For the last two weeks our team has had a new member, Aasima Khan joined us on a work experience placement from Kingsbury High School. When Aasima joined us, it was clear she had a keen interest for science and in particular biology, she intends to turn this interest into her work and is hoping to study dentistry at university. Hopefully, we have at least peaked her interest enough for her to consider Optometry as an alternative.
At the end of her placement we had a catch up to see if her perception of our profession had changed. Aasima began by telling us “Before starting my work experience, my point of view of an optometrist was that it was a very boring job”. We asked why this was, Aasima explained it was mostly because she didnt’t understand what an Optometrist does, but this has changed as she explained “an optometrist’s job didn’t only consist of checking people’s eyes it was much more than that.”
She continued, “whenever I would go for my eye test I didn’t understand what they were doing and what type of tools they were using.” This is key for us, we took the time to show Aasima the different machines we use and what we use them for, like the tonometer pictured, we use this to measure the pressure of fluid within the eye which is a key test for patients with or at risk of Glaucoma.
Given Aasima’s interest in biology, it was easy to catch her imagination with all the tests we conduct and what role they play in diagnosing different conditions. We do this will all our patients as it is vital that everyone understands what we are doing and why.
In her previous experiences at other opticians, she would have the same thoughts we hear from so many people who come into our practice, “wearing glasses makes my eyesight worse”. We asked if these thoughts had changed and Aasima said yes, “I realised that this was not the case, it’s the eyes of the individuals which get used to wearing glasses, if you take the glasses off, the eyes will adjust and be able to see, just not as clear with the glasses.”
We asked Aasima if there was any one thing she thought was particularly interesting, she was quick with her reply “What I found interesting during the eye test was the optometrist can take pictures of the back of the eyes with a camera”. She found it fascinating that we could take a high-resolution image where we can see the back of the eye in great detail, but also that pictures from previous & future eye tests “can be compared to each other and if any differences are found the optometrist would be able to understand what the problem is by just looking at the pictures.”
We’ll leave the last of this post to Aasima to wrap up her experience with us.
“I believe that I have understood much more about what optometrists do and what my perception has changed by understanding what the tools do and how they can benefit an individual as a whole. I personally hadn’t had an eye test for 2 years as I thought I didn’t need to but when I had my eye test at Hendon Eyecare Opticians I found out that my eye sight has improved and I no longer need glasses, this had made me realise that I should go for an eye test at least once a year as the eyes are the most sensitive organs and they can be impacted very easily.”