The mission of CAO member optometrists is to enhance the quality, availability & accessibility of vision-related health care; promote independent & ethical decision-making; and practice to the highest standards of patient care.
Optometric Assistants (OA’s) assist the optometrist in the delivery of eye health care services. In a typical optometric setting, an OA will see a vast array of patients from all walks of life; infants, children, men, women, seniors, able-bodied and disabled. The OA must be able to respond effectively to each patient’s needs, and to deliver care in a professional, efficient manner. The OA will have exceptional interpersonal, communication and time management skills.
While working under the supervision of a licensed optometrist, an OA has a vast array of responsibilities that may include the following:
- Office administration and patient reception
- Scheduling appointments and referrals
- Patient instruction for contact lens insertion, removal and hygiene
- Conducting preliminary vision tests prior to the eye health examination
- Neutralization, repair, and adjustment of eyeglasses
- Assisting with orthoptics and other vision therapies for children and adults
- Assist the optometrist with examination procedures
- Train Low Vision patients for devices and appliances
- Manage effective recall systems
- Provide patients with ophthalmic frame and lens recommendations
- Communicate with vendors
- Maintain proper records and ensure patient privacy
Optometric Assistant Course
An investment in staff training translates to a higher level of care for patients as well as increased skills confidence, retention, and job satisfaction for the optometric assistant.
There are two educational streams offered through the Optometric Assistant Course:
Individual Module (register at any time): Choose from one of the 4 Modules, 6-10 weeks duration each. Successful registrants receive a certificate of completion.
Full Course (Sept-June annually): Includes all 4 Modules, 3-day Workshop, and Final Examination. Successful registrants obtain certification CCOA (Canadian Certified Optometric Assistant). Annual registration begins late August.
The duties of an optometric assistant are very diverse and require a high-level skill set in many areas. The focus of the Full Course is to provide in-depth training in the key areas of an optometric setting, whereas Individual Modules target specific topics. Visit Module Synopsis and Course Overview for information.