“I can’t wait to see what’s ahead for me in the world of optometry”
Rochelle Anderson, pre-reg optometrist at Vision Express Chiswick, on looking to the future as she prepares for Stage 2 assessments
At the time of writing, I have just received the dates for my Stage 2 assessments, so I am now anticipating my direct observation and studying for my overarching case scenarios.
On reaching Stage 2, I definitely feel a sense of pride and relief that I have overcome Stage 1, as that takes up the majority of the pre-reg placement. My Stage 1 experience was quite difficult, as I was given various different assessors and struggled a bit to find the right people to fill the competency criteria.
Improving as a clinicianI feel I have become a better clinician between the beginning of Stage 1, when I was starting on my pre-reg journey, and entering Stage 2. This time around I know how organised I need to be regarding my logbook, and how my practice currently runs – something that was an unknown at the beginning of Stage 1. Plus, I love the fact that I now have patients booked with me in advance, allowing me to focus on studying as opposed to worrying about who my patient might be.
Working within a multiple was the practice setting I chose for my further learning and development. I’ve frequently volunteered throughout my life, in and out of hospitals in both London and Florida, so I was intrigued to see how the more business-oriented side of optometry operated. I have learned a lot about how multiples work, in particular with joint venture partner-owned stores.
In the future I think I could work in another multiple, but I’m open to working with any company, as well as within an independent or a hospital environment. Personally, I would rather have longer testing times, allowing me to connect with my patients and provide the best service. I think it’s important to have that balance of business and clinical empathy, and I would love a job where I can really grow my patient base and build upon both my business and clinical skills.
I think it’s important to have that balance of business and clinical empathy, and I would love a job where I can really grow my patient base and build upon both my business and clinical skills
OSCEs and beyond
The objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) is a frightening thought, as I’ll either hit the July sitting or have to wait until October. It feels like an all or nothing scenario, as the three-month gap feels lengthy.
I’m looking forward to getting to the stage where I can feel like the pre-reg placement is over. I have thought about mock OSCEs and looked into resources for those. Vision Express is also great at providing its pre-regs with training opportunities.
I can’t wait to fully qualify to help my patients to the best of my abilities. For now, I want to move past the hurdle of Stage 2, and look forward to studying and successfully passing my OSCES first time.
In the future, I would love to get more involved in using IT to develop optometry, as this is where my passion lies. I would love to develop software that can help minimise the gap between optometrists and their patients, and I would also love to study cataracts and glaucoma further.
Overall, I am excited about what the future holds and I can’t wait to see what’s ahead for me in the world of optometry.
After receiving my Stage 2 results, I feel… a sense of relief and accomplishment, knowing that my hard work has been paying off and that I have reached the final stage of the Scheme for Registration. I am both shocked and amazed to realise how quickly this year has been unfolding, and excited to be so close to qualifying.
I am planning to prepare for the OSCEs by… becoming familiar with the assessment format using the guidelines on the college website. I am creating a structured study plan to revise theoretical knowledge, and continue to develop my clinical skills through patient encounters. I am also a Johnson & Johnson Step member, so I intend on utilising their additional resources, such as virtual classes, to assist with my preparation.
Once my pre-reg is over, I plan to… take a small break to rest and recharge, before beginning work as a qualified optometrist. I am hoping to advance my clinical career by working towards further qualifications in the hospital, and am considering part-time work in primary care to build on routine skills.
Akshay Shah is a pre-reg optometrist at Moorfields Eye Hospital