A supporting role

Optometrist Helen Court speaks to OT  about her professional passions and her career path

Helen Court

Helen Court currently works part-time for NHS Education for Scotland as a senior postgraduate tutor. Day-to-day this involves developing courses and supporting training for optometrists and dispensing opticians across Scotland. In addition to part-time locum work, she also works with the University of Edinburgh as a module lead on its online MSc in Primary Care Ophthalmology. She speaks to OT about her career. 

What is your professional passion?

I have a few. I am passionate about all areas of optometry that are about ‘people.’ Over the last few years, my work and research has included practitioner-patient communication, patient anxiety, low vision, clinical leadership skills, service redesign and development of patient questionnaires. 

What advice would you give your younger self?

Don’t try to be someone else or compare yourself to others. Use your own gifts and abilities to your full potential.

If you could switch career path, what would you choose to do?

I absolutely love presenting and being on stage – and always wanted to be a weather girl. I think it is the combination of science and TV.

How do you manage a work/life balance?

Having children has been a great help in achieving a life/work balance. Apart from that, I try my best to only check emails in work time and to make a habit of switching off my phone when I can.

What do you do to unwind?

Get out the house – run, read, go to coffee shops and have fun with family and friends.

You have won the OT lottery. What are the first three things you would do with the £1m jackpot?

Well, perhaps like most people, I would pay off the mortgage first. Then I would pay for a big family holiday. After that, I would give the rest to charity to people who really need it.

Do you have your next holiday booked? Where are you going?

Nothing yet…although I really want to go to Euro Disney, for my kids of course.