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Last week I started my rotation in The Optical at The Eye Center. Every Thursday for the next 6 weeks or so, I will work in the dispensary all day, helping patients pick out the style of lenses and frames they want, ordering, adjusting and repairing glasses. This skill is critical to learn before starting a practice. As an optometrist you may hire an optician to work at your office or with the training we are getting at SCO we can do it ourselves at first or train a staff member to become proficient in this area.
I found that after just one day of working in the Optical that I’ve already learned valuable lessons. We learn to make decisions for the patients and put them in the spectacle that is right for them. We learn when to recommend different lens materials or coatings, and how to help a patient chose between a Progressive or a lined bifocal and how determine what parameters are needed for each patient. A lot of people only want what their insurance will cover, so you have to know how to find that out and help them pick something within their means. Once you become familiar with what different insurance companies will and will not cover, this becomes an invaluable tool for you in the exam room. As a Student Doctor I can now see what insurance my patient has a make a recommendation to them on the type of glasses they should purchase before they even leave the exam room.
This Saturday I had the opportunity to participate in a screening at a local community center near the school. Several students from SCO along with faculty member, Dr. Jill Pitts, were there to give FREE vision screenings to those in the neighborhood who stopped by. There were students from other professional schools in Memphis also participating by taking blood pressure, handing out pamphlets on staying healthy with regular wellness exams and blood glucose tests were also being administered. There were door prizes and snacks too! It was for a good cause and a lot of fun. SCO participates in a screening that students can volunteer for such as this just about every weekend and sometimes, like this weekend, there is even more than one screening going on.
We third years have 2 tests coming up this week. Monday is a Contact Lens exam and Friday a Low Vision Exam! I also start my Friday rotation at the Walk-In Clinic at The Eye Center. Busy Week!