Diagnostic Tester Training - Description

"Diagnostic Tester" refers to an assistant in the ophthalmology office who is assigned to OCT scanning, automated visual field testing, the auto-refractor, the auto-lensometer, and manual lensometry. The idea is that a new assistant can be trained fairly quickly on this instrumentation and can become a contributing member of the eyecare team right away, while beginning to train to become a well rounded technician. Some offices/clinics are busy enough to employ one or more assistants who are full-time testers. Tester training can be followed up with the 12 Week Course for New Hires.

Diagnostic Tester training is initial training in six testing modalities commonly found in ophthalmology offices/clinics:

  • Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) scanning of the macula
  • Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) scanning of the optic nerve
  • Visual Field Testing, automated
  • Auto-refractor
  • Auto-lensometer
  • Lensometry-manual

The trainee may be assigned to one or more modalities, depending upon the needs of the employer.

The purpose of this basic training is to give the trainee valuable knowledge as to:

  • the eye anatomy and physiology that is pertinent to the testing
  • knowledge regarding the conditiions/disease processes being tested
  • background knowledge on the instrumentation that will improve the accuracy of the testing

The training consists of reading material on the subject matter followed by a short quiz that will reinforce what was learned and test the trainee's knowledge. Once the quiz is passed, a certificate of completion can be printed for the trainee's file. 

It is important to know that this is not "stand-alone" training. This training must be accompanied by hands-on training with the instrumentation. There are spaces on the certificate to record when the training took place, and by whom.

The Diagnostic Tester Training course can be ordered from the course catalog, or from this link.

Training outline: Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) scanning of the macula

  • What is the macula?
  • What is macular degeneration?
  • What causes macular degeneration?
  • How is macular degeneration diagnosed?
  • What is the treatment for macular degeneration?
  • What is diabetic retinopathy?
  • How is diabetic retinopathy diagnosed?
  • How is diabetic retinopathy treated?
  • Dry eye and how it affects testing
  • Basic retinal anatomy
  • The OCT line scan
  • The OCT raster scan
  • OCT qualitative analysis vs quantitative analysis
  • OCT retinal thickness parameters
  • OCT retinal topography
  • Steps in performing an OCT raster/topography scan
  • Errors in OCT scanning

Training outline: Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) scanning of the optic nerve

  • What is glaucoma?
  • Who is at risk for glaucoma?
  • What causes glaucoma?
  • Types of glaucoma
  • How is glaucoma detected?
  • How is glaucoma treated?
  • Dry eye and how it affects testing
  • Anatomy and physiology of glaucoma
  • Testing for glaucoma
  • OCT measurement of the nerve fiber layer
  • OCT optic nerve head scanning steps and techniques
  • Errors in OCT scanning of the optic nerve

Training outline: Visual Field Testing - Automated

  • What is glaucoma?
  • Who is at risk for glaucoma?
  • What causes glaucoma?
  • Types of glaucoma
  • How is glaucoma detected?
  • How is glaucoma treated?
  • Dry eye and how it affects testing
  • Testing for glaucoma
  • Spherical refractive errors
  • Astigmatism and cylindrical correction
  • Lens power notation and transposition
  • Near vision and bifocals
  • The glasses prescription
  • The spherical equivalent
  • Bifocals, trifocals, and progressives
  • Retinal light sensitivity
  • Visual field threshold testing and decibels
  • Automated visual field testing- reliability problems
  • Automated visual field testing- sources of error
  • Automated visual field testing- monitoring reliability
  • Automated visual field testing- patient setup
  • Automated visual field testing- patient instruction

Training outline: The Auto-refractor and the Auto-lensometer

  • Spherical refractive errors
  • Astigmatism and cylindrical correction
  • Lens power notation and transposition
  • Near vision and bifocals
  • The glasses prescription
  • The spherical equivalent
  • Bifocals, trifocals, and progressives
  • The auto-refractor
  • The auto-lensometer

Training outline: Lensometry- manual

  • Spherical refractive errors
  • Astigmatism and cylindrical correction
  • Lens power notation and transposition
  • Near vision and bifocals
  • The glasses prescription
  • The spherical equivalent
  • Bifocals, trifocals, and progressives
  • The number line
  • Adjusting the eyepiece
  • Mounting the glasses
  • Measuring the spherical single vision lens
  • Measuring a multi-focal lens
  • Measuring the sphero-cylindrical distance correction
  • Measuring the add power of a lens with a cylinder correction