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Orthoptist

Year 12 Preferred University Course Subject Prerequisites Police Check First Aid Working With Children check

Orthoptists detect, diagnose and treat disorders of the eye and associated eye movement and vision problems.

Orthoptists often work with ophthalmologists, medical practitioners and other allied health professionals.

TASKS

    Orthoptists may perform the following tasks:

  • measure and assess vision and prescribe glasses when appropriate
  • investigate, monitor and assist with treating eye disorders such as glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic eye disease and age-related macular degeneration
  • measure and select intraocular (within the eye) lenses for cataract surgery
  • detect and manage eye movement disorders, such as strabismus (turned eye) and amblyopia (lazy eye), and their sensory consequences
  • conduct specialised diagnostic and imaging techniques, such as ultrasonography and topography, to determine the effects and progression of eye disease
  • assess and provide management strategies for people with neurological disorders
  • devise strategies for rehabilitating impaired vision and design therapy programmes to maximise an individual's remaining vision
  • provide reports on the existence of eye defects to practitioners, therapists and relevant authorities, such as transport authorities
  • provide educational information to patients, families and members of the community about eye conditions and their effects
  • assist the community by providing vision screening tests and promoting preventative eye health care

PERSONAL REQUIREMENTS

  • interested in people's health needs
  • enjoy health sciences
  • good communication skills

Interest Area

Medical Helping/Community Service Influencing/Personal Contact

SPECIALISATIONS

Orthoptists may specialise in:

  • ophthalmic eye care, which involves treatment of general eye diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic eye disease and age-related macular degeneration
  • neuro-ophthalmology, which involves the treatment of neurologically based eye disorders caused by stroke and head injury
  • eye movement disorders and paediatric eye care, which involves the treatment of conditions such as strabismus, amblyopia and double vision
  • vision rehabilitation, which involves maximising remaining sight in people with low vision using rehabilitation strategies and magnification aids
  • education or research.
  • EDUCATION & TRAINING


    Year 12 Preferred University Course Subject Prerequisites Police Check First Aid Working With Children check

    To become an orthoptist you usually have to complete a degree in vision science, health science or biological science at university, followed by a postgraduate qualification in orthoptics. To get into the degree courses you usually need to gain your HSC/ACT Year 12. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English, mathematics, biology, chemistry and physics are normally required. Entry to postgraduate courses usually requires completion of an appropriate bachelor degree. A number of universities in Australia offer relevant degrees.

    Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information as requirements may change.


    Additional Information

      Before undertaking clinical placements required by courses, students will need to obtain a National Police Certificate, a Provide First Aid Certificate, immunisations and a Working with Children Check (NSW) or a Working with Vulnerable People Check (ACT). Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information.

      Students and graduates may be eligible to become members of Orthoptics Australia, and graduates may register with the Australian Orthoptic Board.

    EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

    Orthoptists are employed in a wide range of settings, including private practices, specialist eye clinics, public hospitals (including children's hospitals), vision impairment agencies and research centres. Both part-time and full-time employment is available.

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    More Information - External Links

    Job Outlook for Orthoptist Health Services Union Orthoptics Australia Australian Orthoptic Board ACT Health NSW Health NSW Working with Children Check Office of Regulatory Services (ACT)


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