Ophthalmology clinic

  1. I'm a 2nd year RN student and I've been fortunate enough to get a job at an Ophthalmology clinic as an MA which I start next week. The job involves patient histories, automated eye tests and patient education.

    Just wondering if anyone works in a similar type of environment. When I shadowed for the job there was a lot going on I'm familiar with the snellen eye chart but there were 6 other machines that I have no idea about.

    I'll probably learn on the job but looking for any advice or information since I don't want to walk in there knowing absolutely nothing..

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    About Novo

    Joined: May '10; Posts: 248; Likes: 268


  3. by   cdsavannah59
    I worked as a Ophthalmology Tech for many years. When I was a new assistant The doctor I worked for liked to teach me about eye conditions. He uses what's called a slit lamp to view the inside of eyes, several time as he was examining the patient, he would have me look into the slit lamp and have me describe what I saw or told me what to look for as i viewed the inside of the human eye.Totally amazing doctor as he loved to teach his assistants. Your supervisor will teach you how to use all the equipment as you must be able to operate them all. The age population for those seeing a ophthalmologist is large part older people because of vision decrease etc. At first it was hard to get used to working with the elderly for many reasons, ambulation issues, hard of hearing, patients talking excessively slows down techs time slot for testing, etc and I promise you every day you will have one elderly patient tell you "Honey you don't want to get old" LOL. If you can get past the first few weeks of working with patients that tend to slow you down when trying to work at pace to keep up with doctors needs then you will absolutely love your job, Working with people with vision problems taught me things that truly were touching emotionally. Their joy of seeing better or their sorrow of losing their sight taught me that one of the greatest gifts we are given is the gift of SIGHT. You will love this job. Gook luck and when you graduate as a RN maybe you will choose a specialty like Opthalmology RN.
  4. by   Novo
    Hey thanks for so much for responding!

    When I was shadowing there I found myself holding some of the patients canes/walkers so I can see how ambulation would be an issue, same thing with hearing, the assistant had to repeat the same thing a few times.

    I'm a very patient person though but I suppose the trick is to be patient and efficient? I also love working with the elderly I find them so down to earth so I think I'll really enjoy this job too!

    My first day is on thursday but could you tell me the names of the machines that they use ( I could even look them up myself)? I'm really interested in learning more before I go in.

    There was this one machine that blew air into the eye?
    Another machine had a screen where you were suppose to match up colours (yellow/green).
    Also when I was shadowing the snellen eye exam, the person was saying "50% = pass" How do you conduct this exam?

    I really want to learn all of this! Is there a book I can buy or a website I can visit?

    Thanks again btw
  5. by   cdsavannah59
    Novo. The air puff test is a slang term for non contact tonometry . It measures the intraocular pressure of the eyes (IOP) to check for signs of glaucoma. Other methods your office may use to check for eye pressure are tonometry, or applanation. these two instruments touch the eye to obtain eye pressure. I am used to using the ton pen where I worked we didn't use the air puff test. As far as the 50 percent pass test on the snellen chart I'm unsure if they were doing testing for driving license , etc , but learning how to work with the snellen chart will be easy., Here is a list some of the machines, our office had , that you may also need to operate at your office. Visual field machine, retina camera, auto refractor, lensometer, AScan and seversl other types. Their are many types of instruments /machines used in ophthalmology. These machines are quite expensive for a private practice so each office varies on how high tech their machines are or how many they have for testing. Good luck sounds like you will be a great assistant.