In the modern age, it is vital to take sight problems seriously. They mainly occur due to our use of technological gadgets like computers and tablets. However, all is not lost if you find that your vision is blurry – an optometrist will help you in your hour of need.
Although not a fascinating career choice at first glance, optometrists play a vital role in the industry. Here we will explain how you too can become an optometrist and help people deal with their sight problems.
1. Getting your degree
Optometrists have to obtain an undergraduate degree. They can choose between two fields of study: pre-med and science. However, they will have to take certain subjects that are important for their future career. Those are mathematics, English, biology, chemistry, and science.
In order to start your career soon, you will have to study hard and avoid making excuses. An optometrist deals with people’s sight and checks whether or not they need glasses or contact lenses. Therefore, it is crucial to know what you are doing – and to do it well.
You cannot work until you finish your education, but that doesn’t mean that you should just study all day. If you want to get some experience, you could try assisting an optometrist.
Not only will you be able to watch him while he works, but you will also get valuable experience from it. You will understand how to treat patients and how to handle other parts of your chosen career path.
Because you are still a student, you probably won’t get to do optometry-related tasks. However, learning from an expert optometrist is a vital step towards your future career.
3. Optometry Admission Test
OAT is a mandatory test all future optometrists have to go through. It will test you on your reasoning skills, as well as on your understanding and listening skills. Furthermore, the point of this test is to see whether or not you are the right applicant for an optometry program.
Prometric Test Centers allow you to apply for the test each year. If you pass it, then you will certainly have a better chance of treating sight problems shortly. Therefore, you should commit yourself to studying and pass the test as soon as you can.
4. Doctor of Optometry Program
Even though optometry is not as demanding as becoming a surgeon, you will still have to finish a mandatory program. This is a four-year program that will get you your Doctor of Optometry degree.
While studying, you will also get to participate in clinics which will help you gain some experience. Also, you will also have to concentrate on biology classes because they will be teaching you everything you need to know about eyes.
5. Post Graduate Residency Program
After the four-year program, you can either move on to licensing or complete a residency program. While it may be tempting to start working right away, residency offers more opportunities than you might think.
It is a fantastic way to learn more about different optometry fields. For example, you can gain more experience in the pediatric or geriatric optometry. Furthermore, residency allows you to have specialists as your mentors. They will guide you in the right direction and help you enhance your skills.
The final step in this process is getting your optometry license. You can apply for it after you finish the four-year program, or you could wait until you finish your residency.
After you learn everything you need to know about optometry, you have to get a license to practice it. Every state requires you to have this license, and there is no way going around it. Therefore, it is vital to pursue it as soon as you can.
In addition, you will also have to take an Optometry Test made by the National Board of Examiners.
Apart from written answers, you will also have to do a practical portion of the test to pass it with flying colors.
However, bear in mind that some states might require you to pass additional tests as well.
7. Renewing your license
Some states require you to renew your license from time to time. This is their way of making sure you are attending optometry classes during your career. Any medical career requires you to continue learning while working, and optometry is no exception.
8. Opening a practice or getting a job as an optometrist
You have finally reached the final destination – your optometry career can now begin. After you finish your studies, you can get a job as an optometrist, or open your practice.
There aren’t right or wrong answers – it all depends whether or not you are confident you have enough experience for practice of your own. However, if you feel like you would like to gain more experience first, then there are many practices where you can learn from already established optometrists.
Optometrists often do not have any trouble finding a work position. Moreover, the optometry field is advancing every year, and more and more people are studying to become an optometrist. This career path shouldn’t be taken lightly. However, it is one of the most rewarding ones you could find.
When you find the perfect position for you, you will also be able to buy ophthalmic equipment from companies like Nava Ophthalmic.
9. National Organization Certificate and Fellowships
Lastly, after you start your career, you may choose to continue improving yourself in the field of optometry. You could receive a certificate or a fellowship through the National Organization and further advance in your career.
You will have to fulfill certain requirements to become an applicant. Also, the National Organization will pay attention to your patients and how you are treating them.
It might seem like an unnecessary step in your career, but it is a fantastic way to get an expert approval. It could help you in your advancing career, and even allow you to get additional interesting work-related opportunities.
Nava Ophthalmic – Your Optometric Supplier At The Best Rates. Nava Ophthalmic is the world’s largest optometric supplier of ophthalmic products for hospitals, clinics, and doctors around the world.
Please read How to open start-a-private-optometry-practice