Six reasons to be a vision scientist

Ophthalmic and vision science is a little-known career, but one that offers you a great future. These specialists assess the structure and function of the eye and the visual system. They are experts in disorders of vision, eye diseases and the visual pathway.  This is a great choice for many reasons. Our top six are: 1. Combine science and technology with people skills  You need to be able to help and reassure patients and work with the wider, multidisciplinary healthcare…

Clinical technicians – a great opportunity 

A scheme for optical assistants to gain extra skills to support optometrists is celebrating its 500th graduate. Isabel Nibbs is now a Specsavers clinical technician after a 16-week training programme. The scheme gives people the skills to carry out pre-assessment procedures and collect diagnostic information, working under the supervision of an optometrist. The technicians support optometrists to provide better care. “The clinician technician training has enabled me to become more confident with patients and have a deeper understanding of how…

Five reasons to choose a degree in orthoptics

1. Become a respected health professional Orthoptists are experts in diagnosing and treating defects in eye movement and problems with how the eyes work together, called binocular vision. They are registered with and regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). To qualify, they study for a degree in orthoptics. You can find out more about the course, including where you can study, here. Each university sets their own entry requirements but they usually include good GCSE Maths, English…

New BTEC for optical assistants

Specsavers has created a BTEC qualification to develop the skills of thousands of optical assistants (OAs) working in its community practices.    The new Pearson BTEC Level 3 certificate includes units from the existing Pearson BTEC Level 3 certificate for optometric clinical assistants and dispensing assistants. Learners choose additional units to fit their roles, providing a tailored learning experience.   Jodie Glanville (pictured) is the first person to complete the new qualification, works at Specsavers’ Plymouth practice: “I use the knowledge I gained completing the Cert 3…

Celebrating apprentices with learning differences and disabilities

Virtual event, Monday 5 Feb 1pm–2pm Register here Join this webinar on the first day of National Apprenticeship Week to hear from disabled apprentices, and those with learning differences, sharing what works when it comes to supporting people with additional needs. Rabia Lemahieu of Disability Rights UK explains how employers can embrace diversity.

It’s not all rocket science – podcast highlights careers in STEM

If you are wondering where studying science, technology, engineering or maths (STEM) could take you, turn to the the Eye Opening Careers podcast for inspiration. Hosts Gemma Drake, an early careers specialist, and optics educator Nas Hinglotwala are passionate about helping young people succeed.  They talk to students, employers and university tutors about careers in science, exploring how Gen Z are navigating their post-16 studies. In the latest episode, second year pharmacy students Abigail Wattleworth and Uns Khatib discuss their…

The teachers’ guide to careers in eyecare

The optical world is less well known than other branches of healthcare. But it offers a range of rewarding careers, for people with all kinds of talents and interests. Some roles offer recruits the chance to earn while they learn, while qualifications include apprenticeships, diplomas or degrees. From healthcare to fashion, technology to retail, management, design or manufacturing, there’s an eyecare role for everyone. We’ve got a whole host of resources for students and teachers.  Careers in eyecare lesson plan …

What jobs can you do with an optometry degree? 

If you’ve just started your degree, are going into the final year or are doing A levels, you may be wondering about your career options. Becoming a community optometrist is the obvious choice, but there are a wide range of pathways out there.  Domiciliary optometrist These are optometrists who visit patients in their homes, schools, care homes or community centres. Your patients may have medical conditions, physical or learning disabilities, so you should be flexible and able to adapt your…

How an apprenticeship works for us

Apprenticeships are a great way for trainees to earn while they learn and develop their career. Employers benefit from staff gaining skills and knowledge. Macey, an apprentice optical assistant at Michael Offord Optometrist – Opticians in Newcastle and Sam, the practice manager, tell us what makes their journey a success.   Macey, apprentice In September I started my apprenticeship with Woodspeen Training after being an optical assistant on a Saturday. I didn’t have a lot of knowledge about dispensing, spectacle…