Celebrating a decade with Optical Express this year, Scott feels that studying for his Independent Prescribing qualification came at just the right time for him.
He says, “At the beginning of my career, after I’d completed my pre-reg, I joined a high street multiple optical retailer. I was there for around 9 years, but it became a bit of a production line of sight tests.”
To Scott, joining Optical Express to learn about refractive surgery seemed the obvious next step in his career. “I had an optometrist friend who already worked for the company,” he adds, “and they told me that they felt it was the best move to make if I wanted to keep on learning.”
Scott’s career with Optical Express saw him move to Aberdeen. He’s been based in the clinic there ever since. “I quickly underwent all the training I needed in order to become a Specialist Refractive Optometrist, and I’ve now been one for almost ten years.”
When Optical Express partnered with Glasgow Caledonian University to give its optometrists the opportunity to gain an IP qualification on a unique course, Scott was interested from the start. “I was so enthusiastic about the course! I had planned to take it last year and my application was accepted, but it ended up being the wrong time for me personally as I knew the work that would be involved. I’m very happy to be taking it this year – I feel that being able to prescribe medication will be crucial for optometrists in the future.”
Although he has only recently begun studying IP, Scott was surprised by how much he enjoyed his first day of on-site study at the university. “It’s been a very long time since I’ve studied something in such detail, but I enjoyed every minute. It took place on a Sunday and was a full day of learning about Meibomian Gland Dysfunction, Dry Eye and lacrimal syringing. I put a cannula in to drain a blockage in the lower punctum, which was a first for me. The on-site days take place every 3 months, so in June we are at the university for 2 days – one for learning about module 2 subjects, and 3 hours for the Module 1 exam.”
Meeting fellow Optical Express optometrists that day was a bonus for Scott. “I met people I’d spoken to on the phone or who I’d heard of, but never met. We’ll be able to get to know each other better and give each other support. We’re already planning to set up a WhatsApp group,” he smiles.
Hard work the IP course may be, but Scott is very upbeat about the rewards it will bring to both him and his patients. “I’m really looking forward to gaining the knowledge I need to keep ahead of the curve and provide the best care.”