My Optometry Career – Claire, Optometry Development Manager

Claire has been with Optical Express for 12 years. Here she details her journey from Optical Assistant to Optometry Development Manager.

How did your Optical Express career begin?

I was studying optometry at Glasgow Caledonian University, and while completing my final year I was able to work weekends at an Optical Express branch in East Kilbride, just outside Glasgow.

After graduating, I was offered a pre-registration placement with the company so that I could complete my final year of training. Optical Express was incredibly supportive during that time and so I knew that I wanted to continue my career here.

How did your development progress?

When I qualified, I was delighted to be offered a full time Optometrist role with the business. Initially I was working between a number of clinics in and around central Glasgow. This role was invaluable in building my clinical knowledge of eye conditions, spectacles and contact lenses.

I was then offered a resident Optometrist position back in East Kilbride. That move allowed me to build my own patient base, as patients enjoy the consistency of seeing the same optometrist each time they visit.

How did you begin your refractive optometry career?

3 years after returning to East Kilbride, I began my Optical Express refractive surgery training. That meant that I could carry out post-operative examinations on patients who have undergone one of our refractive procedures.

Having completed this training, I became a Specialist Refractive Optometrist, meaning that I was now able to assess patients’ suitability for surgery on a preliminary basis ahead of meeting with the surgeon. Day to day, I still carried out eye examinations and contact lens appointments, but now my role also included refractive surgery consultations and post-surgery check- ups.

What was the next move you made?

From there, I progressed to the Optometry Development Manager role I hold today. For optometrists like me who enjoy variety, Optical Express is definitely the place to be!

Tell us about your current role.

As an Optometry Development Manager, I oversee the Optometrists in my region, which covers Ayrshire, Glasgow and Lanarkshire. It’s my responsibility to look after their development and training. I also make sure that they understand and adhere to best practice and our clinical directives, so that our patients receive the best standards of care possible.

What do you like most about your job?

I really enjoy helping other optometrists with advice or coaching. It’s fantastic to see them develop and reach their potential.

Professional development is important to me and I’m currently undertaking the Independent Prescribing course, which Optical Express funds for its optometrists. It’s an opportunity to enhance my skills that I’m very grateful for.

Would you recommend Optical Express to other optometrists? Definitely! The business offers a full range of eye care solutions, so our optometrists can offer a high level of care for their patients – something that I’m very passionate about.

Being able to offer patients a choice in terms of their vision correction solution is extremely important. Many contact lens patients today are seeking more environmentally friendly options. I, like my fellow Optical Express Optometrists, are in the privileged position of being able to offer patients such as this the option of Laser Eye Surgery or Refractive Lens Exchange.

Another advantage is being able to offer my patients with cataract the option of premium private surgery utilising state of the art Intraocular Lenses and delivered by extremely experienced surgeons without a waiting time.

We’re always keen to speak to motivated individuals for the wide range of roles we offer at Optical Express. Search our current vacancies at Optical Express, or get in touch with our friendly recruitment team by emailing or call 01236 795146.

Optometry Careers

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