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I Knew it would be completely different to what I was used to".

Hospital optometrist, Daniel Crosby, shares his experiences of moving from the High Street into the hospital setting on qualification

I have been going for eye tests every year since I was little and never really thought anything of it until my brother, all of a sudden, became very myopic.

I remember being sat with him when he was diagnosed and being really shocked by it. As I got older, I became aware that my mother was a dispensing optician and when I began applying for university, she suggested that I tried optics.

I arrived at the University of Bradford with no real expectations. What I liked about optometry was how I could immediately apply it. Every question that I had in my mind could be answered and applied to the real-world situation and I liked that. I'm not one for theory-based things so going in with questions and coming out with answers was key.

I completed my pre-reg period at Specsavers in Llandudno. I learned a lot from being in a multiple, but I knew in the first few weeks that it was not where I wanted to be in the long-term. Therefore, as I worked towards qualification, I explored what options could be available to me afterwards.

Prior to applying for optometry at university, I completed a work placement shadowing a hospital optometrist at the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital. From that experience, I knew it was a setting that I wanted to explore in the future. As a patient, you go for your eye examination and have your vision corrected, but when you go into a hospital you realise what else can be done--it was quite eye opening.

When I started applying for hospital positions, I heard that they preferred to take on optometrists who had completed a hospital pre-reg, but I didn't let it deter me. The advice that I would give to others is to go for it because if the hospital setting is where you want to be, you won't be happy with what the High Street can offer.

As a newly-qualified optometrist I was nervous about moving into a hospital as I knew it would be completely different to what I was used to. As a High Street optometrist, you go into practice every morning, look through your patient list and mostly know what will present. When you are in the hospital, you have no idea who or what is going to sit in your chair.

On my first day in the hospital, I had a macular clinic in the morning and it was so different from anything that I had previously experienced. On the High Street I was used to people coming in with vision that could be corrected to close to 6/6. In this clinic, people were using eccentric viewing, which I had never seen before, and only correcting to 6/60, which was good for the patient that was quite a shock.

Working in a hospital setting itself can be challenging. You are faced with people with many different pathologies and therefore it can be challenging to feel good enough to do all of it.

I am very new to hospital optometry and would like to complete additional qualifications, such as medical retina and paediatrics, in order to progress myself as a clinician. I feel that the hospital setting is the best place for me to achieve that.

I am taking each day as it comes and the longer I am here, the more I will learn. One of the main reasons that I came to the hospital is to learn more. The more I pick up, the more I will know what I want to do in the future. There are so many options for optometrists nowadays that anything is possible.

Get in touch

Share your career journey with OT. Email emilymccormick@optometry.co.uk

"My Plan B?"

When we are younger, we all dream of becoming a doctor or an astronaut and I was no different. However, on a more serious note, at school I was very proficient at picking up languages. I took my GCSEs in languages in Year 9 as it was something that came quite naturally to me, so that would have certainly been my plan B.
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Title Annotation:HOT I GOT HERE
Author:Crosby, Daniel
Publication:Optometry Today
Article Type:Column
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Feb 1, 2019
Words:711
Previous Article:What does 'soon' mean?
Next Article:"I feel a lot more involved".
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