Orthoptist

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    Orthoptists diagnose and treat the vision problems and eye abnormalities of patients of all ages, checking for evidence and symptoms of disease, injury or visual defects.

    You can work with patients who have suffered:

    • brain injury
    • binocular vision
    • diabetes
    • double vision (diplopia)
    • glaucoma
    • low vision
    • stroke.

     

    Employers of orthoptists

    • Hospital ophthalmic departments
    • University departments
    • Private practices

     

    Duties

    • gaining case histories from patients
    • observing and checking patients’ vision
    • making use of specialist equipment
    • referring patients to doctors for specialist treatment or surgery
    • treating vision problems with devices such as patches or specialist glasses
    • diagnosing sight problems and producing treatment plans
    • liaising with nursing and medical staff
    • keeping up to date with new techniques and developments
    • providing information to patients about diagnoses and required treatment
    • offering advice about lighting and magnification strategies for patients with low vision
    • running specialist clinics for issues such as glaucoma, strokes and low vision

     

    Qualifications

    To qualify as an orthoptist you will need an honours degree in orthoptics. Any relevant paid or voluntary work gained within a caring environment is helpful, as is experience of vision clinics.

     

    Skills

    • communication and interpersonal skills to relate to both children and adults
    • the ability to develop a good rapport with colleagues at all levels
    • organizational skills
    • the ability to empathize and communicate efficiently and tactfully with patients
    • the ability to work alone and in a team
    • patience
    • self-motivation
    • flexibility and adaptability
    • good observational skills and attention to detail
    • the ability to work on your own initiative
    • general IT skills.

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