All ophthalmic technicians in the department complete one or more of the following certifications through Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (JCAHPO). First time exam fees are covered by the department.  

  • Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA) 18 CE
  • Certified Ophthalmic Technician (COT) 27 CE
  • Certified Ophthalmic Medical Technologist (COMT) 36 CE

Continuing Education Opportunities

The Department of Ophthalmology fosters a culture of learning at every level, providing numerous educational opportunities for technicians in specialized skill training, continuing medical education courses, lectures, and workshops offered on-site, regionally, and nationally at annual JCAHPO/AAO meetings.

Technician Duties

Ophthalmic technicians assist ophthalmologists by performing preliminary exams and specialized testing on patients, assessing:

  • Chief complaint
  • Health screening, depression screening SO/GI questionnaire
  • Care team (referring physician info)
  • Medications
  • Allergies
  • Surgical & Medical history
  • Vitals: height and weight, BP & pulse for all procedures, breast feeding status
  • HPI (history of present illness) + ROS (review of symptoms)
  • Preliminary ophthalmic exam: vision acuity, refractometry (prn), lensometry (reading of glass Rx), pupils, motility, gross confrontation fields, IOP (intraocular pressure check)
  • Additional measurements: keratometry, topography, pachymetry, color plates, stereopsis

Quotes from Technicians

  • "What I find unique about Scheie is the diversity of people that I get to meet and participate in their care." – Mary Beth Space
  • "You meet patients from many walks of life that all have unique diagnoses so it’s always a learning experience." – Diamond Floyd
  • "This Penn Ophthalmology Department is unique because it is so well-organized. The technician team is also special in that is filled with people who care about each other, including our wonderful managers." – Lang Lourng Ung
  • "Ophthalmic tech-ing is the perfect union of technology, science, and people-loving. The unique thing about our department is the constant growth of our knowledge and patient base. The eye is targeted by so many diseases, either directly or indirectly, there is always something new to learn, see and explore. This keeps our door revolving, as we constantly see new problems associated with disease, medication, and injury from around the globe."  – Katie Conklin
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