A group of second and third year optometry students from the University of Plymouth recently visited the head office of The Outside Clinic for a work-experience day.
Under the guidance of optometrists, Nick Wingate, Matthew Burford and Steve Clark, the undergraduates gained hands-on experience of equipment including a digital fundus camera, a I-Care Tonometer, Eyeris (digital record system) and a portable slit lamp.
The students also gained insight into the clinical governance and professional services aspect of domiciliary eye care by attending a session that was led by NHS England clinical adviser and domiciliary optometrist, Mr Clark. There was also a session on the logistics of a domiciliary visit provided by Mr Burford.
Plymouth Optometry Society (OPSOC) represents students studying optometry at the University of Plymouth and provides educational and social opportunities to students. It worked with The Outside Clinic’s recruitment department to arrange the trip.
President of Plymouth OpSoc and the AOP Awards Student of the Year 2019, Luke McRoy-Jones explained that the feedback from students was positive, with many happy to have been able to learn about the domiciliary sector.
“Plymouth OpSoc is pleased to have many ongoing partnerships across the optical industry, including with The Outside Clinic. It was a pleasure to work with The Outside Clinic and be able to offer this unique opportunity for our students, giving them an in-depth look at an area of optometry that can often be under represented at university,” he said.
Second year optometry student, Charlotte Acton, who attended the trip, said: “It was really interesting to see the different opportunities that are available to optometrists other than working in multiples and independents. It was also really useful to see the network of support out there for optometrists at The Outside Clinic.”
Recruitment manager for The Outside Clinic, James Gilbert, said: “This was a great opportunity for the students to get an in-depth tour of The Outside Clinic, including the opportunity to view equipment and sit down with our optometrists to ask questions and explore what it is like to be a home visiting optometrist.”