“I feel that my confidence has grown so much”
Pre-registration optometrist at Moorfields Eye Hospital, Emily Mather, discusses seeing an increasing volume of patients and growing her clinical confidence
It’s hard to believe how quickly my pre-reg placement is flying by. I’m preparing for my first in-person assessment at the moment, which is nerve-wracking, but I feel that my confidence has grown so much compared to when I first started my pre-reg in January.
Learning what I likeI find working in the low vision service particularly satisfying and I enjoy getting to spend a lot of time talking to patients. This part is rewarding as patients often leave so happy with the service they’ve received. I also really enjoy working in the contact lens service because the types of contact lenses we fit are really interesting and there’s always something to learn.
I think I have learnt recently just how important excellent communication with patients is. Now that my clinical skills and testing routines have become a little bit slicker, I spend less time feeling anxious about getting those right, and more time engaging and communicating with the patient. I think in the current climate, when many patients haven’t interacted with other people for the best part of a year, it’s important to communicate effectively with them.
Now that my clinical skills and testing routines have become a little bit slicker, I spend less time feeling anxious about getting those right, and more time engaging and communicating with the patient
With COVID-19 restrictions having recently eased, life has begun to feel a little more normal. As a result, it’s been nice to see a bit more of London. I think it’s important to give yourself time to relax during your pre-reg placement, although there is of course revision and work outside of the usual 9–5 to be done.
This past year has been really hard, and I know I can speak for a lot of other pre-regs when I say we have worked tirelessly in a set of strange circumstances, so it’s nice to be able to go out and have some time to yourself.
I’m really glad I got the opportunity to do my pre-reg placement at Moorfields Eye Hospital. The support has been huge, and I’ve learnt more than I ever thought I would
The hospital setting
I’m really glad that I got the opportunity to do my pre-reg placement at Moorfields Eye Hospital. The support has been huge, and I’ve learnt more than I ever thought I would. There are senior optometrists who often run tutorials for the pre-regs, enabling us to learn from the real experts. Plus, previous pre-regs and resident optometrists working here will run tutorials to help us prepare for pre-reg visits and assessments.
The great thing about optometry as a profession is that you never stop learning, and there is always more to find out.
My goal for the next couple of months is to complete Stage 1 of the Scheme for Registration and continue progressing though assessments. I also hope to continue learning and expanding my skill set, as well as helping as many patients as possible along the way.