Ria’s Journey to Becoming an Optometry Technician

Overcoming Obstacles and Focusing on Patient Care


Meet Ria Vyas, an aspiring optometry technician who has been working at Boston Vision for the past two years. Her aunt, who is an optometrist at the same clinic, initially introduced her to the field. While this connection gave Ria a foot in the door, she still had to overcome several obstacles to get where she is today. Ria has been determined to learn as much as she could about optometry, despite the pandemic-related challenges she faced during her freshman and sophomore years of high school.

As a freshman, Ria was not yet eligible for the internship program at Boston Vision, and the pandemic made it even harder for her to gain experience in the field.

“I couldn’t help around too much then,” Vyas said.

However, her passion for optometry led her to shadow doctors and technicians and observe how they worked, even though she could not work at the clinic at the time. Ria was interested in learning how to use the scanning machine, and she did so by watching doctors and technicians use it during their work.

It wasn’t until her junior year that Ria began to receive training as a technician. With the help of the head technician, who was her aunt’s favorite, Ria was able to start doing scans on her own while being supervised. She also had the opportunity to interact with patients in the clinic, taking notes and learning how to do different workups for various doctors.

Ria describes her training in more detail, “The head technician, she was my aunt’s favorite, and she was able to teach me. I was shadowing her, and I was able to do the scans by myself with her watching over me. And it was just basically training my junior year and seeing patients with her in the rooms. I would like Type A she would do the workup, and I was like the scribe, and then sometimes I would talk to the patient myself and scribe, but she was always in the room. So I did that for my junior year.”

“It’s just good to be ahead and know what you’re talking about and doing, especially when it comes to patient care.” -Ria Vyas

After completing her training, Ria was thrilled to officially become an intern technician the summer before her senior year. She was able to see patients one-on-one, do workups, and scan on her own. Moreover, Ria had the opportunity to observe surgeries and learn from different doctors, including ocular plastic surgeons and cataract doctors.

Ria details more about her experience observing plastic surgery.

“I don’t know what I want to do yet, but surgery is one of the bigger things I want to do for my future. Seeing the plastic surgeon do his things even that like so that patients don’t have to be under anesthesia, which is really cool,” Vyas said.

Ria’s primary focus was patient care, which she believes is essential to the healthcare system. She aims to make a positive impact in the field and improve the system for the better.

Ria spoke to her day in the life as a technician and details the many different types of work-ups she has been tasked with.

“For different doctors, I did different workups. So like each doctor needs a different like workup depending on like what they’re looking for, a plastic surgeon needs a different one, the LASIK guy needs another the cataract doctor needs another type of workup. So I was doing all that. And there’s like days called a retina day. So all day I would just scan patients’ eyes over and over again. And I would also observe like the injection that the doctor puts in the patient’s eye for the retinal detachment stuff, which is really cool because it goes straight into the eye and their eyes are numb while they’re awake, they can see the need to go in the eye, but they can’t feel it. It’s fascinating,” said Vyas.

Ria has been working part-time at Boston Vision since 2021 and has gained valuable experience as a technician. “I basically work part-time since, but I’ve been working there since basically my freshman year. I officially like my label for working there has been since 2021. So it’s been two years now of seeing patients and all that,” Vyas said.

She is now working on her senior project, which involves treating patients and conducting interviews with doctors, technicians, and patients. Her project aims to shed light on the healthcare system and how clinics like Boston Vision are making patients’ lives easier. One of Ria’s main interests is comparing the US healthcare system to other countries, such as those in Europe, where insurance is often free.

Ria details further about her senior project.

“it’s going to be both about like how patient care works and how I as a technician does everything and how just day to day life goes. But I’m also going to be interviewing multiple people and just doing research on the healthcare industry and how that’s on a downfall. What Boston envision does to make it better and what we can do as regular people, patients, doctors, technicians, whatever you are in the healthcare industry to make it better. Comparing (US healthcare) to like European just in general, like other outside health care systems outside the US, like theirs is much better in comparison because they offer free insurance. So it’s like patients don’t have that money to worry about, another aspect that we can look at to prevent the downfall of the healthcare industry,” said Vyas.

Ria plans to attend Northeastern University and take advantage of their Co-Op program, which will allow her to gain additional experience as an optometry technician. Ria speaks to her summer plans while in college and how she will continue patient care.

“When I come back in the summer, I do plan to work back in the Milford office, since again, I’ll be an employee there. It’s just good to keep up with like patient care, and like, because that’s gonna be my future,” Vyas said.

Ria details the opportunities that working at Boston Vision provided her.

“I’ve also been published in a paper we there was a multi-lymphoma case study. I was able to read the article, be part of the case study and actually write the conclusion, which was then presented in San Francisco, which was really cool. So that was last October, October 2022. So I’ve been getting a lot of good opportunities, as rarely anyone has ever been published in a paper, especially at my age, and being able to be published in a case study that’s going on, like and write the conclusion like my name is on it with a bunch of other doctors and then it was presented to a bunch of AI doctors and everything I in the San Francisco, American optometry academies. i’ve been getting a lot of good opportunities with Boston vision.” Vyas said.

Ria’s dedication and passion for the field have helped her achieve her goals despite the obstacles she faced. Her determination to make a positive impact on patient care and improve the healthcare system makes her a promising and inspiring figure in the field of optometry.