Sunday, December 27, 2009


Ophthalmic Assistant : draft prepared by Bharath Mistry Gujarat, former President NOA and one of the active founders of NOA

Aims and objectives

The ophthalmic assistant is a professional ophthalmic health associate, who has been given two full years’ training in ophthalmic sciences and related health sciences. The aim of this training is to produce compassionate ophthalmic human resources that can play an important role in the eye care delivery system within the hospital and in the community. The objectives are to:

1.provide efficient human resources to decisive support ophthalmologists in providing eye care services at the secondary/ tertiary levels of the eye care delivery system;
2.provide appropriately trained human resources to deliver primary eye care services independently at Primary Eye Care Centers with specific autonomy;
3.provide appropriately trained human resources to supervise primary eye care personnel at health post level and community levels;
4.provide technical and managerial support at all levels of the health institute; and
5.plan and carry out community eye care programmes.

Brief job descriptions

A trained ophthalmic assistant would be able to perform the following jobs at different levels of eye care services throughout the country:

diagnose and initiate treatment/ appropriate management of all common eye problems, including refractive errors (blinding and potentially blinding conditions);

recognise and refer to an ophthalmologist those conditions that require more sophisticated care;

organise and conduct outreach activities such as screening camps, school health programmes, etc.;

impart primary eye health education on health promotion and prevention of preventable eye diseases;

select and prepare patients who require intra-ocular surgery;

assist the ophthalmologist in ophthalmic surgery;

carry out postoperative management of the eye patients after surgery;

perform eyelid and other specified minor extra-ocular operations;

perform practical procedures involved in examination, investigation and treatment of common eye problems;

manage an eye clinic along with keeping records and supplies;

supervise primary eye care personnel;

perform refraction and prescribe spectacles to patients;

perform a basic clinical Low Vision Assessment and prescribe necessary interventions;

ensure preventive maintenance and assured working condition of all types of instruments and
equipment used in eye care; and

perform patient counseling and service marketing in eye care.

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