To help address the global shortage of ophthalmic medical personnel and train students for in-demand careers, Housatonic Community College will offer an Ophthalmic Assistant Program this semester, with classes beginning September 17th.
The program requires no college course prerequisite requirements, and consists of two courses that will prepare students to become part of an eye-care team. Through lectures, case study and hands-on learning, as well as observations in an ophthalmology office, students will come away with entry-level knowledge and skills to assist an ophthalmologist in the diagnosis and care of patients.
The program will be taught by Scott Spector, M.D., the Founder and Medical Director of Spector Eye Care and New Vision Cataract and Laser Center in Connecticut. In addition to volunteering his time to teach the program, Dr. Spector helped to found the program, and is donating the teaching equipment.
“This program provides valuable information and is a great way to enter a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Anyone with a high school degree and a passion for helping people can take these courses as a first step towards playing an important role in an eye-care team,” said Spector. “Those that are currently working as an Ophthalmic Assistant will benefit from this program by building up their depth of knowledge and increasing their value to a practice.”
Each 14-week course meets one evening per week from 6:00pm - 9:30pm and one Saturday a month in an ophthalmologist’s office. Students must then go on to develop their clinical skills by completing at least 500 hours in an ophthalmologist office before taking the certification exam.
“Students participating in this program are taking the first step in a lucrative and rewarding career in the field of eye care,” said Dr. Paul Broadie, HCC President. “This learning can immediately lead to an entry-level position and is a stepping stone for future advancement in a field that is in high demand. This program is a perfect fit for HCC and we’re grateful to Dr. Spector for sharing his talents, expertise and passion with our students.”
“There’s a tremendous shortage of educated OAs. This is a really good opportunity to take steps toward a gratifying career where you can truly make a difference. We encourage anyone who has an interest in healthcare and wants to build a future for themselves to participate in the program,” said Spector.
Information sessions about the Ophthalmic Assistant Program will be held on Monday, September 10th at 6pm and again on Tuesday, September 11th at 10am in the Continuing Education Department, room 116 in Beacon Hall on the HCC campus. Housatonic Community College is located at 900 Lafayette Blvd. in Bridgeport, CT.
To learn more about the program, visit www.Housatonic.edu/OA or contact Rosalee Creighton-Fuller, or 203.332.8525. Scholarships are available, to learn more contact Carla Mackintosh, or call 203.332.5038..