OPH Training Program Update

two students with an ocular imager

Tiona White was part of the pilot ophthalmic technician training program in the Department of Ophthalmology. When we last wrote about the program in December 2022, she had joined after working in Dietary and was studying for her first level of certification.

Now she is certified and has moved up the career ladder as a COA, or Certified Ophthalmic Assistant. This position is internationally recognized through the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (JCAPHO). “She also is an intricate part of our current class as an ophthalmic trainer,” said Raynice Wroblewski, who manages the program. “That is noteworthy as she was a student not too long ago herself.”

According to Wroblewski, the program is doing well and continues to grow. All four students from the first class are still with the Department and are preparing to become COAs. Three out of four in that class are moving into the ophthalmic imaging career ladder, spending most of their time working the diagnostic imaging equipment.

The program has expanded to one year. The current class is the third and is slated to graduate in November. Once this class finishes, the program will boast a total of nine graduates. The next class is slated to have six positions, which is an increase of two.

The program is now working with Partner 4 Work and the State of Pennsylvania along with the recruitment department to grow the program into a recognized state apprenticeship. “Right now, it is in its infancy stage, but still very exciting for us here at the Department,” said Wroblewski.