pass a written exam of 200 multiple choice questions along with a practical Skills Evaluation of seven ophthalmic skills areas over a two hour period. The third of these qualifications requires a technician pass a 130 question multiple choice exam spanning content that includes both clinical and nonclinical areas, and is actually a new requirement for those members of staff that are interested in transitioning onto our technician team from another department.
All of the certifications held by our technicians must be renewed triennially by completing qualifying continuing education credits throughout the three years of that current certification or re-sitting the exam in its entirety. The course program by our staff this past January 27th was one such continuing education course. Continued education for our staff ensures that our team stays highly-qualified, well-trained, and well-versed in the field of ophthalmology and help our doctors provide the utmost in patient care.