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A passion for teaching

OT  speaks to optometrist Niall Hynes about juggling life as a PhD student and clinical demonstrator at the University of Bradford

12 Jan 2018 by Ian Beasley

Tell us about what you do

I’m currently a PhD student and clinical demonstrator at the University of Bradford. I’m researching factors that affect microfluctuations during steady-state accommodation. It’s certainly challenging, but I find it very rewarding and enjoyable. I teach across the three years at Bradford, which I love, as it is great to see students developing as optometrists throughout their time on the undergraduate course. I like to keep involved in the clinical side of things as well so I locum a few days a month.

What is your professional passion?

Binocular vision. I started teaching it in labs at Bradford about four years ago and it’s really grown on me. It’s something I’d really like to be involved with in the years ahead.

"As an optometrist, I do find the current state of how we approach driving standards frustrating"

If you could change one thing about the way we work, what would it be?

As an optometrist, I do find the current state of how we approach driving standards frustrating. Certainly, I think the least we need to be doing is making eye tests mandatory for any licence holder, and in the case where we suspect that a patient’s vision may make them unsuitable for driving we should be able to refer that case to the DVLA for their review.

What is the one thing you couldn’t live without?

Google Calendar. It runs my life. Though spell check is giving it a run for its money based on typing the answers to these questions.

How do you manage a work/life balance?  

I try to get into work early and leave on time. I feel very strongly that work should be left in the office however doing a PhD makes it easier said than done sometimes.

What do you do to unwind? 

I’m lucky to live quite close to the Yorkshire Dales and find a bit of hiking is great for clearing the head. I am a big fan of rugby and football and I like to relax while watching them.

You have won the OT lottery. What are the first three things you would do with the £1m jackpot?

I would buy a house, a 10-year season ticket to the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, and travel a bit of America. 

Tell us about your next holiday? 

I am off to Berlin in January for a few days. It is one of my favourite cities to visit because there is plenty of history and culture. The beer is not bad too.

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