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Career profile: Orthoptist

Career profile: OrthoptistGet the lowdown on what the job involves, what qualifications you need and how long it takes to train.

A what?

An orthoptist diagnoses and treats defects of vision and abnormalities of eye movement.

On the job

Orthoptists work with people of all ages. They often work in the eye departments of hospitals and have patients referred to them by family doctors and opticians. Some orthoptists visit schools, health clinics and community centres where they provide vision checks and screenings.

An orthoptist forms part of the care team looking after people with eye problems especially those related to ocular motility, binocular vision, amblyopia (lazy eye) or strabismus (squint). The orthoptist performs tests to diagnose problems and determines appropriate management.

Course entry requirements

You will usually need five GCSE passes (or the equivalent) including English, maths and at least one science, and three A-levels. If you're applying from Scotland, you need four Highers at B grade. Alternative qualifications, including BTEC, GNVQ or access courses will also be considered.

Applications are welcomed from applicants who left fulltime study some time ago, but you will usually need to provide evidence of recent academic study and/or relevant experience.

Always check entry requirements with the institution of your choice as entry levels may vary.

What does the training involve?

Orthoptic courses last for three years (full time) and lead to the award of a degree recognised by the Health Professions Council (HPC) for the purposes of registration. Each year consists of both theory and clinical experience.

Related links

(Information taken from NHS Careers)