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VEI launching new ophthalmic technician training program

Sep. 9, 2020, 4:05 PM

 

by Jessica Pasley

The Vanderbilt Eye Institute (VEI) is launching a new program for ophthalmic technicians, and recruitment for the first class is underway.

There is a shortage of ophthalmic technicians, who are allied health care professionals working alongside ophthalmologists to assist with patient evaluations and imaging exams as well as some medical and surgical treatments.

VEI’s inaugural program will join 34 others in the United States.

“Ophthalmic technicians are an important part of the eye care team and play an important role in patient care,” said Homise Johnson, senior program manager and director of Technician Education at VEI. “This program will help fulfill the growing demand for workers in this field.”

The first class, set to begin in January 2021 with an anticipated graduation in June 2022, will be small, with no more than two students enrolled. Future plans for the program call for the class size to more than double in the coming years, with an anticipated class size ranging from four to eight students, said Johnson.

The 72-week program will combine classroom instruction as well as hands-on experience with clinical rotations at all VEI locations.

According to Johnson, the field is growing at a very fast pace.

The projected growth rate nationally over the next 10 years is 17%, and within Tennessee, there is a 22% projected growth rate.

The deadline for applications is Oct. 31.

Those interested can go to the program website at https://www.vumc.org/ophthalmology/ophthalmictechprogram for additional information about enrollment requirements as well as for ophthalmic technician job duties.

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