So, you’re sold that Health and Social Care is the path for you. That’s great and all, but where on earth do you start...
- Test and diagnose eye problems, then prescribe glasses and contact lenses
- You'll develop specialist skills, and can work in a range of healthcare settings including hospitals or private clinics
- You could specialise in a particular area like paediatrics or work with specific conditions like glaucoma
As an optometrist, you'll use your knowledge of eye diseases to detect abnormalities.
- Use a range of precision instruments
- Use vision measuring and testing tools
- Diagnose and give advice
- Prescribe, fit and supply glasses or contact lenses
- Discuss the suitability and shape of frames
- Refer clients to specialists or ophthalmologists (eye surgeons)
You could work in a laboratory or in a treatment room.
To be an optometrist, you'll need knowledge of medicine and biology, customer service skills, thoroughness and attention to detail, thinking and reasoning skills, excellent verbal communication skills, sensitivity and understanding, and analytical thinking skills.
You'll need a degree in optometry plus one year's paid, supervised work experience with a registered optometrist and registration with the General Optical Council (GOC).
If you're already working as a dispensing optician, you could re-train in optometry. You'll need to complete an optometry degree and pre-registration year.
Paid or voluntary experience in a healthcare setting would be useful before applying.
You could specialise in an area like paediatrics (working with children), contact lenses, sports vision, or low vision. You could study for an MSc in optometry or train further in contact lens practice, therapeutics (prescribing drugs for certain eye problems), or specific conditions like diabetes and glaucoma.