More than a DO

Emma Ward

Business Development Manager

More thank just a DO

How long have you been a Dispensing Optician?

I began training in 1995 and qualified in 1998. I studied via the distance learning route with ABDO and did block release at Bradford College.

What made you decide to be a Dispensing Optician?

I responded to a job advertisement for Dollond & Aitchison and it listed discount on glasses and contact lenses as a benefit. As a high myope (above -10.00DS) that was the main appeal. Little did I know what a rewarding career it would lead me into.

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

Making a difference to people’s lives. That includes interactions with patients and colleagues alike. My career has taken me into practice management, qualifying as a Contact Lens Optician, supervising student Dispensing Opticians, education and training of CLO’s and OO’s and most recently into a more commercial environment and all involve relationship and rapport building and meeting the needs of the person.

Tell us about being a Business Development Manager.

With Menicon being a developing company in the UK the role is varied. Primarily it’s about educating practitioners on our innovative products and how to successfully fit them. That naturally leads to sales. People buy from people so my career holds me in good stead to help to build the necessary relationships. I also run CET events and staff training sessions to promote contact lenses. I know the difference contact lenses made to me and so I am passionate about spreading the word!

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

Do it! The pathways are varied post qualification and with the emergence of further options such as MECS as well as more established routes of Low Vision and Contact Lenses there has never been a better time to join the wonderful world of Optics!