“I’d started my career at 16 as an optical advisor, and stayed with the same company when I qualified as an optometrist,” he explains. “I moved to another multiple after 8 years, first as a senior optometrist and then as a regional optometrist lead. However, I have a real thirst for knowledge and felt that learning about refractive surgery should be my next step. I knew that as the market leader, Optical Express was the only company which could give me the kind of career I was looking for.”
The move to Optical Express saw Bhavik start to discover just how he could help patients achieve their best vision possible through life-changing treatment. “I’d wanted a change and I certainly got that,” he smiles. “In my first month I worked beside an excellent Specialist Refractive Optometrist (SRO). That was a real help when I started carrying out refractive surgery suitability consultations and post-operative assessments as an SRO myself. I was amazed at our patients’ reactions to their new vision after surgery – they were so delighted at the freedom it gave them.”
Ongoing personal and professional development is important to Bhavik, so when the opportunity to become an Optometry Development Manager with the company arose, he didn’t hesitate. “I had gained experience via the SRO role and wanted to take on more responsibility, and as I have additional qualifications in optometry and management I knew it would be an ideal opportunity to put them into practice. Along with the clinical skills the job requires, it felt like a perfect fit for me.”
A delighted Bhavik was offered the role, and he’s enjoying it immensely. He works with each Optical Express optometrist in his region, helping with their clinical and commercial development. “It’s a varied role and involves travelling to the different clinics in the region,” he comments. “Among other things, I carry out inductions for optometrists who are new to the business, conduct audits, observe colleagues and provide relevant feedback, and carry out appraisals. My role focuses on continuous quality improvement. I also work closely with the Regional Manager – we discuss anything from optometrist performance to ensuring that we have adequate optometrist cover for our stores and clinics.”
Bhavik feels that the support he’s received from his colleagues across the business has helped steer his career to success. He says, “People genuinely want to help you succeed, which is refreshing. A particularly important source of support, though, has been the Clinical Services Team. They’re highly proficient in providing second opinions and guidance on protocol so that there are no grey areas, and I believe that’s beneficial for all of our optometrists.”
Would he recommend Optical Express as a great place to work? “I firmly believe that nowhere else offers optometrists the opportunities that they will find here, from professional development opportunities such as the Independent Prescribing course to access to incredibly advanced technology and clinical support when it is needed. I’ve actually recommended a few ex-colleagues to the company. The latest joined recently, and they are enjoying everything their role has to offer.
“Every day is different now. I’m improving my existing skills and learning new ones, and that brings a real sense of achievement. I don’t think I’d find that anywhere else.”
If you are interested in joining Optical Express and gaining access to our industry leading training, then contact our Recruitment team who’ll be happy to let you know what opportunities we have across the UK and what other development opportunities we can offer you. You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01236 795146.