Orthoptists

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ABOUT ORTHOPTIST CAREERS
Video transcript

Orthoptists diagnose and treat problems of the eye, especially those related to eye movement and how the eyes work together to focus, known as binocularity. Patients of any age may come to see an orthoptist, but most of their patients are children due to the developmental nature of many binocular disorders. Orthoptists perform diagnostic tests and measurements of color vision, visual acuity, and the pace of motor development related to vision development. After interpreting test results, orthoptists may refer patients to ophthalmic surgeons and other physicians or they may perform nonsurgical interventions such as corrective lenses, patches, drops, exercises, and more. The majority of orthoptists work full time. They practice in hospitals, clinics, private offices, and medical facilities attached to universities as well as visiting schools to administer testing. Some orthoptists teach or conduct clinical research. Orthoptists must complete a 2-year training fellowship after earning a bachelor's degree, usually with a science or health care major. Typically, orthoptist students evaluate at least 1500 patients as part of their clinical studies. After completing training, they must pass a certifying examination given by the American Association of Certified Orthoptists.

SNAPSHOT
Diagnose and treat visual system disorders such as binocular vision and eye movement impairments.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
LOW
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
LOW
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
Daily tasks

Perform vision screening of children in schools or community health centers.

Participate in clinical research projects.

Prepare diagnostic or treatment reports for other medical practitioners or therapists.

Collaborate with ophthalmologists, optometrists, or other specialists in the diagnosis, treatment, or management of conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts, and retinal diseases.

Provide training related to clinical methods or orthoptics to students, resident physicians, or other health professionals.

Assist ophthalmologists in diagnostic ophthalmic procedures, such as ultrasonography, fundus photography, and tonometry.

Refer patients to ophthalmic surgeons or other physicians.

Develop nonsurgical treatment plans for patients with conditions such as strabismus, nystagmus, and other visual disorders.

Interpret clinical or diagnostic test results.

Perform diagnostic tests or measurements, such as motor testing, visual acuity testing, lensometry, retinoscopy, and color vision testing.

Provide instructions to patients or family members concerning diagnoses or treatment plans.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Assisting and Caring for Others Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Medicine and Dentistry Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Education and Training Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Psychology Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
Biology Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
Therapy and Counseling Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
TOP SKILLS
Science Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Social Perceptiveness Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.