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Pre-reg focus

“I’m enjoying it more every single day”

Pre-registration optometrist at Moorfields Eye Hospital, Emily Mather, on finding a supportive community in her first four months

Emily Mather

The first four months of my pre-reg have absolutely flown by. I’m enjoying it more every single day and feel like I’m becoming more confident in my ability. I’m really enjoying the hospital setting and the variety of clinics is great. Pre-reg is hard – there’s no denying that – and things in the hospital are sometimes very challenging, but I feel like I’m learning a lot every day and gaining useful experience. We’re busier in clinics than we were at the start, which is great, and we are working a lot more independently than we were initially. We’ve started taking low vision patients – which is exciting, as I can implement a lot of what I learnt at university into practice.

A hospital is an unusual place to be during COVID-19. A lot of the patients are very happy to see us, and many of them haven’t seen or spoken to anyone else for a long time – so they’re just happy to interact with other people. We’re in scrubs during clinics too, which I love, as I don’t have to spend ages picking out what to wear in a morning (or do any ironing).

A culture of support

Everyone is really looking out for one another as COVID-19 has been a challenging time for everyone, which is lovely. The team of optometrists at Moorfields is huge and everyone is always making sure pre-regs are supported – not only just with pre-reg work, but emotionally and with anything else that we might be struggling with.

The supervisors also let us get really stuck in as pre-regs and now we’ve been here a little longer they’re helping us take on more complicated challenges

 

I have been supported by so many people at Moorfields. The great thing about the hospital is there are lots of people you can ask about so many different things, and everyone is always willing to help. I have some amazing supervisors, who sit down with me before I take a patient and talk through their existing history and any challenges I might potentially face, and how to overcome them. The supervisors also let us get really stuck in as pre-regs and now we’ve been here a little longer they’re helping us take on more complicated challenges.

Shared experiences

Another great thing about doing pre-reg here at Moorfields is there is a little group of four of us. We can all help each other with competencies, patient records and other pre-reg queries. It’s nice to be able to talk to each other about anything we’re finding challenging. We’re all in the same boat and going through the same thing, so being able to share experiences and gain help and advice from people in the same position is invaluable.

It’s been a challenging four months of settling in, managing working full time and going home to revise in the evening. Now things are opening up a little more, London is a great place to explore. I’m desperately trying to manage my time effectively in order to make the most of the city. I have a community placement coming up too, which will be great to gain experience in another optometric setting. I’m excited for this as it will allow me to build a whole new set of skills and work within a new team. I’m really looking forward to the next couple of months of pre-reg and learning even more.