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New Ophthalmic Tech Program

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This fall, Henry Ford Community College will offer a new associate degree program, designed to prepare individuals as entry-level ophthalmic technicians.

'Because of increasing demand for health career programs, HFCC has expanded its offerings to meet the needs of students and employers,' said Ron Bodurka, associate dean of HFCC’s Health Career Division. 'One area examined by the college was ophthalmic technology and the increasing need in this region for ophthalmic technicians.'

According to Bodurka, the program will be applying for accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Ophthalmic Medical Programs (CoA-OMP) and is on track to become the only such accredited program in Michigan. According to Bodurka, accreditation is a 'stamp of approval' for the professional community, demonstrating that HFCC conforms to a higher set of standards.

Ophthalmic technicians provide vision care and preform administrative and clinical functions under the direction of medical or osteopathic physicians who provide comprehensive, refractive, medical and surgical eye care to the public.

According to Bodurka, because there are no accredited ophthalmic technician programs in Michigan, the employment opportunities for graduates of HFCC’s ophthalmic technician program are excellent. The nearest accredited ophthalmic technician program in this region is located outside of Chicago.

'This program will provide HFCC students with another unique career option in the health care industry,' notes Bodurka.

The program will admit 20 to 24 students per year. According to surveys done by HFCC’s Health Careers Division, there should be 112 new positions opening for ophthalmic technicians in the region in the next five years.

During the first year of the program, students will receive a comprehensive introduction to ophthalmic technology with simulated and actual clinical equipment, according to Bodurka. The second year will include advanced studies as students begin the clinical component of the program, which consists of approximately 950 hours in a variety of diverse vision care clinical settings, including the Henry Ford Health System, the University of Michigan Eye Institute, Beaumont Hospital and the Kresge Eye Institute, according to Bodurka.

Required classes in the program include OPT 101: Introduction to Ophthalmic Technology; OPT 134: Ocular Anatomy and Pathology; OPT 150: Applied Ophthalmic Optics; OPT 160: Ocular Measurements I; OPT 180: Ocular Measurements II; OPT 200: Clinical Optical Procedures; OPT 220: Ophthalmic Photography; OPT 240: Ophthalmic Surgical Assisting; OPT 260: Current Issues in Vision Care; and OPT 290, 293 and 297 - clinical externships.

Other duties of an ophthalmic technician include providing administrative support services by coordinating clinical schedules, charting, coding, transmitting orders of the physician, calibrating and maintaining ophthalmic equipment and supplies, recording medical histories and vision, testing eye movements and binocular functions, measuring optical power and visual fields, assisting in minor and major eye surgery and performing ocular imaging and biometry services as applicable by local law.

Early application is advised for students interested in entering the program. It is recommended that each applicant meet with an HFCC health career advisor to discuss program options and to create an academic plan to qualify for the program. The specific program and admission criteria can be found at

For more information on the ophthalmic technician program, please call (313) 845-9877. For more information on HFCC, visit