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Getting out

Domiciliary eye care is too often overlooked, but can offer an invaluable experience

23 Jan 2020 by John White

The OT  team has been talking a lot about what it means to be an optometrist in practice today. Exploring the theme for our ‘Portfolio Optometrists’ edition in February, we have been asking eye care practitioners to tell us about the multifaceted roles they choose to pursue, both in the practice environment and beyond.

One mode of practice that we fail to talk about enough is domiciliary care. Third-year student, and AOP Councillor, Luke McRoy-Jones, puts that right, offering his take on the impact delivering care in this setting has had on the way he tests patients.

“I am thoroughly enjoying the role to date,” he explained. “The experience has been invaluable in showing me a different side to the profession and the optical industry. As a result, it has informed the way that I work in the practice environment and at university.”

Providing domiciliary care, while important and rewarding, is not without challenges. With that in mind, this week the Domiciliary Eyecare Committee, which is co-chaired by AOP Council and Board member, Gordon Ilett, launched a survey on domiciliary eyecare providers’ experience of physical and safety issues in delivering domiciliary services. All responses are anonymous, and the survey closes on 31 January.

Reflecting on his experience, Luke notes that heading out of practice to meet and provide care to patients at home makes domiciliary special. “The most unique part of domiciliary optometry is that you see and understand the patient’s day-to-day environment and how they will habitually use their spectacles, depending on the visual needs for that environment…I’ve met interesting people and visited places I wouldn’t have otherwise visited,” he explained.

For the OT team too, getting out and about to meet readers, listen to their views, and tell their stories is central to what we do. One annual opportunity we would never miss is 100% Optical. The ExCeL London show returns this weekend for three days of education from the AOP, coupled with a hall brimming with exhibitors and prime networking opportunities.

Please drop by and share your ideas for stories on the AOP’s stand, L03. As always, the team will be reporting from every corner of the show, so look out for our coverage online, including a new feature on Instagram to celebrate OT’s 60th year. 

Image credit: Pixabay/sabinevanerp

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