Christopher Smith – Director in a Domiciliary Environment
- How long have you been a Dispensing Optician?
I’ve been working as a qualified Dispensing Optician since 2008.
- What made you decide to be a Dispensing Optician?
I chose to become a Dispensing Optician because I wanted to be in a position where I was responsible for helping improve people’s quality of life through better eyecare.
- What’s the best part of being a Dispensing Optician?
As a Dispensing Optician I’m able to be the professional who ensures a patient’s eyecare needs have been fulfilled. I feel a Dispensing Optician is involved in many of the steps along a patient’s healthy eyecare ‘journey’ and in particular I feel that our members of the community who can’t get to a store must still be able to access eyecare, and access it easily.
- Tell us about being a Director and DO in a Domiciliary environment
Since I’m also a director, this has enabled me to ensure that those who can’t access eyecare from a store can still stay in control with our help. I help with ensuring that care homes, carers, suppport workers, family and friends are all aware of domiciliary services available to their service user. I currently conduct many talks whereby I promote the importance of regular, routine sight tests and maintaining healthy eye care, this can also include educating on common eye conditions
I thoroughly enjoy working as a Domiciliary Dispensing Optician because it means I can apply my optics knowledge to help the most vulnerable of our community. I quite often meet patients at home who haven’t even spoke to a person in months and so our help can all round have a life changing impact. A domiciliary patient may have not been aware of services available to them up until now – this can result in particular pathologies taking a back-seat and so we actually see quite a few challenging conditions that keep us on our feet!
Since the sight test and dispense will happen in the patient’s home, I get to spend more time with that patient and can ensure that the whole eyecare service is tailored more to their actual needs and requirements – a more relaxed atmosphere than a test room. You have to think on your feet and be able to adapt to set up equipment in sometimes small or dark rooms.
- You are also the director of Specsavers Home Visits, tell us about that
My role as a director in Specsavers Home Visits is to ensure that those who can’t access eyecare from a store can still stay in control with our help. That patient can now access important eyecare but in their home, wherever that may be (whatever the weather!).
In addition to dispensing some of our most vulnerable members of the community, who in most cases will have a range of needs. I also help with ensuring that care homes, carers, support workers, family and friends are all aware of domiciliary services available to their service user. I currently conduct many talks whereby I promote the importance of regular, routine sight tests and maintaining healthy eye care, this can also include educating on common eye conditions.
- What advice would you give to someone thinking about training to be a dispensing optician?
For those considering a career in Domiciliary… why not!? You will quite often be exposed to challenges with prescriptions and pathology whilst having the feeling of having helped to improve a person’s quality of life.