More than a DO

Ben Wheeler

Locum and Territory Manager

not just a do

How long have you been a Dispensing Optician?

I have been a qualified as a Dispensing Optician for 8 years now qualifying in 2011 through ABDO College and Canterbury Christchurch University with an honours degree in Ophthalmic Dispensing. Becoming BSc (Hons) FBDO.

What made you decide to be a Dispensing Optician?

I decided to re-train in Optics in 2008, after the loss of my sister who had worked in optics prior to taking a career break to start a family. This terrible loss spurred me on and have me all the focus I could ever need to knuckle down and study for my new chosen career.

What's the best part of being a Dispensing Optician?

The best part of being a Dispensing Optician is being a professional within a very broad field that is constantly evolving.

Tell us about being a Locum.

Working a locum certainly provides the flexibility as a DO. To choose the dates you wish to work or not work. The areas in which you work and the company that you choose to work for. Being a locum also provides you with a varied insight into the industry seeing how different organisations work. Constantly gaining additional ways of working and valuable experiences.

You are also a territory manager within the low vision sector tell us more about that.

I am now a Territory Manager for Optelec working with the Low Vision sector. Actively promoting the products and services that are offered by Optelec, to private customers, local and national sight loss charities as well as hospitals and optical practices. We provide a vast array of electronic and optical magnifiers. We also provide training to volunteers and employees at the sight loss charities and organisations. No day is the same within my current role as I could be to hosting an open day showcasing the products offered by Optelec, working at national events or visiting private customers demonstrating equipment within the comfort of their own homes.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about training to be a dispensing optician?

If someone was considering studying as a Dispensing Optician, I would tell them to go for it! I have now worked in various roles within the Optical industry starting as a trainee DO, practice manager, locum, domiciliary and now as a territory manager.