“I’m planning my wedding whilst studying for the pre-reg”
Specsavers pre-reg Caroline Mansfield on her most important lessons as she prepares for Visit 4
I’m about to sit my 4th Visit of Stage 1 of my pre-reg, so I’ve got a long way still to go, but so far I’ve learned a lot.
Preparing for coming assessmentsKnowing what needs to be done, and by when, is not overrated and is absolutely necessary. It’s something that all pre-regs need to do to stand a chance of becoming fully registered. I’m constantly reviewing the Scheme to understand what’s expected of me, double checking everything – and even then, some things slip through. I’ve made a point to triple check work these days.
Being adaptable, patient and proactiveSometimes things don’t work or pan out the way I expected. I’m planning my wedding whilst studying for the pre-reg, and I know I didn’t factor that in at the start. Changing the way that I work to meet the targets I’m setting or get things done is a weekly task.
My stand-out moment so far is getting my first box of chocolates from a patient after finding and referring them for papilloedema
I found waiting for the right patient encounter to walk through the door incredibly frustrating at the start of my pre-reg, but I’ve learned to accept that I can’t magic up the perfect person and sometimes I need to be patient with myself and my progress.
I was a bit of a go-getter before I started, and now I’ve learned how important that is. “Get the experience, get the confidence,” is the current motto I’ve got going on.
Being a good colleagueHaverfordwest Specsavers has always been great for me, and I’m lucky to have a team around to support me and help get me the encounters I need.
My day-to-day is not as I expected it to be because there is a lot of paperwork, alongside the additional courses and revision that is needed to become a competent optometrist. I knew there was going to be a lot to learn, but not this much. These are not things that can be known and then forgotten – they have to be committed to long-term memory, and I have to really graft to do that.
My stand-out moment so far is getting my first box of chocolates from a patient after finding and referring them for papilloedema. It was a nerve-wracking episode, but I was very happy to know that it had a positive outcome. Now that I’m “shedding for a wedding,” I’m not aiming to get too many boxes of chocolates – don’t want to be too greedy.
My favourite part of the pre-reg is… Being able to help people. Although I’m a trainee, it’s humbling to see the impact that I have on patients. For example, in a hospital setting patients often express their gratitude after giving them appropriate low vision aids to help them enjoy hobbies that they’d previously given up due to visual difficulties.
My least favourite part of the pre-reg is... Although I find myself to be quite organised, when it comes to assessment time I’m often caught up with extra organisation to make sure the visits are conducted smoothly and efficiently. Pre-reg has positively challenged my organisation. With each assessment I realise how I can improve for the next one.
Before I started my pre-reg I wish I’d known… How fast the time goes by. I first started out my pre-reg journey thinking that I had a long way to go. Now, I’m finding myself wanting to be a pre-reg optometrist for longer due to the invaluable training and experience I’m receiving.