If you are interested in a career that restores vision and prevents blindness, you may be interested in becoming an eye bank technician.
When a donor dies, an eye bank technicians visits the hospital and surgically removes the eyes (the complete orbs, which are called globes) from the deceased. Alternatively, the technician may remove the corneas only. The removed tissue is placed in a storage material and taken back to the eye bank. At the eye bank, technicians examine the tissue under a microscope to look for signs of disease and to make sure the tissue meets the requirements. Before the donation, eye bank technicians must speak with the next-of-kin. This is obviously a sensitive matter and eye bank technicians must have tact, empathy, and excellent interpersonal communication skills in order to carry out their jobs. Written communication skills are also essential. All of this is the barest outline of the many duties performed by eye bank technicians.
This clearly is not a career for just anyone. However, it is a job with an immense sense of mission and service. Eye bank technicians are part of the chain of care that ends up with a patient receiving a new eye, cornea or other tissue essential to vision.
Eye bank technicians work for eye banks around the country. Working as an eye bank technician often involves working at odd hours and during holidays. The average salary for an eye bank technician in the United States is $46,000, according to SimplyHired.com.
Explore this career option more in depth by visiting the Eye Bank Association of America website. If possible, find an eye bank near you and arrange for an informational interview. Your local Lions club may also be able to connect you with a good source of information on the career. It is helpful if you have a background in biology, emergency medicine or a related field. It is also helpful if you already have a bachelor's degree.
Obtain training. This is done on the job. The Eye Bank Association of America also offers an annual three-day course for beginning technicians, the Technician Education Seminar, which is comprised of lectures designed to complement on the job training.
Become a Certified Eye Bank Technician (CEBT) through the Eye Bank Association of America. Certification involves a written exam and demonstrated technical skills. Certification is renewable every three years.