So I have been in eye health for a little over a decade. I began as a sales person at a LensCrafters, worked up to management, became a certified optician and then switched from dispensing glasses to being the person who ￼tests vision. Making and fitting glasses is amazing and it is one of the best jobs on the planet in my opinion, but in 2014, one of the technicians quit on the spot. My coworker and dear friend was left to work up every single patient for 2-3 doctors and I hated seeing her drown, so I jumped in and helped her.
She gave me a crash course in how to work up a patient, from checking vision to intraocular pressures to detecting eye muscle dysfunctions and so on. Opticianry was second nature to me but now I had to take some of the various things that I had basic knowledge of, like ocular anatomy and how the eye functions, and dive into this whole other world of vision. The first few weeks were rough, because I knew certain details and principles that were good to know for eye health but they were not nearly all of the things that I needed to understand to do this new job and help my coworker. Through asking for extra assistance from the team and physicians that I worked for, I eventually became a lead technician at a sister office. Since then, I have switched to a different practice, which had its own novice to expert adventure.
As everyone in medicine knows, healthcare is serious business. Patients are sick, dying, hurt or incapable of helping themselves and it is our job to assist them; the uglier the job, the more we have to step it up. If you can’t step up, you have to step out of the way and somebody who is willing to grow and evolve will replace you. I am very proud of how far I have come in the last ten years and I am looking forward to what the next ten have in store for me. Although we may be experts in one thing, we’re never an expert at everything, so lifelong learning is very important. Once you feel that you’ve hit a wall and cannot move further, switch up and grow in a different area.