What could be more important than a career looking after people’s eyes? It’s not surprising that sight is the sense that people most fear losing – the world we live in today is fast moving, and the way we all communicate is becoming increasingly visual. Optometrists care for the health of their patients’ eyes, giving advice and prescribing glasses or contact lenses where they’re needed.
As a member of the Specsavers’ team you’ll also be part of a partnership of front line health care experts, working together to share the care of your patients – you’ll need to keep up with the latest technological and clinical advances and you’ll also be able to specialise further in areas that really interest you. So optometry is about much more than prescribing glasses and contact lenses – you’re an expert who can make a real difference to the quality of life of people in the communities you work in.
So just what does it take to be an optometrist?
Well, you’ll need a strong grounding in science as you’re going to be spending a lot of time getting your head around how the eye and the brain works. A lot of the skills you’ll need will come from physics and biology, and you’ll also need to love maths and chemistry too.
But if you want to really make a success of being an optometrist, it’s no good being a science genius if you aren’t great with people too. You’ll work with different people every day, from all walks of life, and you’ll be responsible for their visual health, so you’ll need to have excellent communications skills and a real dedication to your customers. You’ll also need to be very precise in the way you work – attention to detail is really important – and be the kind of person who never wants to stop learning. It’s a sector where really exciting advances are being made all the time, so you will need to be on top of everything that’s going on.
SO, IT TAKES A PRETTY SPECIAL KIND OF PERSON TO MAKE IT AS AN OPTOMETRIST. ARE YOU UP TO THE CHALLENGE?
WHY CHOOSE OPTOMETRY?
One of the biggest reasons that many people become optometrists is that it gives you the chance to run your own business. At Specsavers we’ll back you all the way if you show potential for leading others. As a director of one of our stores you’ll be a shareholder with a stake in the business and you’ll get all the help you need from our support offices – support that gives you the time, space and confidence to just concentrate on what you do best – giving your customers’ eyes the very best care.
Another great aspect of being a qualified optometrist is that the learning never stops – you’re always able to take on new challenges. By studying for a Higher Qualification you’ll be able to specialise in an area that really interests you – and then pass that expertise straight on to those patients of yours who need it most.
We also really want our people to support each other in their learning and development – and one way that you can do this by getting involved in research and education. You may want to get involved in helping to set the direction of the big optometric conference that we hold each year, which is a chance to discuss the latest advances and share ideas. You can also get involved in research and education by contributing articles to our educational magazine for store colleagues and helping to run training sessions and workshops for local colleagues.
TECHNOLOGY & EQUIPMENT
Of course, if you’ve ever had your eyes tested you’ll know that optometrists don’t just get to work with amazing people – they also get to use some pretty exciting technology too. At Specsavers this is a big deal for us – we’re investing a lot of time and money into making sure that we’ve got the very best equipment for our people to use. So, work for us and you’ll have the chance to use the full range of cutting-edge optometry equipment, including slit lamps, Optical Coherence Tomography, keratometers, ophthalmoscopes, and retinoscopes. We’ve also invested heavily in our new Digital Precision Eyecare technology – meaning that we can use state of the art technology to precisely take the measurements we need to make sure that our patients get a perfect fit, and optimum vision and comfort from their new spectacles.