What to Expect when choosing Optometry
Choosing a degree is a big task. The choice becomes more difficult the longer you look at your options. You find more things to study, more areas to explore and before you know it your looking at Professional Scuba Diving with a Major in Bagpipe Studies. There’s a lot of interesting subjects!
If you are here for knowledge in eye health, vision and Optometry though, you are in the right place.
Flinders has asked a current Optometry student to review their experience in the course so far and to provide some useful advice for those looking to start. We have observed the results below.
Things to look forward to if you wish to study Optometry.
- You still get to study Medical Science over the years leading up. This means you get to gain insight into Medicine, health and Science as well as Bio-Chemistry related subjects.
- As the degree is competitive, the cohort is small. This means that you will form some really tight bonds with your peers over the 5 years and are likely to refer to each other after you exit into the world of work.
- The Tutors and Lecturers are really friendly and easy to get along with and engage with.
- You will learn in state of the art facilities at the Flinders Health-2-Go clinic working as an assistant Optometrist.
- You will gain a deep understanding of the eye and visual system, being able to help people attain sight in addition to diagnosing and managing eye related diseases.
Things to know before you start!
- Optometry is NOT just giving out spectacles and asking people 1 or 2. The eye is one of the most important sensory organs of our body – and restoring vision through glasses is just a small aspect in the field.
- Having a background in Physics is NOT required. All the concepts will be taught in the first-year physics topic; however, it is easier if you did these school.
- It is advantageous to gain employment in an optometric practise while you are a student at university. This will help in finding a job and understanding the practical aspects of optometry.
- You can travel in your fourth and fifth year to several different locations, including overseas for placement. i.e. Nepal, India, China, New York, the UK and many more. Eye health is an important aspect for every country
Things to know as a new student.
- Make friends in your cohort and outside as well. You will be among many medical students in your first few years and they can become future colleagues who you can refer patients to.
- The most difficult years in the degree are the second semester of third year and first semester of fourth year – so it’s important to treat university like a full time job especially during these periods.
- You can work through out your university life! Just keep an eye on your time management.
Things to look forward to when you FINISH!
- I have a week and half left of university and despite feeling excited about the future in terms of employment, career and professional development, I am already missing the fact I won’t be at university anymore.
- No more exams!
- No more assignments
Lastly, we asked students what their most memorable moment in the degree. Some results were quite remarkable but there is one in particular we would like to share.
Student’s examined a younger boy in the Health-2-Go Clinic and fondly remember the expression on his face. This was due to his excitement face when he was given his first pair glasses.
As it turns out, due to living in a poor village, without access to healthcare, he had no had access to health care until his family moved to Australia.
Being able to see clearly changed his life and its now the fondest memory many students have in their course here. Its also not likely the only time this will occur for these students.