Emma started her career at Optical Express in core optics and worked for the business for 10 years before deciding to explore a different career path, accepting a role in retail. However, she soon returned to Optical Express, and with her newly gained experience in retail management, she took on the role of Clinic Manager, overseeing the day-to-day operations of our Bridgewater Wellness Clinic in Manchester.
As Clinic Manager, Emma is now responsible for maintaining and delivering Optical Express’ high standards of patient care in the clinic. On a daily basis, she coaches and supports her team with the aim of helping them feel comfortable and confident in carrying out their roles, in turn ensuring that every patient that enters the clinic receives the best possible care. “My role as manager is to ensure that when patients arrive at the clinic, their expectations are not only met but exceeded,” she explains. “I also develop and coach the team to ensure that they feel confident and comfortable carrying out their role, and give our patients the best experience while they’re with us.”
The Optical Express Bridgewater Wellness Clinic in Manchester offers refractive consultations as well as laser, lens and cataract surgery, giving Emma the opportunity to work with a wide variety of patients. As Clinic Manager, she supports them throughout their entire patient journey, providing them with guidance from the moment they walk through the door, all the way through to when they are discharged after surgery: “My role is ensuring that patients are reassured, taking them through the whole process from the start of consultation right through to the very end of their journey.”
Her involvement in the patient journey allows Emma to receive first-hand feedback, often finding that patients wished that they had opted for treatment sooner: “What we hear from our patients following surgery is that they wished they had done it sooner,” she says. “The reason they’ve not had it done sooner is sometimes that they didn’t know there were treatments available that would correct their visual problem, or they didn’t know there was financial help available through the many finance options that we offer.” Emma is delighted that she is able to provide the support and guidance needed for patients to carry through with their treatment, allowing her to transform patients’ lives on a daily basis.
Being able to offer support to patients is one of Emma’s favourite things about her role; “We make a difference to people’s lives,” she says, “we change people’s lives and I wanted to play a small part in that.” Having gained experience in retail management, combined with her interest in refractive surgery, the role of Clinic Manager was a perfect fit for Emma: “I went into retail wanting to try something different, however, I soon returned to Optical Express. We are the market leaders in refractive surgery and that is an area that I wanted to develop myself and my career in.”
Emma is now delighted that she gets to work in a social setting, establishing great relationships with patients, as well as members of her team. She has also found that she enjoys the company culture at Optical Express, having a strong focus on the ‘one team’ ethos. Support is always available at Optical Express and Emma is reassured to know that everyone within the business is approachable, regardless of their position: “Any question, any concern, any clinical information that you need, you just need to pick up the phone or drop an email,” she explains. “Everybody is so approachable and willing to help.”
Emma’s advice to anyone considering a career with Optical Express is to go for it, commenting on the progression pathway and the opportunities for career development that are available to staff members: “The advice that I would give to somebody looking to join Optical Express would be to do it, don’t look back. They will invest in you as a person, to allow you to develop and be your best self.” As Optical Express is committed to investing in the continual learning and development of its people, Emma has now been selected for the Management Development Programme, which will allow her to increase her knowledge and skills within the role.