Locum optometrist guide

Get the kit: locum essentials

Locum optometrists share their go-to kit and wish list for the year ahead

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For optometrists, a reliable piece of equipment can become like an old friend.

It remains at their side performing the same task without complaint, helping optometrists to look after their patients.

For some practitioners, their most prized professional possession is technology that optometrists have been using for generations, while others are drawn to the latest equipment that reveals the human eye in a way they have never seen before.

OT asked locum optometrists share the piece of equipment that has become an essential part of their working routine – and the technology that they have their sights on for the future.

Craig McCoy


Go-to kit: retinoscope

Wish list: handheld OCT

It's not glamourous, but I think a retinoscope is the most important piece of equipment. If you don't keep your ret up to scratch, you're making life a lot more difficult for yourself.

Most practices are really well equipped, but I have a little kit with a goniolens, 20D, Arclight, and some other things. When they finally make a handheld OCT that would probably top the wish list.

Prinal Patel

Panel  Prinal Patel

Go-to kit: Volk lenses

Wish list: Topcon Triton OCT / Optos Silverstone

I never leave my house without my Volk lenses (digital widefield and high mag). The Volk for me is a vital piece of kit because the majority of practices have some sort of digital camera which allows me to see the optic nerve and macula, but not many practices have a peripheral viewing camera. I therefore rely on my Volk with eight cardinal gazes to assess the peripheral retina, a vital area for ruling out retinal detachments and unusual lesions.

My wish list item would be a Topcon Triton OCT and/or a Optos Silverstone – of course a portable version would be better!

Rebecca Rushton

Panel  Rebecca Rushton

Go-to kit: slit lamp

Wish list: Topographer

My favourite piece of equipment is actually the trusty slit lamp because it is so versatile and allows me to do the majority of my work. A great quality slit lamp with a few small accessories allows me to do anterior and posterior ocular examinations, contact lens fittings and aftercares, measure intraocular pressure, take photographs and perform a host of other useful checks.

If money were no object, there are so many fantastic pieces of kit that choosing one is really difficult. I think a topographer would be really useful for contact lens work and unusual anterior conditions as well as refractive surgery and dry eye work.

Andrea Mentlikowski

Panel  Andrea Mentlikowski

Go-to kit: superfield Volk lens
Wish list: new trial frame

One piece of practice equipment I can't live without is my superfield Volk lens. When paired with a decent slit lamp, it gives me a fantastic view of the fundus without breaking my neck!

It’s hard to think of a wish list item but maybe I would be tempted by a new trial frame, as constant cleaning with alcohol seems to wear away the rubber on my current one.

Hassnain Safdar

Panel  Hassnain Safdar

Go-to kit: retinoscope
Wish list: fog-proof lenses

I find my retinoscope is an invaluable piece of equipment. From complex refractions to pathology, it gives me a good objective baseline to navigate and tailor the rest of my examination to address the patients’ needs and identify the possible causes for their symptoms. Without it, I think I would find it difficult to be solely reliant on subjective responses.

I think in the current climate with masks, lenses and glasses that don't fog up would make testing that bit easier.