As an optometrist you would carry out detailed eye examinations to test vision and identify problems. An optometrist also tests for defects, injuries and ill health. If you're interested in health and want the chance to improve people's quality of life, you might enjoy this job.
To be an optometrist you will need strong communication skills. You’ll also need to be able to work with precision and to put nervous patients at ease.
To work as an optometrist, you must be registered with the General Optical Council (GOC). To join the register you will need to take a three-year degree in optometry, and complete a one-year work placement with a registered optometrist.
You would use a range of instruments and traditional tools (like reading charts) to test and measure your client's vision. You would then make a diagnosis and give advice. This could include prescribing, fitting and supplying spectacles or contact lenses, and discussing the suitability and shape of spectacle frames.
Using your knowledge of eye diseases, if you detect abnormalities - including conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure - you would refer clients to specialists or ophthalmologists (eye surgeons) when necessary.
You could focus on a particular area, such as paediatrics (working with children), contact lenses, sports vision or low vision.
You will find most jobs in private practice. With experience you may be able to progress to being a partner in a business, or you could set up on your own.
You could also work in an eye hospital, or move into areas such as university lecturing, teaching optometry to students. You could also find work in research with commercial glass and lens manufacturers.
Students who wish to do degree or diploma courses in Ophthalmic technology should clear 10+2 or equivalent examination, with a minimum of 50% marks in physics, chemistry and biology.
To practice as a optometrist it is essential to have a Bachelor's degree in Optometry (Bachelor of Clinical Optometry) (B.Optom). Eligibility for B.Optom course is Higher Secondary Examination (10+2 course) or it's equivalent with minimum 50% marks in Physics, Chemistry and Biology or Mathematics and English, from a recognised board and the age limit is 17 years as on 31st December. Candidates satisfying the eligibility requirement for the B.Optom course have to appear for the EYECET examination. The EYECET exam is the centralised, combined, entrance test for entry into optometry courses, which is universally recognised all over the country.
B.Optom course is of 4 year duration. The first 3 years teaching is followed by one year of internship for clinical and trade experience. The optometry course covers a wide variety of subjects, including physical optics, knowledge of optical instruments, general anatomy, physiology, abnormal and pathological conditions of the eye and the methods to measure refractive errors and their correction. Courses in pharmacology, optics, vision science, biochemistry, and systemic disease are included in the curriculum. There will be practical training in Basic Science, Dispensing Optics and Clinical subjects. The forth and final year is internship where the students are posted at various hospitals and specialty eye clinics and Optical establishments for clinical training and hands-on practice.
For direct admission to third year B.Optom course, candidates who have completed their 10+2, must have a 2 year diploma course in Optometry, Ophthalmic Techniques, Refraction, Orthoptics and Ophthalmic Assistance with 40% marks from an Institute recognised by Indian Optometric Association and Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed University. Candidates with Secondary School Certificate (std X) must have a 3 year diploma course in Ophthalmic Techniques and should have worked in an Ophthalmic clinic or Optical establishment for a minimum period of one year after completion of the course. The candidates, have to submit their work experience certificate from the Ophthalmic clinic or Optical establishment during the time of admission. Age limit for direct admission to 3rd year B.Optom course is 19 years. In addition, they have to appear for the EYECET test.
The average salary for an Optometrist is Rs 241,639 per year. Most people move on to other jobs if they have more than 10 years' experience in this field. Experience has a moderate effect on pay for this job.
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