Jim Cox – Product Specialist
- How long have you been a Dispensing Optician?
I have been a DO since I qualified in 1997
- What made you decide to be a Dispensing Optician?
I fell into it after answering a job advert for trainee dispensing opticians and store managers for Dollond & Aitchison in Chatham in Kent which would have been in 1993/4.
- What’s the best part of being a Dispensing Optician?
In practice the best part is when a customer listens to your advice, doesn’t base their decision on the cost but on the benefit and when the collect can see the difference. It actually makes you feel appreciated. In my current role the best part is being able to take the 20 years of knowledge and experience and help shape the next generation of Ophthalmic equipment and how it will work and benefit the practitioner in the real world.
- You are a Product Specialist, tell us what that involves.
My role is to help guide the production and development of new ophthalmic equipment from a prototype to a real world product that adds value to a business, either wholesale manufacturing or retail. I use my knowledge of optics and lens design to feed into software and hardware development to produce a product that meets the real world requirements of an optical business. I am involved in marketing and developing our social media presence alongside my colleagues, I am also responsible for sales and business generation. All these skills were learnt working optics as a Dispensing Optician and Manager.
- What advice would you give to someone thinking about training to be a dispensing optician?
For anyone thinking of becoming a DO my advice would be work in as many different optical environments as possible and learn as much about all the different lens and frame types available, one problem I see with working in one location be that independent or multiple is that you can limit your knowledge and that is bad for the patient, one core competency is to always give the best and most appropriate advice and if you are not aware of a lot of the options you can’t do that.
You can find out more about becoming a Dispensing Optician here.