Optometrist – a primary independent eye care practitioner who is capable of diagnosing and treating eye diseases medically & therapeutically along with providing Low Vision Care, Vision Therapy as well as prescribing and dispensing various Contact Lenses & Spectacles. There are various other sectors where an Optometrist can excel without the need of regular working shifts and can work independently.
Though we have a wide variety of choices to choose and practice in Optometry why aren’t we actually succeeding? Why do we still need to find a job and work inside a 10 feet wide room and limit ourselves in refraction? Why are we still hesitant to include a mere prefix in front of our name? Why do we still fight and murmur about the salary that we are getting from our employers?
I am not answering these questions here but I am trying to make you realize why we aren’t trying to break this decades-old style of Optometry practice in lndia and move forward with new options and become our own boss.
Let me tell you one of my experience that made me hate this regular job shifts and made me start my own private practice. As an Optometrist, I have self-respect to this profession and I know my value in treating patients. While working the regular shift jobs all I had to do was find if there was any refractive error in a patient send it to the Ophthalmologist and then wait for another patient to carry out refraction. I knew I wasn’t going to enjoy doing this for a very long time and that wasn’t the only thing that I was capable of doing hence I left listening to other people and started listening to myself.
When you are working for other people the things you want to implement in your practice is not easily appreciated and you are forced to follow the same old way of Optometry practice which in no way will improve your Optometry career. If you want to be different than most of the Optometrist today in India you have to improve your skills and start implementing it into your practice. If your employer does not let you practice Optometry specialty services and all he/she wants from you is to find the patient’s refractive error then you are not working as an Optometrist and should not hesitate to find a new employer or start working for yourself.
What makes us Optometrists different from rest of the eye health care practitioner is our knowledge on Vision Therapy, Contact Lenses, Low Vision and a few other specialties that only we as an Optometrist know about. If we ourselves are not confident to practice it then its high time we start improving those skills before complaining about salary raise and getting recognition in government.
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