Visioncall’s Lead Optometrist for the Hampshire region, Sarab Laute explains why he got into domiciliary eye care and why he recommends it so highly for other optometrists.
What did you do before you joined Visioncall?
I previously worked in a well-known high street optical chain and I had never really considered domiciliary care before I was put in touch with Visioncall. After my shadow day five or six years ago, I texted the recruiter who put me in touch and said Visioncall is like one big family. I’ve never looked back.
What drew you to domiciliary eye care?
The lifestyle aspect of working Monday-Friday with weekends off was a big draw. I’ve got a couple of kids who I love spending time with, so being off when they’re off is a big bonus. On my shadow day, seeing the impact we could make to people’s lives was completely different to my experience in-practice and was incredibly rewarding.
My ethos is that if you can improve someone’s eyesight by 5% – something as small as 5% – you can really improve their quality of life. It’s the difference between being able to watch television, look at a photograph of their family, read a magazine, or not. To be able to improve what a person can do in their day-to-day life is fantastic.
What do you enjoy about domiciliary optometry?
Domiciliary is optometry at its fundamental level. Not all of your patients can tell you about their symptoms or history, so you are reliant on your clinical judgement. You don’t always have an OCT scanner, so you use the skills you learned at university in terms of testing. These are skills we all have that, when working in practice, we sometimes think we’ve forgotten, but they very quickly come back to you.
Interacting with some of the most vulnerable people in society and knowing that you can help them is a really nice feeling to have. Job satisfaction is second to none.
What would you say to other optometrists considering a move into domiciliary?
Lots of optometrists have misconceptions about what domiciliary is and how it works, but it’s nothing like what you’ve heard. To properly understand it, the shadow days are invaluable, so I’d encourage anyone to give them a try. Honestly, you’ll be very pleasantly surprised, I promise.