Jun 25, 2024  
PUBLISHED 2021-2022 Credit Catalog 
PUBLISHED 2021-2022 Credit Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Ophthalmic and Optometric Assisting

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Program Description

The Ophthalmic and Optometric Assisting program prepares students to operate as medical office professionals with specialized knowledge in ophthalmic (eye health) and optometric (vision care) terminology and clinical procedures. Through a combination of classroom theory, laboratory practice, and a clinical practicum, students will learn the scientific principles imperative to ensuring optimal eye care as part of a multi-disciplinary team that includes ophthalmologists, optometrists, opticians, and medical technologists.  This program is unique in that it includes a combination of ophthalmic and optometric competencies, providing graduates with skillsets for two professions in one program.

Program Overview

Fast Facts

  • This program should be completed full-time
  • Program Length:
    • Full-Time (2 Semesters)
  • This program is delivered in a classroom or blended format
  • Full-Time Intakes
    • Fall, Spring
  • Students require access to a personal computer with Internet in order to complete the required courses

Certain courses may be offered through Open Studies during the daytime, evenings, and/or weekends, as well as in a classroom, blended, or online format. All courses must be completed within the program completion timeframe. Please be advised that for the purpose of student loans, full-time student status requires that learners are enrolled in a minimum of 60% of a full course load per semester.


Your Career

Graduates of this program may find work as ophthalmic and/or optometric assistants for ophthalmologists and optometrists in a variety of medical settings.

Student Success

Students who experience success in this program and profession:

  • Have higher secondary and/or post-secondary grades
  • Have effective communications skills in English
  • Are detail oriented and enjoy working in a team environment
  • Possess basic computer literacy, including with word processing and communication software



Upon successful completion of this program, graduates will be awarded a SAIT Ophthalmic and Optometric Assisting Certificate.


The Ophthalmic and Optometric Assisting program delivered by SAIT is aligned with the competencies outlined by the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (JCAHPO) guidelines.


The progression requirement for students taking credit courses is a Term GPA and Total Institutional GPA of 2.0, with the exception of English Language Foundations and Academic Upgrading programs.

Admission Requirements

A minimum grade of 60% in each of the following courses or their equivalents:

  • English Language Arts 30-1 or English Language Arts 30-2
  • Math 30-1 or Math 30-2 or Pure Math 30
  • Biology 30 or Science 30
  • All applicants must demonstrate English Language Proficiency prior to admission, including students educated in Canada.


Program Outline

Total Credits 27

Program Outcomes

  1. Medical Knowledge - Demonstrate ophthalmic and systemic disease and cognate sciences knowledge that applies to patient care in a vision care practice.
  2. Clinical Skills and Patient Care - Demonstrate the ability to treat ophthalmic health problems.

  3. Communication - Communicate with patients, families, and other health professionals in a responsive, and responsible manner that supports a team approach.

  4. Professionalism and Lifelong Learning - Plan professional lifelong learning and continuing education opportunities that support personal practice as an Ophthalmic and Optometric Assistant.
  5. Community and Health Services - Demonstrate an awareness and responsiveness to the larger context of health care.
  6. Regulations and Ethics - Practice the protection and safety of practitioners, patients, and the public.
  7. Technical Skills - Demonstrate proficient technical skills to promote best practice in the Ophthalmic and Optometric Assistant role.

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