Day in the life … DO and optometry student Luke

Luke works in practice as a dispensing optician (DO) in an opticians practice, dispensing spectacles and pre-testing patients before their eye examination. He is also studying to become an optometrist on block release. Read on to find out more about his day.

What do you start with every day?

I wake up at 6:30am, go for a short run and then come home and eat breakfast, the most important meal of the day! I watch the news on TV before getting ready for work and driving there. I usually aim to be at work about half an hour early to switch things on and prepare for the day. It makes the day run a little bit more smoothly before patients start to arrive for their appointments. 

What do you love about your job?

I love that I can actually make a difference to people’s lives by helping them to see. I really enjoy educating them about their eyes and about spectacles and contact lenses. 

My favourite is seeing a first time spectacle wearer putting on their spectacles and seeing an immediate improvement to their vision, especially children when they have been used to everything being blurry and react to putting spectacles on. 

I also enjoy explaining eye conditions to patients in terms that they understand because I like imparting my knowledge to others. 

What is your next step in your career?

I am currently studying optometry at the University of Central Lancashire and converting my ophthalmic dispensing experience into the testroom, so I will be able to see patients for eye examinations and contact lens fittings. 

What are the challenges?

The challenges of this course is that we are only on campus for one week per month and watch pre-recorded lectures in our own time. You have to make yourself a schedule and stick to it otherwise you fall behind on the work and just get swamped. 

Alongside this course I work full time as a dispensing optician so I am pretty busy these days. 

What do you do to wrap up the day and prepare for the next one?

After a day at work we usually switch everything off and tidy up ready for tomorrow. I then travel home and switch my computer on to start studying and then start to make some dinner! I make my lunch for the next day so it’s all ready and less stress in the morning. 

I usually study from 7-9pm 3-4 days per week and usually spend my day off studying too!

From 9-10pm I usually relax and watch something on TV to wind down and then go to sleep, ready to wake up at 6:30am for the next day!