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Through the Eyes of an Ophthalmic Technician: What It’s Like to Work at VIP


Do you have a calling to change someone’s life for the better? Look no further than a career in ophthalmology, where you have the power to be a calming, positive presence in your patients’ lives.

If you’re considering making a rewarding career change, you’re likely wondering what it’s like to work in ophthalmology and at Erdey Searcy Eye Group, Vision Integrated Partners (VIP) affiliated practice. We sat down with Colleen Skeabeck, who has worked at Erdey Searcy Eye Group for nine years (and counting!) and has been in the healthcare field for more than 35 years, to find out all about her role as an ophthalmic technician. Keep reading for an inside look at the role!

How did you get into the ophthalmic technician position?

I went to school to be an optician. I completed my program, then worked in the field at an eyewear company, but then I quickly realized it was mostly based around sales, and I wasn’t a salesperson. One of my classmates suggested I work at the office she was working at, and I never went back to being an optician. I chose to stay on the medical side since then. Working in healthcare and being on the medical side was much more appealing to me, and even in high school, I went to a medical assisting program. 

What does a typical day look like?

We see a lot of patients. I do a medical history on them, check their vision, check their eye pressure, and I usually dilate their eyes. I see the patients for a cataract evaluation and get them ready for cataract surgery. I answer their questions as well as help them understand what cataracts are and what’s to be expected during surgery and post-op. 

I also see patients during the post-op days. It’s nice to see what they were like before and after surgery, and I really get the pleasure of seeing them afterward when they decide how happy they are and how much better they can see after cataract surgery. That’s a really nice bonus.

What is your favorite thing about VIP?

I love to see the patients on post-op days and see how much better and happier they are. They’ll tell me that they didn’t know there was dust in their house, or colors are different, or things have improved so much for them—that’s a wonderful thing.

There’s a great team and culture. I like my coworkers, and I made a really wonderful friend through here who will probably always be in my life. I’m lucky to have found her, and it’s because I work here. 

What are some challenges in your role?

It’s challenging when we’re super busy, and patients may not understand. If a patient has an emergency and needs to be seen, I’m going to bring them in, but that means other patients have to wait. 

What advice would you give to someone considering a role in healthcare or ophthalmology?

You have the power to change someone’s life for the better. You, as a person, can make them more comfortable. They may be scared, and it’s nice to have someone who’s calming and understanding. Sometimes you just need to calm a patient down when they’re scared, so being a compassionate and empathetic person is important. The right person in the role will learn the skills, but it has to come from the heart first.

Interested in a rewarding career?

Want to be a part of a rewarding career and experience the VIP difference? We have a variety of open roles available across the country, ranging from scribes to ophthalmic technicians, medical assistants, and more. 

Explore our open roles and apply today to join us!