Life As A Specialist Refractive Optometrist at Optical Express – Gemma

Specialist Refractive Optometrist Gemma provides care to patients from our state of the art clinics in Dublin and Newbridge. Benefitting from the support available at Optical Express, she has recently made the move from core optics into refractive optometry, allowing her to expand her knowledge on a wide range of eye conditions and clinical eye care solutions.

“You get to see different conditions within core optics, but when it’s the specialist side of things you just get to see a huge range of different conditions. The learning curve has been quite steep, but it’s been great to be able to work alongside a multidisciplinary team, to go from knowing the very basics of laser eye surgery, to being able to understand why one thing works for one person and it doesn’t for the next,” she explains. Working in refractive optometry has allowed Gemma to move beyond simply dispensing glasses and contact lenses, as she now provides a range of long-term vision correction solutions to her patients. “We work with patients looking for both laser eye surgery and refractive lens exchange, so I’m looking to basically give them freedom from glasses,” she comments.

When Gemma decided to move on to a Specialist Refractive Optometrist role after initially working as a Core Optometrist, she was impressed with the vast support network available to her at Optical Express. With day-to-day guidance from our senior optometrists and renowned ophthalmologists, as well as a comprehensive training and development programme, she was able to quickly take her clinical development to the next level. “I went through a whole training programme to see how Optical Express runs and what the guidelines are for putting someone forward for surgery, and then also going into more detail about the different types of procedures and what the outcome should be, and really knowing exactly what to expect after surgery and how to manage anything after the surgeries,” she explains.

As Gemma was keen to continue her professional development as an Optometrist, she has recently started on her Independent Prescribing (IP) course fully funded by Optical Express, which will allow her to manage an even wider range of conditions for her patients. “It’s something that I really wanted to do, to be able to even just expand my knowledge and understanding of why we do what we do, and why patients have the results that they do with certain medications, or even just being able to treat someone again in more depth,” Gemma comments.

Working in both a clinic and treatment centre, Gemma enjoys the fast-paced environment and the variety in her role, as she supports a wide range of patients on a day-to-day basis: “There’s some days that we are doing a little bit of a mix of maybe some people a couple of months after surgery, some people coming in for pre-operative consultations to see if they’re suitable for surgery, and then there’s other days where surgery is on, or where they are coming in the day after surgery.” Finding it incredibly rewarding to see a patient’s journey towards visual freedom, she particularly enjoys days in which she conducts post-operative check-ups. “You get to see everyone coming in with a bit of a smile on their face, really excited and looking forward to the next couple of weeks, seeing their vision improving,” she explains. Are you ready to take on a new challenge? From unrivalled career development opportunities to being able to help change lives on a daily basis, you’ll find a career at Optical Express more satisfying than you ever imagined. View our latest vacancies now and develop your career with the UK’s leading refractive surgery provider.

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