Keeping the fire alive

Alcon hosted its scholarship programme at its Camberley headquarters on 14–15 May. OT  attended to find out how the event benefits newly-qualified practitioners

Alcon academy day

The development of clinical, professional and commercial skills is at the forefront of any newly-qualified optometrist’s mind.

Attending courses such as Alcon’s scholarship programme provides an opportunity to share knowledge with peers and gain expert insight from industry professionals.

Head of professional affairs for UK & Ireland at Alcon, Jonathon Bench, told OT: “The Alcon scholarship programme is for newly-qualified practitioners to encourage them to be the best eye care professional that they can possibly be.”

It offers guidance and the opportunity to learn new skills for professional development, such as slit lamp and cataract surgery techniques, as well as developing their own interaction style through improved knowledge and communication.

Speaking about the benefits of the course, Specsavers optometrist and course participant, Dilraj Gumber, said: “Having someone go through the process with you again, teaching you new techniques, implementing it in practice and sharing it with colleagues has been really helpful.”

Designed for optometrists who have been qualified for no more than five years, Mr Bench said that Alcon hopes the programme is able to “keep that fire alive and spark burning bright.”

He added: “When we sat down and started to put the framework together for this programme, what we realised was that in order to be the best eye care practitioner you can be, you need to be the best professionally qualified, experienced and knowledgeable.

“What’s really key is to also be able to share that information across to the patient in a way that’s right for them.”

Applications for Alcon’s next scholarship programme will open in July.