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Orthoptist

Job Zone

Education
Most of these occupations require post-graduate qualifications. For example, they may require a masters degree, and some require a Ph.D., or M.D.

Related Experience
Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialised medical training to be able to do their job.

Job Training
Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organisational skills are required. Examples include librarians, lawyers, aerospace engineers, wildlife biologists, school psychologists, surgeons, treasurers, and most scientists.

€35k > 55 
Orthoptist
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€35 - 55 
Related Information:
Data Source(s):
FAS

Last Updated: March, 2011

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
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At a Glance... header image

Diagnoses and treats difficulties with human eye movement.


The Work header image

Orthoptists diagnose and treat visual impairments (such as squints and double vision) and abnormal eye movements. The earlier such defects are detected the better the chances of remedying them completely.  
 
Approximately 5% of children have visual problems that require investigation and treatment by an Orthoptist. Visual development can be assessed from birth and abnormalities are often diagnosed early. Detailed assessment of the patient's signs and symptoms, measurements of vision, eye position and eye movement is essential to decide upon appropriate treatment plans.  
 
Patients (adults and children) may present with visual symptoms that are a result of general pathology. Most of these patients will have an abnormality of movement of one or both eyes and testing by the orthoptist will help diagnose the condition.  
 
Diagnosis is made by charting eye movements through observation or with the aid of instruments. Some of the equipment used by orthoptists is highly complex and computerised. Orthoptists must also be aware of medical conditions, such as brain tumours, that may give rise to visual problems.  
 
Treatment by the orthoptist may include 'patching' one eye to encourage the other to function properly, devising exercises to assist the development of binocular vision or recommending a surgical operation.  
 
Orthoptists are also involved in the assessment for glasses and in the assessment of patients with glaucoma and cataracts.  
 
If surgery is recommended, the orthoptist works closely with the ophthalmologist, or specialist eye doctor, providing the necessary details to carry out the operation successfully. After surgery, the orthoptist continues to monitor the patient's progress. 


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation

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Examine patients with problems related to ocular motility, binocular vision, amblyopia, or strabismus.

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Evaluate, diagnose, or treat disorders of the visual system with an emphasis on binocular vision or abnormal eye movements.

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Perform diagnostic tests or measurements such as motor testing, visual acuity testing, lensometry, retinoscopy, and color vision testing.

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Develop non-surgical treatment plans for patients with conditions such as strabismus, nystagmus, and other visual disorders.

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Provide instructions to patients or family members concerning diagnoses or treatment plans.

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Provide non-surgical interventions, including corrective lenses, patches, drops, fusion exercises, or stereograms, to treat conditions such as strabismus, heterophoria, and convergence insufficiency.

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Develop or use special test and communication techniques to facilitate diagnosis and treatment of children or disabled patients.

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Interpret clinical or diagnostic test results.

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Refer patients to ophthalmic surgeons or other physicians.

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Provide training related to clinical methods or orthoptics to students, resident physicians, or other health professionals.

Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.

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Reading Comprehension:   Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

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Science:   Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

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Active Listening:   Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

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Speaking:   Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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Critical Thinking:   Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

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Active Learning:   Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

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Service Orientation:   Actively looking for ways to help people.

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Instructing:   Teaching others how to do something.

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Social Perceptiveness:   Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

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Monitoring:   Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported Work Activities in this occupation.

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Getting Information:  Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

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Assisting and Caring for Others:  Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.

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Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events:  Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

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Making Decisions and Solving Problems:  Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

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Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge:  Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

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Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships:  Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

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Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates:  Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

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Performing for or Working Directly with the Public:  Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

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Documenting/Recording Information:  Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

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Training and Teaching Others:  Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.


Personal Qualitiesheader image

In order to treat all your patients effectively, you must have good communication skills and have the ability to relate well to young children and their parents. The work requires understanding, tact, honesty and the ability to inspire confidence.  
 
You need to be good at persuading people, as parents may have difficulty accepting that their child needs glasses. The children themselves may also be reluctant to wear glasses.  
 
Other important skills are the ability to make accurate measurements, to pay attention to detail, and to analyse problems and find solutions - often to several problems at once.  
 
You will have to keep accurate records on each patient and prepare reports for the ophthalmologist. You will also have to write letters to general practitioners (GPs), patients and opticians. It is important to be methodical and self-disciplined.


Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site

Go..   Orthoptist - from:  N.C.S. [UK]
Go..   Orthoptist - from:  YouTube Video

Contactsheader image

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Organisation:  UCAS 
  Address:  Rosehill, New Barn Lane, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL52 3LZ 
  Tel:  +44 (0)870 1122211 
  Email:  enquiries@ucas.ac.uk 
  Url  www.ucas.ac.uk 
   

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Organisation:  British and Irish Orthoptic Society 
  Address:  Tavistock House North, Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9HX 
  Tel:  +44 (0)20 7387 7992 
  Email:  bios@orthoptics.org.uk 
  Url  www.orthoptics.org.uk 
   


Job Search


Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following career interests...

Investigative  Social  Realist 

...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Medical & Healthcare

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