Top Qualities To Look For In An Ophthalmic Tech

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Publisher’s Note: We’re pleased to post this article by an expert guest blogger, Jane T. Shuman, MSM, COT, COE OCS, CMSS, OSC. Please be sure to read more about Jane in her bio below. We know this post will help both employers and jobseekers to get an idea about top qualities that are important for success in Ophthalmology. Read on for more information.

The Ideal Technician

I am often asked what qualities to look for when hiring an ophthalmic technician. Because experienced technicians are at a premium, many employers hire techs with a verifiable work history.  They think that whatever made them leave their former job(s) will be different at this practice.  And that often is the case….for 90 days.

When hiring experienced technicians, I recommend having the candidate perform a work up on a coworker.  This sets the stage to know how well they actually perform, and identifies any areas that need improvement.  And, if they claim to be certified, call JCAHPO.

It is becoming increasingly more common to hire someone with an interest in the job and train them onsite.  Whether the candidate has been in the field for years, or is just beginning, there are several traits to hope for:

  • Personality, but not too much. S/He should seem genuinely interested in what you have to say without sharing a lot about her/his own life.

  • Team player. Does s/he discuss her current work (or school) situation as “I” or “we.” Keep in mind there is no I in TEAM.

  • Self starter. Will s/he look for something to do during “down time?

  • Accountability. Can s/he can admit to having made mistakes, and learn from them?

  • Intellectually inquisitive. I would want her/him to question what h/she is looking for, what an abnormal finding might indicate and what the OCT test showed.

  • In addition, the ideal candidate will be literate, articulate, detailed oriented and flexible because no day in most eye care practices ever go according to plan. Perhaps one of the key traits to look for is that the candidate makes eye contact with everyone s/he meets. After all, we are in the eye business!

Jane T. Shuman, MSM, COT, COE OCS, CMSS, OSC is a nationally recognized authority on technician training, clinical flow and patient schedules.  Currently, the president of Eyetechs, she has spent over twenty five years in ophthalmology and has trained many technicians that are now certified leaders in their field.  She is Coeditor-in-Chief of Ophthalmic Professional and Director of the Allied Health Track of the Hawaiian Eye Meeting.  Jane also serves on the National  Board of Certified Ophthalmic Executives.  Jane can be reached at

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