How to become an Optometrist

How to become an Optometrist

How to become an Optometrist

Do you know what professional career you want to pursue? Have you thought about being an Optician-Optometrist? Do you want to know what the profession of Optician-Optometrist is?

The Optician-Optometrist is a healthcare professional who takes care of vision.

We are specialists in eye and vision health care. Among our tasks is the exploration of visual defects, ocular alterations, and problems related to general health.

We are trained to prescribe, adopt and provide medical and optical products such as glasses, contact lenses, low vision aids, ocular prostheses, or others, also for the planning and application of reeducation, prevention, and visual hygiene techniques, for the correction, compensation, and protection of vision defects.

Have you ever thought that you would like to be an optometrist? If so, today, we will talk to you about what you should study to develop the career of your dreams. This professional is the one in charge of examining the eyes and each of the parts of people’s visual system.

In addition, he is also the professional in charge of diagnosing visual problems and the appropriate treatments in each specific case. It will monitor for possible visual illnesses, injuries, or vision problems. Do you want to know more about how to become an optometrist? So don’t miss a thing!

What do they do?

Before knowing what you should study to be an optometrist, you must consider what these professionals do in their day-to-day lives. Although we have given you some brush strokes above, below we are going to explain in more detail what are the most common duties of these professionals:

  • Perform tests with what has to do with the eyes and analyze the results
  • Diagnose vision problems or diseases
  • Prescribe glasses or other visual aids
  • Perform minor surgical procedures
  • Provide pre and postoperative care in eye surgery
  • Give treatments such as vision therapy or vision rehabilitation
  • Conduct medical evaluations
  • Counseling to improve eye health

Normally, these professionals offer personalized attention to people in clinical centers. However, it will depend on your tastes to dedicate yourself only to adults, children, adolescents, or to all ages.

But in addition to all this, an optometrist can also become a university professor with his corresponding degree or scientific research. Although in reality, most of these professionals choose to open their own business, an eye clinic being freelancers and heads of their work. In this sense, you could:

  • Work in medical centers
  • Work in health stores
  • Have your clinical center
  • Work on your own
  • Work for the government

What do you need?

If you want to be an optometrist, you must know that you must meet some requirements to be. First of all, you will have to be a patient and the detailed person with everything you do. Think that your work has to do with one of the human body’s most important and sensitive organs. You must have a good pulse and be precise in all your movements.

In addition to this, you must also have a “gift of people” and know how to communicate with others. Speak in such a way that everything you want to convey to the people in front of you is understood, with an appropriate vocabulary so that anyone understands what you are saying. And of course, you must want to help people.

Studies you need

In addition to the above, you must know what you have to study. In our country, optometrists are normally doctors who study this specialty. However, in other parts of the world, such as the United States, you can study this career directly from the university.

Also, if you study vision sciences, then you can do a postgraduate degree in optometry. Although to be able to take any of the comments, you must have the critical studies established (branch of science) to take the commented higher studies.

Each university has its requirements, and you should know what the requirements that are demanded in your specific case to be able to study for the postgraduate degree are. You should also get in touch with different institutions (the university can give you the information you need depending on your country) to find out if you need to obtain any special certifications.

What do you have to do to be an optometrist

Next, we are going to give you some keys that you need to know to become an optometrist and that you can develop this profession that you like so much:

  • Earn a college degree in medicine or health sciences
  • Get a doctorate or graduate degree
  • Take the Optometry exam
  • Obtain your license following the regulations of your country

If you already have thought that this is the path you want to follow, do not hesitate to get going. Call your university to find out what are requirements you need and get to work to get a good future through this profession that you are passionate about. Being an optometrist may be the best decision you have ever made if you have a vocation for it!

University studies

During the university degree studies in Optics and Optometry, common subjects such as mathematics, physics, and chemistry are developed as a basis, and the entire area of ​​human anatomy of the visual system, Optometry, Ophthalmic Optics, optical and optometric instruments. Many other important areas are also studied for the essential training required in the exercise of the profession of Optician-Optometrist, and their subsequent development through the professional experience achieved and the mandatory continuous training.

During university studies, students carry out a certain number of hours of compulsory practices, which allow them to achieve, among other skills, in addition to strictly sanitary skills, to become familiar with the use of optical instruments, the products used, and personal treatment with patients and users.

Professional development

It is a health profession, titled, regulated, and collegiate; therefore, it is essential to have the university degree of Degree / Diploma in Optics and Optometry and be registered as a Practitioner in the corresponding College of Opticians-Optometrists.

You can develop the profession of Optician-Optometrist in the field of research, information, prevention, and health education, and in assisting patients in hospitals, clinics, laboratories, and Optical establishments.

And if you want to know more, we present to you a character that we created for a communication campaign of the First Regional Delegation of the CNOO, Super OO character, representing the figure of the Optician-Optometrist, and with the motto … always taking care of your visual health!

What to study to be an optometrist

The optometrist is the doctor in charge of examining the eyes and each of the parts of the visual system. It is also responsible for diagnosing visual problems and their respective treatments and controlling diseases, injuries, and other vision disorders. If you like this profession, we will show you what to study to be an optometrist.

What to study to be an optometrist

What do optometrists do?

Among the duties of optometrists are:

  • Perform vision tests and analyze results.
  • Diagnose vision problems, such as myopia or hyperopia, and other eye diseases, such as glaucoma.
  • Prescribe glasses, contact lenses and other visual aids, and medications according to the law.
  • Perform minor surgical procedures to correct vision.
  • Provide pre and postoperative care to patients undergoing eye surgery.
  • Give treatments such as vision therapy or rehabilitation for people with low vision.
  • Do medical evaluations to detect the presence of other diseases and conditions, such as diabetes or hypertension, and refer patients to necessary specialists.
  • Counseling patients to promote general eye health

Most optometrists are dedicated to providing specialized care, especially when they work in clinical centers. For example, some optometrists primarily treat patients with partial sight, a condition known as low vision. Others dedicate their careers to caring for children and babies and so on.

On the other hand, beyond diagnosis and treatment, optometrists can promote eye health by advising patients on all the care that should take in general.

And they can not only advise on habits directly related to vision but also on those that affect it accordingly. For example, the optometrist can advise patients on quitting smoking or losing weight can reduce vision problems.

Optometrists may also be college or post-secondary teachers with their respective master’s degrees in education or scientific research. But the reality is that most optometrists end up owning their own business, an eye clinic.

According to statistics, 54% of optometrists work in their clinical centers, 16% in medical centers, 14% in health and care stores, 8% are self-employed, and only 3% work for the government.

Requirements to be an optometrist

Above all, an optometrist must be a patient and caring person since they work with one of the most sensitive organs in the human body. On the other hand, you must be a good pulse and precision because all optometrist jobs require these qualities.

In addition, he must be a person with good communication qualities, eloquently when transmitting a message. And finally, it must be a person who enjoys offering care to people, who have human warmth and likes to help.

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In most countries, optometrists are generally physicians who take up this specialty. But in some countries like the US, you can study optometry directly at the university.

Another career related to the field is that of vision sciences. Some first take this path and consolidate it with a postgraduate degree in optometry. But, before all this, it is necessary to obtain a secondary education degree, with approved subjects and preferably with high marks in English, chemistry, biology, mathematics, and physics.

And on the other hand, to access the postgraduate degree in optometry either from medicine or the visual sciences, it is necessary to complete the bachelor’s degree. Of course, each university has its formal requirements to qualify for a graduate degree. So if you want to study to be an optometrist, contact the university and ask for the requirements and exceptions to access graduate programs.

On the other hand, depending on the country where you are, there are certain requirements that you must present before joining a clinic as an optometrist. Some countries require a National Police Certificate, a First Aid and Immunizations Certificate, a Test to Work with Children, and much more. To find out what the requirements are in your city and country, contact the relevant institutions. That is the Ministry of Health, medical institutions, clinics, etc.

Steps to become an optometrist

  1. Go to college and earn a degree with an emphasis in medicine and health sciences. Each university has its requirements. Usually, you only need to have passed high school, but others ask for three years of post-secondary education with courses in biology or zoology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, and English.
  2. To apply to an optometry program in the US, you must pass the Optometry Admission Test (OAT). It is a computerized test that assesses applicants’ abilities in science, reading comprehension, physics, and quantitative reasoning. Submit your OAT scores with your college application. In the same way, each country has its admission or level test.
  3. Get a Ph.D. You must aspire to a program to become a Doctor of Optometry, which usually lasts four years. On the way, you will see many subjects that have to do with anatomy, physiology, optics, visual sciences, and the diagnosis and treatment of eye diseases/disorders.
  4. But the doctorate does not end everything; you must pass the test proposed by the National Medical Board of your country in the Optometry exam. In some countries, Ph.D. candidates are even required to present a law test.
  5. Obtain the license by the regulations of the country or state in which you will work. For this, you must pass all the tests established by current regulations.

Finally, you will become a Doctor of Optometry with all these steps, better known as an Optometrist. As we can see, there is a well-marked path to being an optometrist, and it can achieve in a decade or so. So if you have already graduated from high school or high school and want to study to be an optometrist, follow these steps.

How to become an Optometrist

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