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Ophthalmic Technician/Medical Technologist

Ophthalmic Technicians/Medical Technologists (OMT) help ophthalmologists by performing routine eye examinations, technical tasks and assisting with surgical procedures of the eye.

As an independent practitioner/consultant, the OMT applies specialized knowledge to examine, assess, diagnose and prescribe treatments in accordance with current Ophthalmological techniques and practices and the objectives of the Stanton Territorial Health Authority (STHA) for the ocular conditions of the people of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut in order to prevent loss of vision and provide maximum vision for clients.

Common duties include:

  • Taking a patient's visual history
  • Testing vision, eye muscle balance and pressure in the eye
  • Estimating refractive errors for eye glasses
  • Maintaining ophthalmic instruments and equipment
  • Photography of the eye
  • Electroneurological procedures, such as visual field testing
  • Fitting and modification of contact lenses
  • Supervising other staff

Responsibilities of an OMT:

  1. Operating as an independent practitioner, the incumbent performs and records patients' ocular examinations in order to obtain necessary information and data for proper diagnoses and treatment.
  2. Provide consultation and expert advice in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions affecting the eye to family physicians, community health nurses, hospital staff, other health professionals and the general public.
  3. Assist the Ophthalmologist in the Operating Room.
  4. Assists with the Ophthalmic Medical Technologist Training Program (OMTTP).

Main Activities:

  • Obtaining a pertinent medical history, determining what tests are necessary for the patient and performing those tests (this involves direct patient contact). This may include invasive procedures, and the use of diagnostic pharmaceuticals.
  • Evaluating test results to make a diagnosis and developing an individualized treatment plan which may involve the use of pharmaceuticals.
  • Providing patients with information and education about their diagnosis and treatment.
  • The OMT will assess, plan, implement, document and evaluate care to ensure a treatment plan that best meets the needs of the patient.
  • Assist patients to achieve their optimum level of ocular health.
  • Makes decisions necessary to promote change and ultimate outcome of goal attainment.
  • Advocate the dignity and self-respect of patients.
  • Safeguard the trust of patients that information learned in the context of a professional relationship is shared outside the health care team only with the patient's permission or as legally required.
  • Apply and promote principles of equity and fairness to assist patients in receiving unbiased treatment and a share of health services and resources proportionate to their needs.
  • Act in a manner consistent with their professional code of ethics, responsibilities and standards of practice.
  • Accepting referrals of patients from physicians, community health nurses and patients for assessment, diagnosis, treatment and advice for follow-up care of patients.
  • Instructing community health nurses and doctors in ophthalmic technique.
  • Reporting urgent cases to the Regional Ophthalmologist for possible surgery or medivac.
  • Preparing patients for surgery by performing pre-op ultrasounds and other diagnostic examinations.
  • Acting as scrub nurse or surgical assistant and handling ophthalmic surgical equipment, and performing post-op exams.
  • Preparing and delivering lectures to the OMTTP students.
  • Acting as a preceptor to students when they are in the clinical area, both in Yellowknife and while providing service during outreach travel