The optometric field is one that not many people know a lot about. Unless you have been exposed to it due to some type of health issues, it’s a pretty chill professional field (at least that’s my opinion).
Well if that is the case, how did I find it? I’ve worn many forms of eyewear for the majority of my life. I was blessed with the wonderful genetics of poor vision! Yay! It just continued to get worse and worse. I’ve done it all; glasses, contacts, Lasik correction, and still wearing glasses. Even with that knowledge, I didn’t even consider being an optician as a profession at all. It was never on my list of “healthcare providers”. For some reason, people don’t take vision all that seriously.
If you’re reading my blog, then you can tell by the title that I love the optical world. For the past 4 years, it has completely encompassed my life. After finishing my HR degree, I wanted to get some office experience. An optometry clinic hired me as a receptionist and I’ve never looked back.
(Ok, sometimes I do, but not much!)
I have been to 5 different clinics, some good and some bad. My knowledge and experiences have only continued to grow over the years, with each Optometrist teaching me more and more. I grew from a receptionist to a pre-tester, optometric assistant, and eventually became a scribe sitting in on appointments, and taking notes on what the doctor was saying for our records. Here I am now, student optician. It was a bumpy road these past 4 years, trying to find my place in the optometry realm, but I’m happy where I ended up (most days).
For the last two years, I wanted to go to Optometry school, I wanted to diagnose and treat patients! As appealing as that was, the process was honestly a bit much for me. I didn’t want to have to re-do my undergraduate degree and add another 4 years of Optometry school. I wouldn’t have graduated until I was 30, and though age is just a number, It just didn’t seem right for me in the end. Also, the ~$300K in debt was not appealing!
Now it wasn’t always all sunshine and rainbows. I spent 6 months at a clinic that I absolutely despised, and it resulted in my leaving the optometry field for a month and a half (but it had a tight hold on my heart, I couldn’t leave for long). After going to a new clinic, I learned that your work environment is a HUGE factor in people liking their jobs (Duh!). I currently work with a lovely group of people who make every day exciting.
Today you can find me in the dispensary, I sell glasses, edge lenses, repair/adjust frames, fit contacts, pretest, and do advanced testing. Every day is a new adventure, I get to experience multiple different areas of our office all the time and I LOVE it. This year, I knew it was time for me to start my journey to becoming an Optician. I have a lovely co-worker by my side, and we are going to kick ass.
I’m thrilled that I stumbled into this amazing profession. I was running out of school, not sure what to do and not knowing where I would end up, but I’m glad that optometry welcomed me with open arms! I’m going to hold it close and never let go, so be prepared for some weird eye talk.
Moral of The Story: Find a job that makes you happy, and don’t give up until you do! Trust me, it’s out there.