When Janice K. Ledford (she prefers to be called Jan) began her career in ophthalmic assisting in 1982, she had very little idea of what to expect. But she wanted something she could stick with.
Her college days had been marked by excellent grades but frequent changes of her major. After 5 years of "higher learning" she graduated from Columbus College in Columbus, Georgia with an A.S. in General Studies (biology emphasis, 1978) and an A.S. in Dental Hygiene (1980). After a 2-year break to stay at home with her first child, she decided to enter the work force. But dental jobs were not forthcoming. She answered an ad for an ophthalmic assistant, after looking up "ophthalmic" in the dictionary.
She still recalls the excitement she felt when she learned there were certification levels. Here were goals to achieve! It didn’t matter that she had to study on her own. With the encouragement of her employer and family, she became a Certified Ophthalmic Assistant in 1983. The next year she took the exam for Certified Ophthalmic Technician, and passed. One child, one move, and 4 years later she earned her certification as an Ophthalmic Medical Technologist.
Jan has been busy writing in the field of eye care since 1985. Eventually she formed her own company, EyeWrite Productions, and now concentrates more on the writing aspect of her career. She is the author of three ophthalmic assisting review books and the coauthor of a lay-oriented eye care book (The Crystal Clear Guide to Sight for Life, Starburst Publishers, 1996). Her work has been published in Ophthalmology, Ophthalmology World News, Annals of Ophthalmology and Glaucoma, Contact Lens Spectrum, Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Phaco & Foldables, Ophthalmic Surgery, and The Journal of Ophthalmic Nursing and Technology, among others.
She currently works several days a month at a satellite eye clinic with Dr. Charles Kirby of Western North Carolina Eye Care Associates, and has no plans to retire. At this point it seems safe to say that she's stuck with it!
Jan has expanded her writing to include nonfiction of a non-ophthalmic sort, plus fiction. Her first novel was published in 1998 (Hannah, available from Guideposts Books). For her next novel, she drew on her years of experience in researching and writing medical material. After three years of study and rewrites, The Cloning was published in 2001 (check it out at www.millenniatech.info).