by Mary Tom Bass

Edgecombe Community College students interested in a career in health care will have a new option available when they sign up for fall classes: Ophthalmic Medical Assistant.

Kim Byron-Barnes is chair of the College’s new diploma program in Ophthalmic Medical Assistant. “Our new Ophthalmic Medical Assistant program will meet the local need for certified, job-ready technicians,” she says.

The four-semester diploma program prepares students to perform ophthalmic procedures under the supervision of a licensed physician specializing in ophthalmology.

The program is offered in the evenings, making it the first evening program in health sciences at ECC.

Students begin the program in the fall and attend classes for four semesters: fall, spring, summer, and fall.

The Ophthalmic Medical Assistant program includes course work in ocular measurements, ocular testing, lensometry, administering topical and oral medications, eye care, and caring for instruments.

Graduates may qualify to take the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel, Ophthalmology National Certification Exam.

“Local ophthalmologists and optometrists have expressed an interest in the College starting this program for several years,” explains Kim Byron-Barnes, chair of the Ophthalmic Medical Assistant program. “Certified employees are not available in this area, and eye care workers must take a home study course while they receive on-the-job training.

“By extending classes over the course of four semesters, we were able to offer the program in the evening for the convenience of adults who work or have other commitments during the day,” she adds.

Only three North Carolina community colleges offer the Ophthalmic Medical Assistant program. The closest one to Edgecombe County is at Sandhills Community College in Pinehurst.

For more information
Kim Byron-Barnes
Program Chair, Ophthalmic Medical Assistant
(252) 823-5166, ext. 533