Vanderbilt Eye Institute is in the process of seeking accreditation for an Ophthalmic Technician Program. View our brochure.

Ophthalmic Technicians are allied health care professionals that work alongside ophthalmologists to assist them with patient evaluations and with medical and surgical treatment of patients. They can work in private practice, medical centers, hospitals, and university clinics. Some of the duties they perform are:

  • Taking health histories
  • Testing vision
  • Performing refractions
  • Measuring eye pressure
  • Performing imaging & diagnostic exams
  • Educating patients

Program

The Ophthalmic Technician Program will combine classroom instruction with clinical rotations at all Vanderbilt Eye Institute locations. Courses will be taught by the Program Director, Medical Director, Faculty, and Certified Technicians. This 72-week program begins January 2021 with graduation June 2022. To become certified after completion of the program, graduates must pass a national written exam and computerized practical exam given by the International Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (IJCAHPO) at different locations in the US. The program must have a letter of approval from the accrediting body, International Council of Accreditation (ICA), before the first class of students graduate.

Curriculum

  • Ocular Anatomy
  • Medical Terminology
  • Pharmacology
  • History Taking
  • Visual Assessment
  • Ophthalmic Optics 
  • Refractometry
  • Pupillary Assessment
  • Ocular Motility
  • Tonometry
  • Ophthalmic Imaging
  • Diagnostic Testing
  • Ophthalmic Disorders
  • Lensometry and Spectacles
  • Contact lenses

Didactic Structure

  • Classroom lectures
  • Resident lectures on pertinent topics
  • Grand Rounds with faculty and residents
  • Clinical rotations
  • Study groups

Program requirements

Applicants are required to have:

  • U.S. citizenship, permanent resident status, or eligible to study in the US
  • Passing score on the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) allied health test

AND one of the following:

  • Associates Degree or higher
  • Graduate of an allied health program with high school diploma or equivalent (i.e. medical assistant, patient care technician, nursing assistant, etc.)
  • 2 years of work experience in a medical setting with a high school diploma or equivalent
  • 2 years as a member of HOSA – Future Health Professionals, a high school diploma or equivalent, and one of the following:
    • Clinical internship in a health science field
    • Industry certification in a health science field (i.e. medical assistant, patient care technician, nursing assistant, etc.)

Please note:
A passing score of 62% or better and a score of proficient in all areas on the TEAS-Allied Health Test is required for admission to the program.

You will register to take your TEAS-Allied Health Test at a national PSI testing center. There are locations across the country and fees are the responsibility of the applicant.

It is YOUR responsibility to request/order a TEAS Score Report be sent to Vanderbilt U Med Center AH, through the online store in your ATI Account. When asked where you would like your one free score report to be sent, select Vanderbilt U Med Center AH—this is extremely important as your transcript must be sent to the correct location for consideration.

Please contact us with any questions regarding eligibility.

Tuition and Fees

$7,500 for 18 months, not including, application fees, background check, uniforms, books, and additional enrollment fees. Program deposit will be credited to the tuition amount. Housing costs, transportation, parking, and living expenses are the responsibility of the student. (There is the possibility of tuition forgiveness for students that are eligible for employment at Vanderbilt Eye Institute upon graduation.)

Application

To apply, download the application and reference form, then mail the completed application packet and fee to:

Homise W. Johnson, COMT
Vanderbilt Eye Institute
2311 Pierce Avenue
Nashville, TN 37232

Non-refundable application fee is $50.00 (check/money order payable to Vanderbilt Eye Institute – DO NOT send cash). Application must be postmarked by October 31, 2020.

To learn more about the Ophthalmic Technician allied health care professionals please visit the following websites:

Program Contacts

Photograph of Homise Johnson

Program Director

Homise W. Johnson, COMT
Sr. Program Manager
Director, Technician Education
Vanderbilt Eye Institute
tel: (615) 936-0133
fax: (615) 936-1540 
homise.w.johnson@vumc.org

Photograph of Sylvia Groth

Medical Director

Sylvia Groth, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences