More than a DO

Dan Varcoe


When did you become a Dispensing Optician?

I qualified in 2009, having completed 3 years distance learning at ABDO College.

What made you decide to be a Dispensing Optician?

I was working in a supermarket opticians practice; I really enjoyed the work and wanted to gain a greater understanding of optics, to begin a career which would lead me to a better qualification and better ability to help my patients.

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

As an optometrist that was a dispensing optician I really enjoy being able to give my patients and the optical assistants that I work with great recommendations that I can be confident they will get a great result.

As a DO, it would have to be the ability to solve complex optical problems; ensuring patients get great results from their glasses, or other optical appliances.

You are now an Optometrist, tell us more about your role.

I currently work for a large multiple, I mostly spend my time in a dark room, but when they let me out, I’m often getting involved in frame selection, and helping our patients to choose frames that fit well and are great for their individual optical needs.

I love fitting contact lenses, especially first time wearers and multifocals allowing patients that don’t think contact lenses can do distance and reading to see again without glasses.

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

Do it! Go to ABDO College, make loads of friends, work hard and have fun.