The optical assistant's take

Zoe Harrison shares insight into developing your clinical skllset as an optical assistant

Zoe Harrison

What's your role?

I have been working in practice since 2012, having worked in the domiciliary field for a couple of years prior to moving to an in-practice role as an optical assistant. I am currently in my second year of training as a student dispensing optician via distance learning.

How long have you been using an OCT?

I have been using an OCT for about two years now. Alongside other members of the front-of-house team, I am responsible for explaining to patients about what is involved and taking scans for the optometrist to review.

What have you found most challenging about this aspect of your role?

In the beginning, I found that explaining the process to the patient was difficult and describing what an OCT scan entailed in simple language took some refining. Patients sometimes ask quite tricky questions about what the scans mean, and I can feel out of my depth – it is important to remind myself to be honest when I don’t know the answer and defer to a clinician where necessary. With experience I have developed more knowledge on OCT scans and really enjoy the clinical aspect of this work.