Career outlook for orthoptist
UK Salary Ranges
Currently employed in Scotland
What's it like?
You would treat people who have problems with their eyes due to a condition, illness or injury. You’d do tests to find the problem and decide on the best way to treat it.
You’d help people of all ages with conditions that affect their eye muscles, connected nerves, eye movement and vision. Using specialist equipment you would examine their vision and how their eyes work.
A lot of the patients you see would have:
- A squint (strabismus)
- Reduced or double vision
- A ‘lazy eye’ (amblyopia)
- A disorder due to injury or disease
Other patients could have vision problems as a result of:
- A stroke
- Retinal disease
- Neurological disorders
Patients would be referred to you from the eye casualty and neurology departments of hospitals, GPs and health visitors.
You would also do vision tests with children in schools and community centres.
You’d recommend treatments such as:
- Using an eye patch
- Doing regular eye exercises
- Contact lenses for children including teaching parents how to insert and remove them
- Low vision aids
Sometime you’d refer patients to a different specialist, for example, when you find that a problem is caused by another condition like a brain tumour.
Having problems with their eyes will be very worrying for people and sometimes they might be distressed. You’d need to explain the issues to them patiently. They might also feel that a treatment does not help and so you’d need to encourage them to keep going with it.
It would be important to keep accurate patient records including details of the diagnosis, treatment and progress.
You are likely to work in a team alongside other healthcare professionals, including ophthalmologists (eye surgeons), optometrists - who prescribe and dispense glasses and lenses - and vision scientists.
You can see more about this role in the National Health Service on the Orthoptist page on the NHSScotland Careers website.
UK employment status
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