My hospital equipment case
Laura Josephs, AOP Councillor for undergraduate students, on how a humble make-up case has been invaluable during her placement at Manchester Royal Eye Hospital
02 February 2023
I’ve got a carry case for all my equipment. Previously, when I was carrying everything, I kept dropping bits, and obviously the last thing you want to drop is your retinoscope. I thought, “I really need something that I can store my equipment in that’s also easy to carry.” So, I bought this case, and I love it.
Practicality on placement
On placements, I could have just used my shoulder bag – but I didn’t like it. I wanted something nicer, but also, I’m short, and it has quite a long strap, so it was hitting the back of my knees when I was walking. It’s just plain black and a bit boring. I was struggling when I was carrying things, so it was easier to get another bag.
In the hospital setting it’s a confidence thing, because you don’t want to be worrying about what’s happening to your equipment when you leave it somewhere
Buying the case evolved from an Amazon search. I originally thought I could get a pencil case – one with three compartments. They’re quite large, and they’ve got a middle bit and then two bits at the side. I thought all my retinoscope handles could go in there, and then my cross cyls in one side and other small pieces of equipment in the other. I wanted something hard, because I didn’t want to risk breaking my retinoscope if I ever dropped it. So, I went down the rabbit hole on eBay and Amazon, and eventually found these make-up cases. I thought, ‘actually, this is better.’
If I hadn’t found this solution, I would be doing multiple trips to the place where I keep my equipment, which would be inefficient and annoying. Or, I’d be risking dropping something that is actually really difficult to replace. I really like it, because everyone knows it’s mine.
In the hospital setting it’s a confidence thing, because you don’t want to be worrying about what’s happening to your equipment when you leave it somewhere. I wouldn’t feel safe leaving it out – not because it might get stolen, but because we have trays, and other people put their things in the trays too. If someone put their bag on my retinoscope and didn’t realise that it was there, they might break it, whereas in this case I know it is padded and secure. I’m not worried about someone putting something on top of it, and I’m not worried about dropping it. I’m less worried, overall.
“She has been a constant source of emotional and financial support”
I couldn’t possibly dream of living without my twin sister. Not only has she been a constant source of emotional and financial support throughout my degree (and a pandemic), she has also been my best friend, keeping me stocked up on tea and coffee, and having food on the table following long nights in the library.
She’s sat through many a “practice scenario” for objective structured clinical examination prep, and never once complained. She’s been there to commiserate when things have gone wrong, to share in my frustration when plans have gone awry, and has always been ready to celebrate even the smallest of my achievements.
I don’t know what I did in my past life, but I must have been a saint to have ended up with such an amazing sister. I definitely could not have made it through my optometry degree without her.