Career in Optometry
A writer once remarked that eyes are the gretest gifts of God to man. For what would the beautiful world be if one could not see it.
All the wonders of the world and all the surprises of nature would come to a nought if there was no one to admire its beauty. Every third blind person in the world is an Indian and millions of others suffer from defective vision. There are people amongst us who want that everyone in the world should appreciate the creations of God on earth.
The career of optometrics is right for anyone who wants to serve people in this direction by helping them regain good eyesight. The career offers a fairly regulated work life and also makes one, an integral part of the profession of healthcare. And with our country severely in shortage of optometrists, this career offers a lot of scope in terms of work and monetary benefits.
Optometry is the practice or profession of testing the eyes for defects of vision in orer to prescribe corrective glasses. An optometrist is a person who is skilled in optometry.
The job profile of an optometrist includes the recognition of ocular and visual signs of eye diseses, the understanding of the wide range of problems afflicting the eye and also the reference of patients to appropriate specialists. Thus, an optometrist diagnoses, treats and prevents the problems relating to the eye. An optometrist fabricares lenses according to prescribed specifications and fits these to suit individual requirements. An optometrist also hardens and polishes lenses by the use of hi – tech machines.
The role of the ophthalmologist, on the other hand is necessary when the patients needs secondary level or tertiary level of treatments. It is only whenthe patient needs eye surgery or medication that an optometrist refers him to an ophthalmologist. However, in countries like Australia and New Zealand, an optpmetrist also does a few surgeries but in India, an optpmetrist is not allowed to do so.
In India, there has been an increase in the population of the aged in recent years. Diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration have become common diseses in the aged population. These diseses can be treated by optometrists. Hence, the need for trained optometrists is increasingly being felt in the country. Again, optometry as a profession is high on demand because of rise in the need for spectacles, contact lenses and low – version aids by people afflicted with eye disorders.
Eligibility for Optometry Career Course Information :
One should have completed 10+2 in science stream with at least 50% marks in Physics, Chemistry, Biology / Mathematics and English taken together in order to a Bachelor’s Degree in Clinical Optometry.
The candidates who apply for this course are short – listed and then called for a written entrance examination and an interview. The eligibility criteria for doing a diploma course in optometry is a pass in clas X or class XII. Those who have completed a diploma course in clinical optometry are eligible to get direct admission in to the third year of the degree course in optometry.
Any work in the healthcare profession requires a service mentality. So one should be willing to serve people. The job of an optometrist involves working with lenses, which requires high level of accurancy and precision.
So one should be able to do tasks wih clockwork precision. One should be a hard working person. Since the job of an optometrist requires that one has to work in a team with opthalmologists and other technicians, team spirit is of utmost importance. One should have a scientific bent of mind.
Four – year Degree Courses in optometry are offered by various schools across the country. A student who takes admission in to a four year degree course studies therories including the Anatomy and Physiology of the Eye, Mechanical Optics, Orthoptics, Ocular, Motility etc, for the first three years. The last year of the four year degree course is devoted to practical training.
As an Optometrist, one can take up jobs in hospitals or clinics where one will be assisting an Ophthalmologist. One can practise at independent optical establishments or can also set up an independent practice of one’s own.
One can go to the US for a Ph.D, degree after the completion of the master’s degree in India. Teaching and research jobs can be taken up in the US and the canadian universities after the completion of the Ph.D degree. Many Indian optometrists have also set up successful practises in the US.
Optometry is an emerging career choice in India since statistics show that there are only one thousand professionals in India whereas the requirement of optometrists in the country is more than two lakhs. Due to the efforts of professionals, there are now distint attempt to standardise the Optometry Program in India. Optometry, as a career, will soar to the new heights when a regulatory body of optometry comes in to being India.
A professional optometrist gets a starting salary as high as 12,000 per month. This amount may go still high depending upon his capabalities and the institution from which he has done the course.
In addition, several incentives are also provided. With the establishment of a regulatory body and the recognition of all Optometric Programs by the ministry of health, the salary graph of an optometrist is bound to take a steep upward rise.
Again, the awareness about the role of an optometrist in correcting the faults of the eye is still to be developed among people. This awareness would make the remuneration of an optometrist, even more high. The profession of optometry is in a growing stage in India. As already mentioned there is a severe shortage of optometrists in India. In the incipient stage of this career, any student who gets employed as an optometrist now, will find oneself in a very good position when the career gets its proper foothold in India. The future of the profession is vary bright.
Optometry Study Centres in India :
|1.||Chemistry||M.Sc. ( 2 Years )||B.Sc. Degree with Chemistry as one of the major subjects|
|2.||Physics||M.Sc. ( 2 Years )||B. Sc. Degree with Physics and Maths as Major subjects.|