The duties of an optometrist assistant are administrative, such as scheduling appointments and updating patient records, and related to patient care, including preparing patients for eye examinations or treatment and administering certain types of tests, according to Study.com. Optometrist assistants also take patient histories, may fit patients' glasses and contact lenses, and are usually responsible for exam room and equipment preparation. Many states require licensing of optometrist assistants and regulate the duties they may assume related to patient care.
Assigned duties also vary based on the employer. For example, some optometrists prefer to assign optometric technicians with more formal medical training to fit, make and repair eyeglasses and contact lenses and instruct patients on their use, explains Learn.org. Work in this field requires strong interpersonal and organizational skills and the ability to multitask. While the work is not physically taxing, a good deal of time is spent standing and bending, according to EnlightenMe.com.
State licensing regulations typically require that an optometrist assistant complete a formal training program or apprenticeship. These programs typically cover medical office procedures and software, medical billing, and ethics. Most states also require licensure applicants to complete and pass state written and practical exams or the American Board of Opticianry and the National Contact Lens Examiners certification exam, according to Learn.org. Even if not required, certification is often preferred or required by employers and tends to increase job opportunities and pay.