AOP Awards 2020

“I have never looked back”

AOP Awards 2020 Dispensing Optician of the Year, Sarah Grant, on the value she gets from caring for the most vulnerable in society

Sarah Grant

The AOP Awards 2020 Dispensing Optician of the Year, Sarah Grant, tells OT  about the huge value she gets from caring for the most vulnerable in society, including young children and a 95-year-old man with dementia.

It has been heart-warming to have won such a prestigious award within the profession. I am happy and honoured.

I did not necessarily choose optics as a career; it is something I fell into and loved. When I was given a chance to gain a qualification as a dispensing optician I jumped at the chance and I have never looked back.

The most rewarding part of being a dispensing optician is seeing the change that you can make to a young child

 
 
The most rewarding part of being a dispensing optician is seeing the change that you can make to a young child, especially when fitting their first pair of spectacles. Seeing a child recognise and be able to see things they have never seen, along with the new-found confidence that comes with it, is a feeling like no other.

My biggest achievement in the past year has been caring for a 95-year-old gentleman who suffers with dementia. He frequently came into our practice confused and distressed after losing his spectacles, with no idea of his own identity. After gaining advice from our local primary care support officer and dementia group I implemented a policy to ensure the best possible care if the situation were to reoccur in our practices.

My goals for the future are to continue to work hard in my role as a dispensing optician. We are currently working alongside the hospital providing a low vision service for the community, so I am looking forward to expanding my knowledge in this area in order to give the best care possible to the patients referred.

My three tips for being the best dispensing optician are: treat every patient as if they were a family member, personalise every dispense to suit individual needs, and ensure your patients’ needs and requirements feel heard.

  • As told to Lucy Miller.