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Pursuing a Career in Optometry

Pursuing a Career in Optometry

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Pursuing a career in optometry is a great decision to make as this career is one of the highly-rated medical fields in Nigeria today. Optometry is a healthcare profession that focuses on the examination, diagnosis, treatment, and management of eye abnormalities and disorders.

 

Optometry is one of the very productive and lucrative fields in the medical sector. An Optometrist is clinically trained and licensed to deliver the best standard of comprehensive primary eye care. This is an interesting career path that requires you to put in all the hard work and dedication to pursue.

 

This piece will guide you on the steps to take in pursuing a career in Optometry

 

How to Start a Career in Optometry

  1. Obtain your O’ level results:

    You must have a minimum of credit pass in subjects such as Mathematics, English, Chemistry, Biology, and Physics before you can gain admission into any Nigerian University to study Optometry.

  2. Register and write the JAMB exam:

    To have a better chance of being admitted to study optometry, you must have a JAMB score of 250 or above. Furthermore, the cumulative score that the university will use to assess your candidature for admission will be based on your JAMB score in addition to your POST UTME result. Optometry requires the four JAMB subject combinations of English, Chemistry, Biology, and Mathematics.

  3. Obtain a Bachelor’s degree:

    Apply to an accredited University to study and earn a Bachelor’s degree in Optometry. The duration for the Optometry program is between 5 – 6 years in the University.

  4. Complete a Pre-Registration Internship:

    After successfully completing your bachelor’s degree, you must complete a pre-registration internship programme. This programme, which normally lasts a year, aims to give students hands-on instruction and experience in optometric practise. It is necessary in order to be eligible to take the professional qualifying exam..

  5. Register with the Regulatory Body:

    You are required to register with the Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians Registration Board of Nigeria (ODORBN) after completing the pre-registration internship. To legally practice optometry in Nigeria, one must first register. You must submit the necessary paperwork, which includes proof of your academic accomplishments, an internship completion certificate, and other relevant information.

  6. Pass the Professional Qualifying Examination:

    After registering, you must take and pass the ODORBN Professional Qualifying Examination. This exam assesses your knowledge and competence in optometry and includes a variety of topics.

  7. Obtain a Practicing License:

    Upon successful completion of the Professional Qualifying Examination, you will be issued a practising license by ODORBN. This license allows you to practice as an optometrist in Nigeria.

  8. Gain Practical Experience:

    It is beneficial to gain practical experience after receiving your practicing licenses by working under the supervision of experienced optometrists. This will assist you in further developing your talents and establishing a firm foundation in your career.

  9. Continuous Professional Development:

    Optometry is a dynamic industry, and it is critical to stay current on the newest discoveries and developments. Participate in continual professional development activities such as attending seminars, workshops, and conferences, as well as seeking more education, to improve your knowledge and abilities.

  10. Consider Specialization:

    You can decide to specialise in contact lenses, paediatric optometry, low vision, or ocular illness as you gain experience in optometry. Specialisation can broaden your knowledge and expand your professional options.

 

Areas of Specialisation in the Optometry Career

  1. Ocular Disease:

    Ocular illness optometrists diagnose, manage, and treat a variety of eye diseases and ailments. Glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, and dry eye syndrome are all disorders that they monitor and treat.

  2. Contact Lens Optometry:

    Contact lens optometry is the practice of fitting and prescribing contact lenses to individuals with a variety of visual needs. Specialists in this field are skilled at assessing the cornea, determining the best type of contact lens, and providing ongoing care and management of contact lens wear.

  3. Sports Vision:

    Sports vision specialists assist athletes to improve their visual performance and optimise eye-hand coordination, depth perception, and visual processing speed. They do specialised exams and prescribe customised eyewear for athletes.

  4. Paediatric Optometry:

    Specialising with children, diagnosing and managing vision disorders particular to infants, children, and adolescents, is an area of expertise in paediatric optometry.

  5. Community/Public Health Optometry:

    Optometrists that specialise in community or public health optometry seek to enhance overall eye health. They are primarily concerned with preventive eye care, public health education, and meeting the specialised eye care requirements of underprivileged groups.

 

Universities in Nigeria that offer Optometry

  1. Abia State University, Uturu
  2. University of Port Harcourt
  3. Bayero University, Kano
  4. University of Ilorin (UNILORIN)
  5. Imo State University, Owerri (IMSU)
  6. The Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO)
  7. Madonna University, Okija
  8. University Of Benin, Benin City.
  9. Gregory University, Uturu
  10. University of Ilorin
  11. Lead City University, Ibadan
  12. University of Ibadan
  13. Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto
  14. University of Nigeria
  15. Lagos State University Teaching Hospital
  16. University of Lagos

 

Salary of Optometrists

 

The salary of optometrists varies depending on the years of experience, place of work and location. Optometrists working in private hospitals and optometry clinics earn N100,000 to N200,000 monthly while Optometrists working in government hospitals earn about N150,000 to N300,000.

 

Optometry is a diverse and lucrative career in the healthcare industry. Pursuing a career in optometry has a lot of perks that will be rewarding in future. People who enjoy variety and a new challenge every day are drawn to this field. Furthermore, in order to succeed in this career path, you must be committed and hardworking.

 

Good luck.

 

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