The job of an optometrist is usually considered to be easy and one with very low levels of stress. While that assumption is true to a large extent, some stressors can make the job pressurizing.
Although what an optometrist does is relatively simple, the job’s nature becomes monotonous, making it a challenging task. Below are listed some of the common stressors of this profession.
- Repetitive nature of conducting eye tests.
An optometrist has to ask the same question every day: Which one is clearer? This one or that one? That too, too many times. The monotony of receiving similar answers from patients to keep changing frames with different numbers really results in optometrists doing this on autopilot, taking away the ‘life- factor’ out of it.
- Scarcity of resources
Optometrists are often short of time, staff, patients and thus profits. Staff is not only unavailable at times, but the money to afford that stuff can also be a problem. The optical pie is only so big. This is a natural stress-inducing pressure that comes with the profession.
- Lack of margins
As an optometrist, you definitely have to work much harder to get the same returns you earned 10 years ago. Inflation is just one of the reasons for optometrists to be struggling with the business side of the equation.
A major stressor comes from online competitors who have made the consumer aware of low-price options with their huge value-driven models. This has put pressure on the entire industry to keep the prices reasonable.
- Public Dealing
Due to the nature of this job, people can attach unrealistic expectations from an optometrist. And then also find it okay to be rude when they are not fulfilled. Dealing with the public can be stressful, especially when people walk in always looking for a bargain or a request to re-do their glasses on an urgent basis.
Not being able to fulfil these expectations or receiving negative treatment because you are in a retail business can be a huge pressure that comes with this job. Especially when the work purely comprises talking to people and understanding their problems.
- Not feeling important
With the popular notion that ‘optometry’ is easy, many in the profession may feel like they are not important, or their job is not as worthy just because it is not as challenging.
It is easy for an optometrist to ignore that they are not just a piece but an important piece of the puzzle. And this can often take a toll on their mental health.
To wrap it up, optometry as a profession comes with its pressures and challenges. Some are easier to work through than others. But at the end of the day, it is important to remember that you are making a huge difference in the world as an optometrist.
Reframing how you look at the more mundane parts of your job and embracing its more meaningful aspects will help you find the joy in helping people see.