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Orthoptiste: the profession of health that sees far

The optometrist is a professional visual function. While there for 50 years, this business remains little known in France. Above all it is a job recruiting. Seasoned professional working in the Yvelines Laurence Pache explains what his job and how to train.

What is the profession of optometrist?

"This is a paramedical profession is to detect vision problems and to make the re-education and rehabilitation. Compared to the ophthalmologist is a doctor and is interested in the eye as an organ, the orthoptist is interested in visual function. In everyday life, we treat all types of problems related to vision. And we are closely with other health professionals: the course ophthalmologists, but also general practitioners, neuro-paediatricians, ENT, to provide further diagnosis and treatment. "

What does it takes to do this job?

"It must already have technical skills but also be accurate, fast and dynamic. Demonstrate ability to synthesize knowledge and teamwork are essential skills. And as with any profession of health, he must show human qualities include being attentive to his patients. "

How do we shape the profession of optometrist?

"Training takes place at the university in three years in one of the 15 UFR preparing the profession of optometrist. To get there, it must pass a competition which tests relate to the physics program and final year science SVT. So I advise those who are tempted by the art to select the science stream or doing an upgrade before passing the contest. The numerus clausus is 150 students per year at the moment but I think it should increase soon. The training includes a practical component with internships in ophthalmic surgeries. "

What are the opportunities?

"The profession is understaffed: we practitioners 3000 when we should be 10,000 in order to meet all needs. So there is no marketing problems! For now, 75% of professionals work in private and 25% are employees of ophthalmic surgeries. But I think the ratio should gradually be reversed due to the shortage of ophthalmologists. In practice, the orthoptist can indeed help to manage the flow of patients achieving a pre-exam. "

This profession allows it to evolve?

"We practice a profession in constant contact with neuroscience and medical imaging, two areas that are constantly evolving in terms of technology and knowledge. We learn almost daily on the functioning of the eye and vision! This requires always keep pace with these developments and continue to form to offer our patients the best possible care. "

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