“This is truly a reflective period for me”
Pre-reg optometrist at Vision Express Chiswick, Rochelle Anderson, discusses the pathology she has seen in the first months of her placement
I can’t believe that 2022 is nearly over and next year is approaching. This is truly a reflective period for me, just to think that I began my pre-registration journey at Vision Express almost four months ago. It’s been a fascinating experience.
On reflection, I believe having an organised day of patient clinics allows me to predict how the day may be, and therefore I tend to have more energy after work to study and prepare my elements of competence.
Most days my experience has been a mixture of being on the shop floor supporting the rest of the team, and testing when I’m needed. Being called to do both areas really challenges me to think on my feet, and has given me experience and many skills in adapting in any situation.
Interesting patient encounters
An interesting patient I came across was an older gentleman from Australia. He had little to no prescription in his right eye, but in his left eye he could only see hand movements and light perception. The patient had experienced a retinal detachment in his left eye, which sadly could not be reattached in time to save his sight. History and symptoms took a while, because I wanted to make sure all the relevant information regarding his previous eye surgeries had been noted. It was my first time seeing a pigment on a silicone lens and scarring to that magnitude on the fundus. The left eye also showed signs of pupillary defect.
It was really enriching to hear from the patient on her experience growing up with this condition
He was a very sincere patient, and it was unfortunate when hearing how he blamed himself for not being able to save his sight in his left eye. He had had symptoms of flashing light but chose not to seek medical attention during that time.
Another patient who caught my attention was a young woman who had attended the practice with her family since she was a teenager. She has jerk nystagmus with laevo-depression in both eyes and numerous other binocular vision anomalies, which was extraordinary and fascinating to see. I read notes made by other optometrists previously, but it was really enriching to hear from the patient on her experience growing up with this condition. She decided to fog one of her glasses, and is currently under the care of neuro-ophthalmologists who are helping with her condition.
I continue to be eager to learn and refine my technique, and am excited to continue to progress in my career. So far my pre-reg placement has given me a window of opportunity to explore how different areas of optometry effect change in patient’s eye care. I am excited to continue my development and journey with Vision Express, and I look forward to the New Year.
The first months of my pre-reg have been… a whirlwind. From being introduced to new ways of working in a different environment, I am now starting to feel a lot more comfortable within my role at the hospital. I am enjoying the challenges that the pre-registration period brings, with interesting cases on a daily basis. Time seems to be flying by.
The most important thing I’ve learnt so far is… to stay as organised as possible from the beginning as tasks can start to pile up. Even filling out your logbook daily means you can spend the rest of your time more efficiently.
What I’m enjoying most about my placement is… the variety of clinics in a week, which means each experience with a patient brings different challenges to overcome. I feel like I am constantly developing my skills.
Akshay Shah is a pre-reg optometrist at Moorfields Eye Hospital.