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Work study while in optometry program?

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eyepoker

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work study (in school) or work part time (in private sectors) while in optometry program?
Anyone optometry students work during their OD programs?

I wonder how much are ophthalmic techs needed in OD/OMD offices?
I am currently working for an OMD for about a year, I do the pre-screening, VA, VF, Ks, OCT (RNFL, and macular), slit lamp (although very limited/superficial, just lids, conj, pupils, EOM...), IOP (w/ tonopen), and dilation.

My boss encourages me to get a tech certification, level one: COA, certified ophthalmic assistant, through JCAHPO, so that I can work while in school.

Now I know everything is possible if it's important enough for you (you will make time for it), but how feasible is it going to be (if I want to work on weekends) with all the intense material/exams/practice?

would it be easier during first year? 2nd yr? 3rd yr?

and how much are certified techs paid hourly? because the exam itself cost $300, and if I can't find a part time job that will bring me some income during school, then I might as well not do it. It's a lot of money for me...

any thoughts? :rolleyes:
 

SightIsPrecious

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The wage for techs vary greatly depending on which OD/OMD you for and the type of practice (private practice, medical institution, comercial, etc) you work in. The level of pay I think has more to do with your experience rather than certification. Some places may prefer techs with certification, but I don't think there is a huge difference between starting pay for certified/non-certified. If you do an online search for optometric/ophthlamic techs, some job postings list whether they are looking for certified techs and what the starting salary is. As far as the $300 exam fee... some drs pay for it, esp if they want you to be certified. The place I work at covers certification exams and CE costs, but this is not true for all clinics.

I'm wondering the same thing about work during op school. I hear that work load is toughest during 2nd year, and things start to ease up a bit as you increase clinic time during 3rd and 4th yrs. When I asked the financial advisor at my interview at SUNY, they of course recommended students not to work. For current students and alums of SUNY, which year do you guys think is the most difficult, and how many students you know actually manage to do both?
 

still_confused

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at suny there are no easy years except when you go on rotations and you might score a 9-5 gig
 

r_salis

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The Work/Study program at SUNY pays pretty well, and those jobs have the benefit of allowing you to fit them around your school schedule.

2nd and 3rd quarter of 3rd year aren't that bad time-wise. It's really not a good idea to depend on money from an outside part-time job, though. If it's just for "extra" money, that's one thing, but school itself is stressful enough.
 

ODduck

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work study (in school) or work part time (in private sectors) while in optometry program?
Anyone optometry students work during their OD programs?

I wonder how much are ophthalmic techs needed in OD/OMD offices?
I am currently working for an OMD for about a year, I do the pre-screening, VA, VF, Ks, OCT (RNFL, and macular), slit lamp (although very limited/superficial, just lids, conj, pupils, EOM...), IOP (w/ tonopen), and dilation.

My boss encourages me to get a tech certification, level one: COA, certified ophthalmic assistant, through JCAHPO, so that I can work while in school.

Now I know everything is possible if it's important enough for you (you will make time for it), but how feasible is it going to be (if I want to work on weekends) with all the intense material/exams/practice?

would it be easier during first year? 2nd yr? 3rd yr?

and how much are certified techs paid hourly? because the exam itself cost $300, and if I can't find a part time job that will bring me some income during school, then I might as well not do it. It's a lot of money for me...

any thoughts? :rolleyes:

I personally don't have a work study job, but many of my classmates do and it is a good option. One of my friends is a stats guy for the undergrad sports teams, one works for the outdoor life department that sets up activities for students to do things out in the wilderness (plenty of it in Oregon), and many of them are "building monitors" who pretty much get paid to do their HW and unlock doors for students who want to practice after hours. The other nice thing about work study (at least in Oregon) is if you do work study at all (I'm talking 1 hour a week) you qualify for food stamps which can be a huge help. Other students TA for classes that they have taken already as they get into the 2nd and 3rd years of the program. Really, work study is a good deal because they are flexible and will work around your busy schedule.

As far as getting a part-time job separate from the school, I don't know how that would work. My advice is to study hard, but when you aren't studying either relax or do something fun that has nothing to do with optometry. I like learning and I'm excited to be an optometrist, but if I didn't get breaks from it every once in a while I would have gone crazy about 3 weeks in. You know how when you were a kid playing sports and they said the most important thing was to "have fun". Well, that's not the MOST important thing in optometry school, but is important if you want to stay sane enough to make it through and still want to do it for another 30ish years after that.

Just one kinda burnt out first years opinion on the matter...
 

EyeBaller

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The Work/Study program at SUNY pays pretty well, and those jobs have the benefit of allowing you to fit them around your school schedule.

2nd and 3rd quarter of 3rd year aren't that bad time-wise. It's really not a good idea to depend on money from an outside part-time job, though. If it's just for "extra" money, that's one thing, but school itself is stressful enough.

I agree. If you want to pick up extra cash then work study jobs at SUNY are a great source. You can get a regular job at the library or something which can let you study and get paid at the same time. I personally didn't get a regular job but picked up random jobs here and there to earn a few extra $$$.

I do know people that have jobs outside too, it's all about time management and what kind of studier (is that a word?) you are.
 

itek2OD

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work study (in school) or work part time (in private sectors) while in optometry program?
Anyone optometry students work during their OD programs?

I wonder how much are ophthalmic techs needed in OD/OMD offices?

There's tons of jobs, all over. just job search 'ophthalmic tech' and you'll find them. Only really new or really specialized, anal, omds want to do their own workups. Docs see more pts and ideally make more $$$ with a tech's help so..... there's always jobs out there, for now.

My boss encourages me to get a tech certification, level one: COA, certified ophthalmic assistant, through JCAHPO, so that I can work while in school.

You don't need certification to get a job, it just proves to docs that you know your stuff, and you can show it off to pts that ask about your expertise. You could prolly pass the COA test by reading a couple chapters now with your experience so as long as your boss pays for it, it definitely won't hurt you. I'd say if your not going to be in opt school within a year and you like the job you have, and the omd will pay for it, get certified. Your boss should pay you more hourly once you're certified.

Now I know everything is possible if it's important enough for you (you will make time for it), but how feasible is it going to be (if I want to work on weekends) with all the intense material/exams/practice?

would it be easier during first year? 2nd yr? 3rd yr?

I'm not an OD student so I really don't know - see above.

and how much are certified techs paid hourly? because the exam itself cost $300, and if I can't find a part time job that will bring me some income during school, then I might as well not do it. It's a lot of money for me...

I've never seen anyone pd less than $12/hr though I'm in a big city and as SIP said it varies from type of practice to where you are in the country. ATPO and JCAHPO has an annual questionnaire where they check these things out. I think you'll get paid enough, its just if its worth stressing in clinc when I'm sure you'll have better things to do ie homework, relaxing, etc.

[snip!] The level of pay I think has more to do with your experience rather than certification. Some places may prefer techs with certification, but I don't think there is a huge difference between starting pay for certified/non-certified. If you do an online search for optometric/ophthlamic techs, some job postings list whether they are looking for certified techs and what the starting salary is.

There is a huge difference between starting and even end-pay for certified and non-certified techs. Some docs/managers just don't want to put out the cash :smuggrin: So they'll say: "Show us some skills, and we'll put you to work". Unfortunately, that doesn't help you out if you ever have to leave their practice for another one, where one would have to prove themselves all over again. In the long run, and I mean working longer than 2 years, getting certified pays dividends.
 
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