Tyler Junior College

Vision Care Technology

Optician

Assume that you became a dispensing optician in an optical dispensary. Your prime responsibilities? To serve eye doctors and their patients. You will work with optometrists and ophthalmologists in much the same way that pharmacists serve physicians, in that your primary role is to fill the patient's prescription for glasses or contact lenses. You will be meeting the public. A pleasant, sales-oriented professional personality will prove helpful.

Your work will start with the doctor's prescription for corrective eyewear. You will begin by measuring the individual's pupillary distance to determine the placement of the lenses. You will ask some rather personal question--occupation, hobbies, and reading habits. Strange? Not at all. There are hundreds of lenses available for many different purposes.

Once you have determined the proper type and shape of lens, you become the style consultant. Frames have become fashion accessories. You will guide the patient in the selection of frames that satisfy optical requirements, that best enhance facial features, color harmonize with complexion and suit the individual personality.

The task of fabricating lenses and assembling them into selected frames are put into the skilled hands of optical laboratory technicians. When the finished glasses are returned, you will use precision instruments of check their accuracy.

Through your expertise and ability, seemingly unintelligible numbers on a prescription blank have been transformed into eyewear precisely tailor-made for one specific person. Your skill, judgment and knowledge have helped give that person maximum visual sharpness and a new lease - as well as a new "look"- on life.

As an optical laboratory technician, your work started with an order for prescription ground eyewear. You may be a specialist in one phase of the fabrication process in a large laboratory or you may perform the entire operation.

You will begin with a lens blank of optically pure glass or plastic. The work order will give you the information you need to interpret the prescription with hairline accuracy. You will then proceed to grind and polish this lens blank, always using precision instruments to measure the required power. The edge of the lens is beveled and smoothed so that it can be assembled into the selected frame.

Dispensing opticians fit contact lenses, but do not manufacture them. They follow doctors' prescriptions, measure the corneas of patients eyes, and then prepare specifications for the contact lens manufacturer. They train patients how to insert, remove, and care for contact lenses during the adjustment period. The eye doctor will recheck the fit after the adjustment period, and the customer may return to the dispensing optician if the eye doctor recommends a change in prescription.

This is a simplified explanation of your duties as an optician. There are many other important intermediary steps in the actual procedure. Through it all, you will be exercising highly specialized technical skills, meticulous workmanship, painstaking patience and a thorough knowledge of the intricate laboratory equipment.