JCAHPO has added Certified Ophthalmic Scribe (OSC) to their list of certification exams. What makes this certification unique is that the certification exam has no per-requisites, except that you must be currently working for an ophthalmologist. Eyetec.net now has an ophthalmic scribe exam prep course that will get you a certificate of completion, and you don't need to be working for an ophthalmologist to take the course. This course may be as valuable as the certification, because you have proof that you took a scribe course.
Passing the OSC exam is not a piece of cake, but it is definitely do-able for someone who wants to take the time and modest expense of studying a prep-course.
Why would you want to be a scribe? This is a relatively open door into the otherwise relatively closed world of ophthalmic technology. It can be a stepping stone to becoming a certified ophthalmic assistant, technician, or technologist. You can become a technician by attending an accredited program, but programs are scarce and expensive in terms of cost and time. You can go the on-the-job-training route, but employers generally do not hire the inexperienced. Thus the difficulty.
Job description of an ophthalmic scribe:
- The role of the scribe is to assist the physician with documentation of the patient's medical record.
- The scribe accompanies the physician into the exam room to transcribe the history and examination as given by the patient and the physician.
- The scribe, under the direction of the physician, transcribes the impression and plan, results of tests, prescriptions, and orders.
- The scribe documents any procedures that may be performed by the physician or ophthalmic medical personnel.
- The scribe transcribes any consultations or discussions with family members.
- The scribe does not usually directly assist with patient care, but may do so as directed by the physician.
If you can make your doctor, clinic, or practice more income, then you are (likely) going to make more income. That is the salary bottom line. How can you personally make this happen? By increasing the efficiency of your work environment.
How to increase efficiency
In the 1947 Christmas movie “Miracle on 34th” Street” one of the subplots is the competition between two New York city department store giants, Macy’s and Gimbel’s.
Is school for you, or should you go with on-the-job-training. Explore your options.
Below are listed schools in the U.S. and Canada, ophthalmic assistant training programs, ophthalmic technician training programs, and ophthalmic technologist training programs.
Not certified yet, or need to move up? Time to invest in you. Use our step-by-step certification planner.
This planner assumes that you are moving through the levels of certfication via the on-the-job training route.
To get started, click on the situation that appies to you:
ATPO has the results of their 2019 salary survey for ophthalmic assistants, technicians, and technologists.
What is an average salary for an ophthalmic assistant?
According to a 2019 salary survey by the Association of Technical Personnel in Ophthalmology, the average salary for certified ophthalmic medical assistant respondents to the survey was about $47K per year, which breaks down to about $22.50 per hour. We must take into account the experience and job tenure of the average respondent to the survey. The respondents to the 2019 survey on average had worked in the field for 10 years. Also, the response rate to the survey was low. There are around 26K certified personnel worldwide and the survey had 664 respondents, which is about a 2% response rate. The vast majority of respondents were paid per hour. Those few who responded that they were paid on a fixed "salary" basis made significantly more money, probably reflecting that they were in supervisory roles, but this was not indicated.
Ophthalmic Assistant 12 Week Course for New Hires
This is a great way to begin training new employees. This is a complete plan that will make your trainer's job much easier.
How do you pass that certified ophthalmic techncian (COT) skill exam?
Yahoo!! You passed the certified ophthalmic technician written exam! Whoops, that was a premature celebration. Now you have to pass the COT skill exam, the most feared part of the examination process. The seven skills tested are lensometry, visual fields, motility, keratometry, retinoscopy, refinement, and tonometry. You are tested via a crudely designed video game. JCAHPO does you a favor by selling you (optional) interactive training sessions for each skill at $45 each (total $315) on their website. But, there is a cost effective alternative.