Pre-reg optometrist Bhargavi Zinzuwadia is entering the final stage for her pre-reg period. As she prepares for the Objective Structures Clinical Examinations (OSCEs), she spoke to OT about her experiences of the final hurdle to qualification.
For Ms Zinzuwadia, who is completing her pre-reg at Specsavers Daventry, the transition from university to practice has been a large but enjoyable step.
“I felt that from university to Stage 1 there was a big jump in my knowledge. You are almost learning all of your university course again as you go through,” she shared, adding: “I found the first three months quite difficult as I was still trying to find the baseline of what’s going on around the store and with the patients.”
She explains in detail what her peers can expect from Stage 1 and Stage 2, the skills she learned and the elements of competence that she covered.
Sharing insight into her assessment visits, Ms Zinzuwadia admitted: “The first two visits are quite nerve-wracking, but then you get used to the process of having someone there in the room.”
Ms Zinzuwadia’s supervisor supported her in this process and made her feel at ease by regularly sitting in on her eye exams. “In the first four months [my supervisor] was in most of my eye tests so I would get used to someone being there,” she said.
Offering advice having successful conquered Stage 2, the pre-reg optometrist urged others to “stay calm.” “You will feel nervous when there is an assessment, that’s normal,” she said.
As many optometry graduates prepare to start their pre-reg period over the coming month, Ms Zinzuwadia shared: “Preparation is key, as is being organised from day one.”
She advised that reading through the pre-reg guide, as well as elements of competence that will be required, would be beneficial. “Be proactive and be ready to make mistakes as that will happen,” she concluded.