Ophthalmic Assistant
Training Program

Information Session May 19th, 2020 from 6:00pm-7:30pm

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center Ophthalmology Clinic 4-B

Register Online

Program Overview:

The Ophthalmic Assistant (OA) training program is designed to give students the knowledge and skills they need to embark upon a career in Ophthalmology. Up-to six individuals will be selected and hired by Dartmouth-Hitchcock (D-H) to become an Ophthalmic Assistant Trainee working in our Lebanon clinic. The program is a 17-week long curriculum which is designed to prepare competent, entry-level Ophthalmic Assistants in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains for career opportunities in the ophthalmology field and a general education component which complements the comprehensive skills-based specialty training. The D-H Ophthalmic Assistant Program will also have a focus on professionalism and quality patient care.

Graduates are eligible to sit for the JCAHPO Certified Ophthalmic Assistant Exam (COA), the certifying body of allied health professionals in ophthalmology, after their first 500 hours of work. This training opens an advanced career pathway and opportunities to pursue additional trainings as a Certified Ophthalmic Technician (COT) or Certified Ophthalmic Medical Technician (COMT), among others.

Ophthalmic Assistant

Program Timeline:

Ophthalmic Assistant Training Program Timeline
Program Info session May 19th
Application Deadline June 5th
Interviews & Assessments Between May 19th
through June 17th
Final Selections & Notification June 19th
Pre-employment screening process Between June 29th and
July 24th
D-H General Orientation July 27th
Classroom/Skills Training July 28th through
November 20th
Graduation Event for all Programs January 7th, 2021

Application Process/Requirements:

Submit the following to Jennifer.L.Locke@hitchcock.org:

  • Completed OA Program Application

  • Statement of Interest (minimum of 500 words)
  • Current resume or curriculum vitae
  • Two references (at least 1 must be professional, current or previous manager is strongly encouraged)

Minimum Requirements for eligibility:

  • High school diploma, HiSET or GED (Graduate Equivalence)
  • Familiarity with medical terminology desired with a willingness to learn and work toward certification.

Contact Information:

Jennifer Locke
Workforce Development Consultant


The Role of an Ophthalmic Assistant:

Ophthalmic Assisting (OA) is a helping and caring profession which provides specific services to patients who have individual needs and who are worthy of respect at all times. An OA works alongside eye doctors, ophthalmologists or optometrists, to provide patient care. OAs ensure providers have accurate and complete information that helps them diagnose and treat patients. Successful OAs are detail oriented, have strong communication skills and are committed to providing exceptional patient care. Upon completion of the program, the trainee should be able to:

  • Integrate the Ophthalmic Assisting knowledge base in cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains; demonstrate skills following established criteria, protocols and objectives in the cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains
  • Function safely, effectively and efficiently and exhibit ethical behavior in an Ophthalmic Assistant role
  • Apply knowledge of interpersonal skills and communications relative to procedures and protocols from an Ophthalmic Assistant’s perspective when working with patients, patients’ significant others, colleagues and other members of a healthcare team, as well as other members of the community
  • Describe the essential working aspects of a successful Ophthalmic Assistant
  • Recognize the importance of confidentiality when dealing with patients
  • Demonstrate the ability to perform in a healthcare environment meeting OSHA specifications
  • Articulate effective communication and decision-making skills for successful performance in the clinic environment

Ophthalmic Assistant Spotlight:

Meet Heidi:

Heidi is a current Certified Ophthalmic Assistant working at D-H.

“After nine years working in Environmental Services, I was looking to find a career that could challenge me to advance my education, provide me growth and allow me to help people. A colleague had completed the Ophthalmic Assistant program and hearing of her experiences in the training program and through her encouragement I applied for the program. I knew this was an opportunity that would challenge me and grow me both in my career and as a person. After studying and working hard, I graduated from the training program in October 2017. Now as a Certified Ophthalmic Assistant, I am still challenged daily, have a great career that allows me to help people and provides me personal growth. I love that I can tell my children that no matter where you start in life, there is always opportunity for growth if you are willing to put the work into it.”

Attributes of a Successful Ophthalmic Assistant:

  • Enjoys working with people
  • Effective communicator
  • Open-minded
  • Team player
  • Proactive
  • Thoughtful
  • Helpful
  • Courteous & Respectful

We hope to see you at an Information Session!

If you have questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact us.

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