What is it?
COTs instruct the patient in care and use of corrective lenses.
The Certified Ophthalmic Technician® (COT®) certification level is JCAHPO’s second core level designation. In other words, COTs have generally either worked as a COA for at least a year or graduated from a CoA-OMP, CMA, or CAAHEP accredited training program for Ophthalmic Technicians.
What does it mean for me?
COT certification from JCAHPO means several things. For one, JCAHPO certification, at any level, is recognized and respected internationally by physicians, employers, administrators, and other ophthalmic and medical personnel.
COTs are trained to perform many skilled tasks and have a strong knowledge base for work in the eye care field. COTs are dedicated to their profession as a member of the allied health personnel community, and have invested time and effort in pursuit of their education and certification.
Examples of tasks that the certificant would handle
COTs work under the supervision and direction of an ophthalmologist to perform ophthalmic clinical duties. They are trained to do all COA level tasks, plus neutralize spectacle lenses on a manual lensometer and measure corneal curvature with the keratometer or the ophthalmometer.
What makes it different than the COA/COMT?
The main differences are education and experience. Each designation has training and educational requirements unique to that level. Training is generally six months to one year for ophthalmic assistants, one to two years in length for ophthalmic technicians, and two years or more for medical technologists.
COTs have more responsibilities, technical skills, and experience than COAs. COMTs are typically trained for additional duties, such as taking ophthalmic photographs, using ultrasound, as well as providing instruction and supervision to other ophthalmic personnel. Specifically, COTs differ from COAs in some of the following areas: visual fields, basic ocular motility, clinical optics, contact lenses, intermediate tonometry, and photography.
How do I become a COT?
An individual can become a COT via the following pathways:
- Graduate from an accredited Formal Training program
- Currently certified as a COA and work experience
- Currently certified as an orthoptist and work experience.
Click here for more detailed requirements on COT certification eligibility.