ODD_SMALL-4You love to help others and enjoy hands-on work. You would like to work in a medical-related field, but without the time and financial commitments in completing a full degree program? Middlesex Community College has an affordable and flexible solution to meet your needs. Get started with a Certificate in Ophthalmic Medical Assisting (OMA) from Middlesex Community College today! This one semester long certificate program prepares students for future work as ophthalmic or optometric assistants working to help others, assisting ophthalmologists or optometrists to provide eyecare to the public.

Certificate in Ophthalmic Medical Assisting

This program is designed for individuals who are interested in becoming ophthalmic or optometric assistants. Students completing the MxCC Ophthalmic Medical Assisting Certificate will be required to complete 500 hours of clinical training in an ophthalmology practice, or approximately 3 months of fulltime employment to qualify for the administration of the Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA) National Certification credential offered by the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (JCAHPO).  (Note: At this time, approval to sit for the Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA) exam based upon completion of the MxCC Ophthalmic Medical Assisting Certificate is contingent upon receiving program accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Ophthalmic Medical (CoA-OMP) Programs. MxCC has developed the new Ophthalmic Medical Assisting Certificate based on the specified essential requirements of CoA-OMP, and thus we anticipate a favorable review by the Commission.)

Successful completion of this program will be prepare our students for employment as an ophthalmic or optometric assistant and will assist the student in preparing for National Certification as a Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA). The courses will utilize the text, Ophthalmic Medical Assisting, An Independent Study Source (5th Edition), published by the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) and recommended by the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (JCAHPO) for preparation for the Certified Ophthalmic Assistant examination.

Students will be provided with all of the information they need to register for and take the certification exam once they have completed the coursework and clinical hours requirement. The College will offer assistance in placing students in employment in ophthalmology or optometry practices in the state or region. Enrollment in the program is restricted because of limited lab facilities, and early application is encouraged. Only completed applications with all required documents will be considered. Students are admitted in either the fall or spring semester. Students must take the placement test and place into ENG*101 Composition or ENG*101E or show evidence of successful completion of an equivalent level of English course(s) to be eligible for this program. Official transcripts are required for transfer credit and students will be required to show evidence of High School completion and documentation of childhood inoculations.

Academic Requirements

ThScan-39is course is designed to provide students with the skills and knowledge necessary to perform the role of an ophthalmic assistant in an ophthalmological or optometric (eye care) practice. It is open to employees of an ophthalmological or optometric office as well as students that are not currently working in the field that are interested in entering the profession.

Learn how to perform preliminary mechanical and technical procedures that assist in diagnosis and treatment of visual errors, eye diseases and disorders. Course material is covered primarily in online presentations, but includes 12 on-campus clinical segments on Saturdays (plus final exams on December 13, 2014) during the fall term.

You will learn about eye anatomy and physiology, ocular pathology, optics, ophthalmic triage, the use of lenses and contact lenses to correct vision, the elements of a comprehensive eye exam, measurement of intraocular pressure, subjective and objective refraction, visual field measurement, medical ethics and HIPAA regulations, ophthalmic instruments and their care, infection control, lensometry, medical ethics, patient practice management, and ophthalmic surgical assisting. Students will be required to take the all of the Ophthalmic Medical Assisting (OMA-designated) courses simultaneously.

Course Requirements

First Semester
OMA*101 Introduction to Ophthalmic Medical Assisting3
OMA*102Ocular Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology3
OMA*103 Ophthalmic Clinical Skills and Procedures4
OMA*104 Healthcare Policies and Procedures3
CSC*101 Introduction to Computers 3
Total Credits: 16

All OMA courses must be taken concurrently. CSC 101 may be taken before, during or after the OMA course semester. Students will earn the OMA Certificate upon successful completion or all courses in the program.

Jobs You Can Get With An OMA Certificate

With an Ophthalmic Medical Assisting Certificate from MxCC, a student can get work in a corporate optical business, private Optometrist’s office, or an Ophthalmologist’s office.

How Long Will You Have To Go To School?

Courses required by the Ophthalmic Medical Assisting (OMA) program can be completed in one semester. The core of the curriculum is four OMA courses that are offered concurrently in hybrid format – the online portion of the class takes place during the week at the student’s convenience while the on-ground portion takes place Saturdays at the Middletown campus, and in some cases a nearby Ophthalmology practice, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Certificate requires one additional course – CSC*101 (Introduction to Computers) which can be taken before, during or after the semester. Students will be provided with all of the information they need to register for and take the certification exam once they have completed the coursework and a substantial part of the 500 hours of clinical training. The College will offer assistance in placing students in employment in ophthalmology or optometry offices in the state or region.

Jobs Availability and Growth

Spurred by the demographic of the baby boomers and the elderly, an increasing demand for eye exams, eyewear and contact lenses should provide opportunities for ophthalmic medical assistants through the next decade. It is likely that more demand will be created for corrective lenses as regular vision care is required to be a part of all healthcare plans by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). As ophthalmic and contact technology continues to develop, the demand for the services of ophthalmic medical assistants is expected to increase. Students that complete the COA certification credential may choose to pursue a higher level of certification as a Certified Ophthalmic Technician (COT) or Certified Ophthalmic Medical Technologist (COMT) after completing additional on-the-job training or formal education and written and practical examinations.

For more information about the Ophthalmic Medical Assisting program, contact:

Raymond Dennis

Professor, Coordinator of Ophthalmic Design and Dispensing
Phone: 860-343-5845
Email: rdennis@mxcc.edu
Office Location: Chapman 625
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