The 2021 Training Program Application Period will open in April 2021.

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Ophthalmic Assistant Training Program

Due to the current State of Emergency around the COVID-19 Health Advisory, dates/times are subject to change based on guidance provided to us through the national, state, and D-H Leadership. We will update information on our website with any revised program dates, information sessions, and newly scheduled programs throughout this time. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time. Stay healthy and safe – The Workforce Readiness Team

Program Overview:

Do you enjoy helping people, learning and working with a team?  Are you interested in earning while you learn?  The Dartmouth-Hitchcock Workforce Readiness Institute is looking for motivated individuals for the Ophthalmic Assistant Training Program.

Up to six (6) individuals will be selected and hired by Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health to become Ophthalmic Assistant (OA) Trainees working in our Lebanon clinic.  The OA training program is designed to give students the knowledge and skills they need to embark upon a career in Ophthalmology.  The 17-week long curriculum is designed to prepare competent, entry-level OAs in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains.  The training prepares participants for career opportunities in the ophthalmology field and includes a general education component, a focus on professionalism and quality patient care to complement the comprehensive skills-based specialty training.

Graduate of the program a 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

Application Process/Requirements:

Submit the following to

  • 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:

Workforce Development

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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