You will take a lot of different types of classes when you are in opticianry school, including eye care -specific classes, like terminology and anatomy, as well as more general classes, like math. Both types are important for you to be adequately prepared to be an optician, and being knowledgeable in a variety of areas may give you an edge during your job hunt. It is important to keep in mind that these are just meant to give you an idea of topics you will study, and are not necessarily an accurate reflection of what you will study where you actually attend school.
Math (for Opticians)
Although you might prefer it if you only had to take classes that are directly related to your intended career, there is a chance you will also be asked to study other subjects, such as communication or math. This is because there are a lot of other topics that relate indirectly to opticianry, and math is one of them. There are a lot of situations in which you will have to use mathematical calculations as an optician, such as when measuring and repairing glasses, or when doing accounting work and calculating payments. Examples of topics you could take in a math class that is geared toward opticians include measurements of distance and weight, ratios and proportions, simple formulas, decimals, conversions, variables, and basic trigonometric terms.
Optical Terminology, Anatomy, and Principles
To be an optician, you can’t just be knowledgeable about how to do calculations and sell people glasses. You should understand at least some of the basic information that ophthalmologists learn when they are in school. This includes studying the properties of light, the characteristics of lenses used in eyeglasses, how different lenses correct vision problems, and common eye diseases and disorders. You might also study refraction, reflection, and the laws that govern them; math formulas related to lenses, and the standards for quality that are used when designing eyewear. You should learn enough ophthalmic terminology to be able to speak professionally to coworkers, be able to determine the power of a lens, and be able to transpose prescriptions. Other potential topics include visual acuity spending, refractive errors, eye examination instruments, and the function of extraocular muscles.
Ophthalmic Dispensing – Introduction
Of course, opticians need to know how to be ophthalmic dispensers, as this is essentially the main purpose of their jobs. You may take more than one class in school on this topic, as it is a broad subject that includes a lot of material. In an introductory class you will learn about the basic techniques and skills required of dispensers. You will learn how to measure peoples’ faces for eyeglasses, interpret prescriptions from optometrists, adjust and align frames, and determine the right frame sizes for patients. Your instructors will likely teach you optical terminology, how to interpret markings on frames, and how to measure bifocal/multifocal sizes for lenses. You might also study how to take into consideration cosmetic factors when selecting frames, how to explain procedures in an optical laboratory, and how to adjust eyeglasses so that they are comfortable for patients. Other potential topics include lens insertion, frame repair techniques, frame alignment, different types of lenses, and interpupillary distance.