Nyssa Perkins

Optometric Technician

Nyssa Perkins calls her position as technician at the Mind-Eye Institute “the right fit,” because it neatly bridges her interest, education, and past work in the fields of neurology and optometry. 

“The retina is part of the brain, and the Mind-Eye Institute uses therapeutic eyeglasses to provide relief to patients who have headaches, dizziness, nausea, light and sound sensitivities, and other symptoms associated with traumatic brain injury, concussions and other neurological disorders. That’s very much in line with my previous experience as a registered EEG (electroencephalography) technician, assisting patients who struggle with epilepsy and even sleep disorders,” says Nyssa, who, at the time, was working as a travel EEG technician throughout the Midwest at various hospitals. 

Nyssa, who later secured a position as a certified ophthalmic assistant working under the supervision of an ophthalmologist at Virdi Eye Clinic in Rock Island, Ill., emphasizes that she has always had a strong interest in health care, even though her original career plans involved becoming a broadcast journalist. 

“I earned my bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from Columbia College Chicago in 2008 and spent the next couple of years working in production and video editing and doing some reporting for a television station in the Quad Cities area of Illinois and Iowa,” she recalls. “But then I opted to return to school at Scott Community College in Bettendorf, Iowa to earn an associate degree in neurodiagnostic technology, minoring in polysomnography.” 

“What I appreciate most about my current role as technician at the Mind-Eye Institute is that it blends my prior experience in neurology and optometry into a single position. The role of the Mind-Eye technician is to test patients by closely observing their behavior, posture, emotions, fatigue, and stress levels and then reporting the results in detail to the optometrists in order to help them better understand – and determine — each patient’s exact needs,” Nyssa explains. 

The one word to describe Nyssa’s hobbies is birds. “Right now, I am raising seven finches,” she says. 

Nyssa also is contemplating a return to improvisational comedy. 

“I had previously taken a few classes at Chicago’s Second City and actually reached level B in comedic acting. I am considering doing that again.” 

Certainly not a surprising admission from someone who says her greatest enjoy is “story-telling, conversing, laughing, and just socializing with other people.”