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A Clear Vision for Employment
PHILADELPHIA, PA., Jan. 6, 2017 –Community College of Philadelphia and Salus University have partnered to bring an innovative Ophthalmic Technician Proficiency Certificate Program to Philadelphia. The program is set to launch Jan. 17 at the College’s Northwest Regional Center, complete with a new lab for hands-on training, and is expected to provide family-sustaining jobs for people in the neighborhood.
“Our first class is comprised of local people and we anticipate that they will obtain jobs in eye care in the Philadelphia area,” said Dr. Scott Goldberg, the program’s new director.
eight students. Ultimately, the program’s first cohort will be comprised of up to 16 students will be accepted into the two-semester, full-time program that includes two clinical internships.
“This program puts the College in a unique position to advance ophthalmic workforce initiatives, and foster access to more health-related fields in traditionally underserved communities,” Community College of Philadelphia President Donald Guy Generals said.
The latest U.S. Census data show Pennsylvania’s population is aging faster than the rest of the country. Already, 16 percent of Pennsylvanians are seniors, the fourth-highest percentage nationally. And with age comes the potential for debilitating eye diseases.
“This collaboration embraces both Salus University’s and Community College of Philadelphia’s joint commitment to serving a diverse student population while also developing a curriculum for a rewarding career that has great potential opportunities,” said Dr. Michael H. Mittelman, President of Salus University. “Not only will both institutions benefit from the program, but it benefits the City of Philadelphia since we can now offer a local ophthalmic technician program to residents.”
Ophthalmic technicians work under the supervision of an optometrist or ophthalmologist, and perform a variety of eye and vision-related clinical functions. They record patient histories, perform the pre-testing of comprehensive and follow-up eye and vision examinations, conduct various diagnostic eye and vision care procedures, provide patient education, and perform various clinical practice administrative duties.
The median annual ophthalmic technician salary in Philadelphia is $44,820 as of Dec. 28, 2016, with salaries usually ranging between $37,916 and $49,589 according to salary.com. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted that job growth for medical assistants, including eye care support professionals such as ophthalmic medical assistants and optometric assistants, will rise 29% from 2012 through 2022.
Upon graduation, ophthalmic technicians may work in optometry practices, ophthalmology practices or healthcare clinical facilities; optical dispensaries; optical laboratories; healthcare and optical equipment businesses; lens, frame or contact lens companies; and pharmaceutical companies.
“It’s a one-year course, so our students are going to be job-ready as soon as they complete the program,” Dr. Goldberg said. “They should immediately be able to enter into the eye care field, whether it’s optometry, ophthalmology, a lab, or a clinic.”
To learn more, visit the Ophthalmic Technician Proficiency Certificate Program.
Community College of Philadelphia is the largest public institution of higher education in Philadelphia and the sixth largest in Pennsylvania. The College enrolls approximately 34,000 students annually and offers day, evening, and weekend classes, as well as classes online. Visit the College at www.ccp.edu. Follow us on Twitter. Like us on Facebook.
Salus University, founded as the Pennsylvania College of Optometry in 1919, today is a diversified, globally recognized professional academic center of learning that offers a wide range of degree programs in the professions of Optometry, Audiology, Physician Assistant, Public Health, Education and Rehabilitation for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Biomedicine, Occupational Therapy and Speech-Language Pathology. Salus operates four clinical facilities in the Philadelphia area that provide highly specialized vision, hearing and balance, and speech-language pathology services. The University has more than 1,200 students, including PhD candidates, and more than 14,300 alumni worldwide. For more information, please visit www.salus.edu.