Become an Optical Assistant
you think you'd like to become an optical assistant, this is the course for
you! We'll take a comprehensive look into the diverse world of optical
assisting—a world that's becoming more exciting all the time. You'll see why
optometry is such an interesting field and how rewarding it can be to help
people solve their vision problems.
You'll be amazed to learn all the different places optical assistants can work. We'll cover optical assisting in private practice, healthcare clinics, the military, teaching facilities, and in retail sales. You'll discover the personal and professional skills needed to work in a front and back office and in an optical dispensary and lab.
You'll find out how fun it is to help others select the right eyeglass frames—getting familiar with all the things optical assistants must know about frames, styles, lenses, contact lenses, and working with people. You'll also discover how our amazing eyes work and come to understand some common eye conditions. In addition, we'll delve into specialty areas that optical assistants can work in such as refractive surgery centers, low vision clinics, and vision training practices. And finally, we'll cover how to become certified and licensed, which will open up even more opportunities for you and identify you as an expert.
This course is an ideal springboard for starting a career in this growing and ever-in-demand field!
To enroll in this course, click the Enroll Now button below:
Internet access; e-mail; and the Microsoft Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox Web browser.
All courses run for six weeks, with a two-week grace period at the end.
Two lessons are released each week for the six-week duration of the course.
You do not have to be present when the lesson is released, but you must
complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.
A new section of each course starts on the second or third Wednesday of each month. If enrolling in a series of two or more courses, please be sure to space the start date for each course at least two months apart.
|Wednesday - Lesson 01|
|In this first lesson, you'll get an overview of
the world of optical assisting. You'll find out how you can land a
great job even if you don't have experience. You'll discover the
wide range of opportunities this field offers—from retail sales to
assisting in a health care setting. We'll talk about how a career as
an optical assistant can lead you to own your own business, get a
high-paying job as a manager, or teach at a college or university.
By the end of the lesson, you'll have a sense of whether this fun
and in-demand career is right for you!
|Friday - Lesson 02|
|Optical assisting is all about vision, and today
we'll begin our in-depth exploration of the profession at the
logical starting point: the eye. How does this remarkable little
biological machine help create a vivid, constantly-moving picture of
the world around you? We'll take a tour of the parts of the eye, and
you'll find out how they work together to create the miracle of
vision. The basic eye anatomy you'll master in this lesson will give
you a big head start on the path to becoming an optical assistant.
|Wednesday - Lesson 03|
|The eyes are amazing, but they don't always work
perfectly—and that's why optical professionals are always in demand.
In this lesson, you'll learn about the focusing problems that cause
millions of people to need glasses, contact lenses, vision therapy,
or low vision aids. In addition, we'll talk about common eye
disorders (everything from cataracts to sties), and you'll discover
how medical conditions like diabetes and allergies can affect the
eyes. I'll also share several of the important tips we give patients
for protecting their eyes—tips that can protect your eyesight
|Friday - Lesson 04|
|Did you ever wonder how a person who's
color-blind sees the world? Today you'll find out—and learn why
there's more than one type of color-blindness. In addition, you'll
discover what "lazy eye" is, and how it's treated. We'll also
explore what it means to be legally blind (and why many people who
think they're legally blind really aren't!).
|Wednesday - Lesson 05|
|In this lesson, we look at front office optical
assisting—a wonderful career opportunity if you're a "people" person
and a multi-tasker. We'll start by talking about the front office
assistant's key role as a goodwill ambassador for a medical practice
or business. Next, we'll discuss triage, a skill that's crucial to
good patient care. Finally, we'll explore the ins and outs of
scheduling patients efficiently in order to keep an office running
smoothly and happily. With this new knowledge, you'll be ready to
make a good impression if you step into a front office job.
|Friday - Lesson 06|
|If you love helping people and you're good at
mastering new technology, back office assisting can be a great job
for you. Today you'll get the scoop on a very important back office
skill: taking a patient's medical history. We'll also talk about
pre-testing, and you'll learn about some of the tests used to gather
preliminary vision data about patients. In addition, we'll take a
peek at two specialty areas in back office assisting: contact lens
fitting and surgical assisting. You'll find this lesson particularly
interesting if you're seeking a medical career that involves lots of
action and hands-on patient care.
|Wednesday - Lesson 07|
|In this lesson, you'll gain the power to
understand a new language: the language of optical prescriptions!
You'll learn how those numbers and symbols on an eye doctor's
prescription translate into just the right lenses for a patient
who's farsighted, nearsighted, or astigmatic. In addition, you'll
find out the differences between soft and rigid contact lens
prescriptions, and learn how to read each one. We'll also explore
the job of a bench optician—the all-important person who turns a
doctor's prescription into the perfect eyewear to suit a patient's
|Friday - Lesson 08|
|Did your last pair of sunglasses make you look
like a movie star or like a bug? Do your family members' glasses
flatter their faces or emphasize their facial flaws? Picking frame
styles that make people look attractive and feel confident takes
skill, and it's one of the favorite jobs of most optical assistants.
Today you'll learn the insider secrets of eyeglass styling—and as a
result, you'll know how to pick great glasses for a customer or
patient . . . or for yourself!
|Wednesday - Lesson 09|
|These days, contact lenses don't just correct
vision problems but often make a fashion statement as well. They
allow you to do things like change your eye color from green to
brown or even create "tiger eyes" for a costume party! In this
lesson, we'll discuss how contact lenses help correct vision, and
we'll cover the fun subject of contact lens fads and fashions. In
addition, you'll find out how optical assistants fit contact lenses
so they're just right for each person's eyes and how they educate
patients about using their lenses correctly.
|Friday - Lesson 10|
|Great customer service keeps people coming back
to a business time after time. Today we'll look at the best ways to
make people feel welcome, respected, and well treated at every step
of their visit to a doctor's office or retail optical store. You'll
also get great tips for smoothing the waters if problems
arise—something that can happen even in the best of businesses. In
addition, you'll learn how to tailor your customer service to
people's individual needs so every visitor feels like a VIP. What we
cover won't just help you be a better optical assistant—it will help
you shine in any situation where "people skills" are key.
|Wednesday - Lesson 11|
|Optical assisting offers you many different
settings and specialties to choose from, and in this lesson, we'll
look at three of the most interesting specialties. First, you'll
learn about low vision clinics, where optical assistants help people
with limited eyesight regain the ability to enjoy many of their
favorite activities including cooking and reading (and often even
driving!). Next, we'll talk about vision therapy, a great choice if
you love working with children. And finally, we'll talk about the
booming field of refractive surgery, in which optical assistants
play a key role.
|Friday - Lesson 12|
|If you're entering optical assisting with your
eye on career advancement (no pun intended!), then you should
consider becoming certified. Certification puts you in line for
promotions and management positions. In addition, certification can
be the first step to teaching at a college or university, or even
running your own business. Today we'll look at the different types
of certification you can achieve in the optical assisting field.
We'll cover how to prepare for a certification test and the kinds of
questions you can expect if you take one. With that information in
hand, you'll be prepared to decide if certification is the right
route for you.
To enroll in this course, click the Enroll Now button below:
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