Orthoptists examine eyes, to investigate, diagnose and treat disorders such as squints, double vision or damage to sight caused by illness or accident. They work out the most appropriate treatment. Orthoptists work with patients of all ages, although much of their work is with children.
You could be:
using a variety of tests and instruments to examine eye movement, position, pressure and field vision
screening children for eye defects
checking the vision of people with head injuries or brain tumours
prescribing the patient treatment, such as exercises or glasses
treating the patient, often over a number of visits
arranging for the patient to see a specialist, such as a surgeon, if necessary
working with other health care professionals such as nurses, consultant surgeons and optometrists
writing reports, keeping records and informing doctors of diagnosis, treatment and progress
doing clinical research.
Within the NHS Agenda for Change scales orthoptists are on Band 5, £26,104 to £32,915 a year. Specialist orthoptists are on Band 6, £33,072 to £40,736 a year. Advanced orthoptists are on Band 7, £40,872 to £47,846 a year. The current pay scales are from April 2021.
You would work in a hospital or in the community, visiting schools or clinics.
Glasgow Caledonian University offers a BSc Hons degree course in Orthoptics. Entry requirements are 5 good Highers including English, Maths and a science subject or English and 2 science subjects plus National 5 Maths (if not held at Higher). National 5 Physics preferred.
You will require a satisfactory criminal record check from Disclosure Scotland to show that you are suitable for this type of work. Contact Disclosure Scotland for details on the type you would need.
You should arrange to visit an orthoptic department before you apply for a course. This shows you are committed to and understand the job.