Midlands-based Dispensing Optician Jemma Williams shares her experience of moving from in-practice to domiciliary eye care at Visioncall
What did you do before you became a dispensing optician at Visioncall?
I worked in practice at a high street optical chain for five years and ended up leaving with the mindset that I wouldn’t go back into optics because of my experience, but then I saw an advert for domiciliary work at Visioncall. I’d heard about domiciliary eye care but didn’t know much about it. But I decided to go for it.
How was the transition from in-practice care to domiciliary?
There is a lot to learn, but the shadow day with Vic [Visioncall’s Clinical Director] and another dispenser completely bowled me over. I got a great feeling from being with them, seeing the work they do with vulnerable patients. I just really liked the environment, and it just gave me a sense of worth that I actually could help these patients that are suffering with conditions like dementia or Parkinson’s.
How different are the equipment and testing procedures that you use in a domiciliary setting?
It’s just so much more rewarding, seeing patients who can’t get to an opticians and having that time with them to improve their day to day life.
Every day is completely different too. I like travelling to different locations around my area seeing patients. You also meet such a fantastic range of people with amazing stories to tell. It’s so rewarding to help people like that to find the best glasses for them to meet their needs and make their day that little bit better.
Not having to work weekends is also a major benefit of domiciliary dispensing. There’s a lot more flexibility that I didn’t even know was available in optics when I worked in practice.
What would you say to other dispensing opticians considering a move into domiciliary?
Go for it! The shadow day is a great way to test the waters and see if domiciliary is for you. If you’ve got that passion to care for people, the respect for the patients and a willingness to go that extra mile to make someone’s day, then the rewards of domiciliary eye care are amazing.
You could go into a home and see a patient with dementia one day ago and the adult learning another day. Every day is completely different and I just could not go back to in-practice dispensing now.
I had fallen out of love with optics, but the patients and the team at Visioncall, helped me rediscover my love for it.