Qualities of an optometrist

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Optometrists examine patients' eyes, give advice on visual problems and prescribe and fit Qualities of an optometrist or contact lenses when needed. As an optometrist, you'll be trained to recognise eye diseases, such as glaucoma and cataracts, as well as general health conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure. You'll refer patients to doctors or other optometrists with higher qualifications when necessary. Patients range from very young children to the elderly. You may see both NHS and private patients. You may sometimes, with higher qualifications, share the care of patients with chronic conditions or manage patients with low-risk eye conditions.

Most of these activities involve the use of specialist equipment. Your salary will vary, depending on whether you're working in a community practice or for the National Health Service NHS. Salaries and benefits may also vary between independent and chain practices.

Salaries depend upon supply and demand, so you may earn more in areas where there are fewer optometrists. Additional benefits can include commission, a bonus scheme, health insurance, life insurance, a company car and discounted eyewear. Working hours are usually 9. In community practice, weekend and evening work is common, particularly in larger chains. Career breaks are possible, but unless you're intending on taking a ificant amount Qualities of an optometrist time off you may wish to remain on the General Optical Council GOC register, which means doing a certain amount of continuing education and training CET during your break.

To work as an optometrist you must be registered with the GOC, the regulator for the optical professions in the UK. In order to do this, you must:. There are a of universities currently running approved degree courses. Entry requirements vary between universities but you'll typically need a minimum of AAB at A-level, or equivalent, with at least two science subjects.

Qualities of an optometrist

Graduates with a degree or above in a science-related subject may also be considered for Qualities of an optometrist on to an approved undergraduate course. Degree courses usually last three years full time four years in Scotlandalthough some providers offer an integrated four-year Master of Optometry, which incorporates the pre-registration period.

Students who successfully complete this course are fully qualified and able to register as optometrists with the GOC. See GOC - What to study and where for a list of approved course providers. Once you've got a or above from an approved provider and have a valid Certificate of Clinical Competency, which is awarded on graduation and is valid for two years, you can undertake pre-registration training.

If you fail to achieve a or if your certificate expires you must successfully complete the GOC's Optometry Progression Scheme before entering a pre-registration placement. You can also contact local optometry practices to see whether they're willing to offer training placements.

The pre-registration period includes work-based assessments and enables you to build on the knowledge that you gained at university and apply it to real practice in the workplace. Successful completion of the pre-registration training and final assessment examination allows you to register as an optometrist with the GOC. Competition for pre-registration positions is high so it's important to get some work experience. Some students work in practices at weekends or during university holidays.

Some of the larger chains also run summer programmes for students between their second and third year. Visit company websites for details of these schemes. Find out more about the different kinds of work experience and internships that are available. Most optometrists work Qualities of an optometrist high street practices, which may be independent or part of a regional or national chain. Others undertake domiciliary work.

If you have a strong interest in the medical side of optometry, you may decide to work in hospitals alongside other healthcare professionals such as ophthalmologists and orthoptists. Some hospital optometrists perform minor surgery. Optometric practice is changing with more healthcare as opposed to retail related work being conducted in community practice. This is facilitated by the increasing use of technology in community practice to help optometrists diagnose and manage patients with eye disease.

This may be in research and development, or in a professional services role, giving technical support. Companies offering laser refractive surgery also employ optometrists in a pre-operative consultation and post-surgical follow-up role. Other employers include charities, local government, the army and public health bodies. You can also search the websites of major high street Qualities of an optometrist, or look to specialist recruitment agencies who will handle vacancies. Details can be found in the optometry press.

Qualities of an optometrist

As a qualified optometrist, you will undertake continuing professional development CPD throughout you career. You must renew your registration with the GOC annually in order to practise, and undertaking continuing education and training CET is a statutory requirement for continued registration. The GOC's CET scheme is a points-based system, run over a three-year cycle, which ensures that you keep up to date with the knowledge and skills needed to practise safely throughout your career. You can gain CET points through a variety of learning activities, including:.

Qualities of an optometrist

You'll need to achieve a minimum of CET points by the end of each cycle to stay on the register. Masters courses and opportunities for research at PhD level are available via the GOC-approved undergraduate degree Qualities of an optometrist. Search for postgraduate courses in optometry. The College of Optometrists also accredits a range of higher qualifications at Professional Certificate, Professional Higher Certificate and Professional Diploma level in the following subject areas:.

With experience you can also train to become an independent prescribing optometrist by undertaking further study at a GOC-approved institution, a clinical placement and a final assessment through the College of Optometrists. For more information, see Therapeutic Prescribing Specialties. Optometry has a flexible career structure and it's possible to move between sectors and also to combine a of roles. Transfer between practices may help you to progress.

Some optometrists choose to go into practice management where salaries may be higher. You will usually be responsible for practice direction and overall business management, Qualities of an optometrist well as the routine work of an optometrist e. It's possible to buy into an optometry practice either franchise or t venture so that you have a direct influence on the running of the business. You can also set up an independent practice, which may be of particular interest if you want to develop a specialist optometric service.

If you're working in an NHS hospital, there's a defined career structure and you can work your way up from basic optometrist to specialist and principal optometrist and then, ultimately, consultant optometrist. With further study there are also opportunities to become an independent prescribing optometrist.

Qualities of an optometrist

You may choose to develop your career by going into research and lecturing. Some optometrists become involved in supervision of pre-registration students and full training is provided by the College of Optometrists. It may also be possible to get involved in the education of ophthalmic nurses and medical students.

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View all healthcare vacancies. Add to favourites. Optometrists examine patients' eyes, give advice on visual problems and prescribe and fit spectacles or contact lenses when needed As an optometrist, you'll be trained to recognise eye diseases, such as glaucoma and cataracts, as well as general health conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure.

Types of optometrist Most optometrists work in community practice. This may be: community independent community multiple - large companies that have multiple branches in the UK and sometimes abroad domiciliary - going to patients' homes, care homes and day care centres to carry out eye examinations. Other types of optometrist include: academic community ophthalmology and hospital locum and portfolio research and industry third sector.

Qualities of an optometrist of the settings in which optometrists work enable part-time or flexible working. Responsibilities Depending on your area of work, you may: speak to patients to get detailed case histories from them examine patients' eyes to detect vision defects and s of injury, disease or abnormality manage and monitor some eye conditions, either autonomously or alongside other healthcare professionals detect s and symptoms of general health conditions such as diabetes fit spectacles or contact lenses discuss vision-related matters with patients, and offer advice and reassurance offer help and advice to patients when choosing frames and lenses liaise with and write referral letters to doctors and other optometrists with higher qualifications meet sales targets with regard to selling spectacles or contact lenses.

In addition, you may: manage and train staff, including other optometrists, dispensing opticians and optical assistants manage the retail aspects of spectacles, contact lenses and other vision care products administer, organise and plan the development of the practice liaise with sales representatives from vision care product suppliers own or manage a practice manage and prescribe medicines for people with eye conditions advise NHS England or local clinical commissioning groups on the Qualities of an optometrist of eye care services.

Community practice There's no set minimum salary for the pre-registration year in community practice, but most employers pay at least the National Living Wage if you're 25 or over or the National Minimum Wage if you're under For rates of pay, see GOV.

Qualities of an optometrist Qualities of an optometrist

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