Rakhee Parmar is now a newly qualified optometrist , here she shares her experiences as a pre-reg optometrist and gives her top advice for those starting their pre-reg year in an optical practice.
How was the transition from University to your pre-reg role?
I think most people underestimate how hard it is going to be. You really are dropped into the deep end.
It really is just like another year at University. You have to spend the day at work and then come home and study. I did not really think about my pre-reg year at University, I just concentrated on getting my degree and thought I would worry about my pre-reg year after this.
How did you find your pre-reg year?
On reflection it was a very enjoyable year. I learned so much and you get to see and do things you do not see when at university. For instance, in my first week I saw a retinal detachment. It was great to be able to actually see the things you learn about at university in practice, it puts it all into perspective!
How did you find your OSCE’s and your ongoing assessor visits?
In the stage 1 assessments I had 4 visits from the same assessor. I had to prepare records from patients I had seen and the scenarios I had been in. I was asked questions about what I had seen and why I did what I did. She asked me lots of questions about topics I was not necessarily comfortable with. My assessments happened at the end of September, December, February and in April. The sessions lasted about 3-4 hours, with some being less as you did an accompanied sight test too.
In May I had another visit from a different assessor for my stage 2 assessment.
I decided to sit my OSCE exam in September but you can do them in July if you want to. It was the nicest exam I have had to sit as it’s mixture of practical assessments, a Viva and you have the chance to talk about your experiences in more detail.
What 3 points of advice would you give a new pre-reg optical student starting out on their pre-reg year?
- Manage your time well, do not leave everything to the last minute. Make sure you go through your patient scenarios so you know what you are talking about on the day of your assessments
- Keep hold of your university notes so you can use them to study
- Keep calm and do not panic, everyone does get there in the end!
If you would like to learn more about life as a Newly Qualified Optometrist you can head to the Newly Qualified Optom Zone or you can talk to one of the Optical Team about our Optical Jobs by calling 01423 813 452 or emailing email@example.com