“It is exciting to be able to make my own decisions”
OT ’s new Pre-reg focus contributors shared their insights as they geared up to start their placement years
10 September 2023
The end of the summer sees optometry practices and hospital eye departments across the country welcoming a new cohort of pre-registration optometrists – and for OT , it means saying goodbye to the previous year’s Pre-reg focus contributors and welcoming a new set into the fold.
I graduated from...Anglia Ruskin University.
My favourite thing about studying optometry was...The logical nature of it. Correcting refractive errors can often alleviate symptoms, and if that doesn’t work then you always know what to do next (looking for pathology/binocular vision errors, etc). My favourite module was ocular disease.
I am currently undertaking my pre-reg at...Moorfields Eye Hospital.
I chose this location because...I wanted the opportunity to see more unusual cases on a daily basis. I was very lucky to be offered the job at Moorfields, where there are lots of patients to see and lots of optometrists around to answer my questions.
Ahead of starting my pre-reg I felt...Very nervous, but very excited to join such an experienced team. The things I am most excited about are becoming part of the hospital community and getting better at my job, so that I can help patients more efficiently.
The thing I am most nervous about is...Becoming overwhelmed and stressed about competencies and forgetting to enjoy the year.
I graduated from...Glasgow Caledonian University.
My favourite thing about studying optometry was...Being able to build upon my interest in biology, whilst helping others and making a difference to their lives.
I am currently undertaking my pre-reg at...Peter Ivins Eye Care, Bearsden.
I chose this location because...I appreciated how much the practice strived to offer the best care for their patients. I was also intrigued by the many specialised clinics on offer, including dry eye, myopia control and visual stress, with the goal to eventually take part in these myself.
Ahead of starting my pre-reg, I felt...Eager to start, yet apprehensive. It is a big change, but I know everyone is in the same boat.
The thing I am most excited about is...Putting the knowledge and skills I learnt at university into real-life situations.
The thing I am most nervous about is...Feeling out of my depth with complex cases, although I know I have the support of my supervisor at all times.
I graduated from...Ulster University, Coleraine campus.
My favourite thing about studying optometry was...Learning about the various ocular pathologies and how they can affect vision and be indicators for further systemic disease. I also enjoyed finding out what our role can be in managing patients so they can get the care required to meet their visual needs.
I will be undertaking my pre-reg at...Specsavers Newtownards.
I chose this location because...I worked throughout my degree as an optical dispenser in this store, and I have got to know all my colleagues very well. They were all helpful throughout my time at university, giving me a better understanding of the dispensing side of the job, with the optometrists always being on hand and keen to explain anything I needed more guidance with.
Ahead of starting my pre-reg I felt...Motivated to see patients again, and to get used to being in the test room environment. This is the first time I will be seeing multiple patients per day, which I know will bring about its own challenges, but I am excited about getting used to running my own clinic and seeing various types of patient.
The thing I am most excited about is...Being able to have a positive impact on the lives on my patients, by allowing them to achieve their best level of vision, assuring them of their eye health, and managing each patient appropriately.
The thing I am most nervous about is...
The responsibility of making clinical decisions about real patients. This process is made a lot less daunting because I have already worked with my supervisors and know them and the whole team. It is exciting to be able to make my own decisions and then discuss them with my supervisor and have the safety net of that support.
Read more from OT’s new Pre-reg focus contributors in the October/November print edition, landing with members on 14 October.