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So I’ve had quite the last few months. When I was searching for a job up here, I was really frantic and worried. I didn’t want to start off my marriage on one income if I didn’t have to. But I was determined to start my life with Will and a job was not going to get in my way.

I searched for vision centers first, then I applied for hospital systems, and then for regular healthcare admin jobs. I know that moving was my perfect excuse to get out of Optometry but… the thought of that made me sad. I really do love what I do, as weird as that is. I got glowing letters of recommendation from my bosses and I stayed up until 2AM for weeks just putting in application after application. I got a few interviews but… I refuse to work for a place with holes burned in the carpet (cough, cough, Lenscrafters). I was too expensive for a couple other places (cough, cough, PearleVision). I had an interview with a specialty hospital up here but… I wanted to stay with a private practice.

I started my new job a few days after I got married. I didn’t know it at the time, but I work for a specialty practice. We do a lot of fittings for specialty contacts for patients who have some pretty serious issues, like severe dry eyes (so severe the eye attacks itself and wastes away) and patients who were in traumatic accidents. It’s been a learning process, these lenses are unlike anything I’ve ever dealt with. I’ve figured out how to fight insurance and disability battles for my patients. I’ve also had to figure out credentialing, and now I’m a HIPAA compliance officer. This Monday, I basically prayed for the phone to ring because I was going through our internal audit and making a list of the policies and procedures I need to change. I have a whole binder of audit. A binder.

I’m also the IT person because shit never breaks when we are doing catch up work. Nope. Exam lanes all full? Patients waiting? Damn printer breaks. Last month, I was crouched on the floor in 3 inch heels, full makeup, and my ruffled dress with a pair of pliers and a pen light in my mouth trying to fix a part of the feeder that decided to break. Today the server overheated. Pretty soon after I started, the optical computers decided to switch parts of their user menus to some Slavic language and nothing made sense (we got new computers shortly after). I’ve digitized so many files and I’ve updated so many forms. I’m learning encryption right now. That is going to take a while.

I also have started to collect patients that I’m rather fond of. The specialty lens patients are pretty easy to like. I can’t imagine what they go through during this whole process, but they are the most determined and most resilient of all our patients. And also, the most grateful. Plus, we see them all the time so they become almost like friends.

I’m quite happy with my job. But it’s exhausting sometimes. Hopefully I’ll get better at handing the stress.

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