University of Waterloo

Optometric Assistant

Requisition ID 2023-11450
Employment Type
Time Type
Hiring Range
$44,817 - $56,022
Job Category
Optometry / Optometrist
Job Location : Location


The Optometric Assistant is a dynamic role central to enhancing patient care and clinic efficiency. Responsibilities span from patient reception and scheduling to ophthalmic testing, as per the scope of practice of the Canadian Certified Optometric Assistant (CCOA) certification.  The role also encompasses managing the dispensary, assisting with frame and lens selection, and overseeing adjustments and repairs. Ideal for a candidate with strong organizational and customer service skills, this position offers a unique opportunity to contribute significantly to patient care while supporting the clinic's operational, educational and revenue goals in a stimulating professional environment.


This position is contingent on funding. 


Patient Reception

  • Handles incoming telephone calls to the Waterloo Eye Institute (WEI) and orients patients to the WEI’s mandate, services and processes
  • Prepares and manages the patient schedule in VisualEyes (EMR system), and schedules appointments in accordance with optometrist availability and appointment criteria, including assigning Optometrists and student interns to clinic rooms
  • Confirms patient appointments and notifies patients of any fees associated with the services provided; attempts to fill any openings due to cancellations to optimize WEI revenue
  • Verifies eligibility for OHIP and third-party coverage for all scheduled patients
  • Greets patients in the WEI and notifies doctors and interns of patient arrival; routes patients through the WEI via the EMR system to optimize patient flow
  • Follows up with patients who do not show for their appointment to initiate another appointment booking to optimize patient care and clinic revenue
  • Maintains a computerized recall system and contacts patients to book a recall appointment

Patient/Administrative Records Maintenance

  • Processes patient records in accordance with OHIP and 3rd party billing requirements, consistent with clinic policies and procedures, including checking any follow up appointments or invoicing/billing concerns and notifying the appropriate person to address the issue
  • Ensures patient records are up-to-date by verifying patient personal information at time of appointment booking or at check-in/arrival to appointment
  • Maintains and records patient statistics and clinician attendance records
  • Provides administrative support as required
  • Prepares and distributes student evaluations in the electronic student evaluation system or paper evaluation forms
  • Solicits and records patient consent for teaching and research in support of the School’s teaching and research mandate

Payments/Supplies & Inventory Maintenance

  • Receives payments in accordance with the financial policies and procedures of the clinic and the university, including invoicing and receiving payment for third party billings
  • Undertakes daily reconciliation of day-end transactions (cash/credit/debit and parking vouchers)
  • Orders, monitors and maintains supplies, products or equipment required for use in the Clinic, and replenishes Clinic exam room supplies as required
  • Assists with the ordering and/or dispensing of spectacle and/or contact lenses and other products required to provide appropriate care for patients
  • Assists with the annual fiscal year-end WEI inventory count

Optical/Dispensary Support

  • Provides support for optical purchases, fittings, and adjustments
  • Discusses lens and frame selection with patients
  • Verifies all measurements for glasses and contact lens orders
  • Provides follow up with patients regarding the fit and satisfaction of their new purchases. Trouble shoot issues with new prescription orders when required
  • Maintains the optical services displays, liaise with the main campus to ensure that we are offering and up-to-date selection of frames and lenses
  • Instructs patients on contact lens insertion and removal

Optometric Testing

  • Uses ophthalmic diagnostic equipment, including optical coherence tomography, fundus cameras, and visual field analyzers to ensure precise and high-quality image capture
  • Supports and assists students and clinicians in capturing and uploading ophthalmic images into the EMR system
  • Maintains backup of the images regularly
  • Identifies and resolves technical issues wit imaging devices and coordinates with technical support for complex repairs or maintenance
  • Follows defined quality control measures for imaging accuracy and maintenance
  • Engages with patients to ensure their comfort and safety during imaging procedures by providing clear instructions and addressing any concerns

Clinic Staff, Optometrist and Student Support

  • Provides support to all supervisors and students working in the WEI, including assigning patients and clinic rooms
  • Delivers the administrative component of the orientation sessions at the beginning of each new student rotations
  • Assists with training new employees and work-study students on the daily job requirements, the EMR system, and the clinic policies and procedures
  • Assists with the organization of special activities in the clinic such as lunch and learn sessions
  • Performs varied administrative tasks and special projects to promote smooth operations, and in support of the clinic’s dual mandate - to provide excellent patient care and to educate optometry student clinical interns

Patient Safety & Quality Assurance

  • Triages emergency calls during regular business hours, notifies the on-call OD of emergency calls and books appointments as per optometrist’s direction
  • Maintains effective patient recall and follow-up, including monitoring patient progress to ensure timely scheduling of appointments to ensure patient safety, consistent with standards for optometric care and as directed by the supervising optometrist
  • Assists in the review of patient records to ensure that all required data fields in the EMR are completed, ensuring the integrity of the patient record (in support of patient care and billing)
  • Undertakes “Routine Practices” for infection prevention and control based on provincial Public Health standards
  • May serve as back-up resource for medical reprocessing (sterilization) of optometric instruments (using autoclave), consistent with the WEI’s Standard Operating Procedure and provincial requirements
  • Assists in contacting patients with scheduled appointments to inform them of a clinic closure due to inclement weather or emergency situation


  • Certified Optometric Assistant diploma (or equivalent designation and/or experience)
  • Minimum of 2 years of experience working in a health care environment, preferably in an optometric practice setting is recommended
  • Experience with ophthalmic equipment, ocular/medical terminology is required
  • Experience in a patient/customer facing role
  • Experience working with cash/receiving payments
  • Working knowledge of an electronic medical records (EMR) system, preferably Visual-Eyes (VE) or another system tailored to optometry
  • Working knowledge of OHIP regulations specific to optometry preferred
  • Working knowledge of Privacy legislation
  • Basic knowledge of infection prevention and control practices
  • Demonstrated skill in the use of optometric testing equipment
  • Well-developed oral and written communication skills exercising tact and diplomacy
  • Well-developed problem solving and conflict resolution skills to deliver exceptional patient/customer service and experience
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively as part of a team
  • Ability to accommodate different assignments, working schedules and specialty clinics
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office (Outlook, Word)

Equity Statement

The University of Waterloo acknowledges that much of our work takes place on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. Our main campus is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land granted to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River. Our active work toward reconciliation takes place across our campuses through research, learning, teaching, and community building, and is co-ordinated within the Office of Indigenous Relations.


The University values the diverse and intersectional identities of its students, faculty, and staff. The University regards equity and diversity as an integral part of academic excellence and is committed to accessibility for all employees. The University of Waterloo seeks applicants who embrace our values of equity, anti-racism and inclusion.  As such, we encourage applications from candidates who have been historically disadvantaged and marginalized, including applicants who identify as First Nations, Métis and/or Inuk (Inuit), Black, racialized, a person with a disability, women and/or 2SLGBTQ+.


All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.


The University of Waterloo is committed to accessibility for persons with disabilities. If you have any application, interview, or workplace accommodation requests, please contact Human Resources at  or 519-888-4567, ext. 45935.


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