More than a DO

Lesley-Johann Deeming

Distance Learning Tutor

not just a do

How long have you been a Dispensing Optician?

I qualified as a Dispensing optician in 2003 after doing the ABDO distance learning course.

What made you decide to be a Dispensing Optician?

I fell into optics after being told by the royal navy that I had failed the medical to become a mechanical design engineer due to having asthma. I saw an advert for a trainee dispensing optician and fell in love with optics during the interview.  The dispensing optician that interviewed me was so enthusiastic about the role and the job description I just felt it was for me.  The way he described the job and the satisfaction he got from being able to help somebody see was just inspirational.  I loved science and maths and did them for my A levels so decided optics was for me.  I have never regretted my decision

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

Being able to help someone whom has reduced vision being able to see again.  Having a child say to his mummy I can see you properly mummy and you look beautiful is the best feeling you can have.  The insight people share with you and being able to help them gain their independence is amazing.   Being able to spot a possible sight treating condition form patient’s symptoms and being able to get them the correct help as you have the knowledge is just amazing.  In my view we are the 4th emergency service not the AA.  The gift of slight is amazing and the scope of practice you can branch into is vast too from Low vision contact lens optician or spectacle lens design the learning can never stop.  Every day is different and that’s what I love.

Tell us about being a distance learning tutor?

Being a tutor is my passion in life.  I love being able to help students understand a concept or just to be able to complete a calculation is an amazing feeling.  Being able to pass on my knowledge to the next generation of dispensing opticians is just a fab feeling.  Seeing the student grow and develop across the academic year is a fabulous feeling.   I get very excited to receive my allocation of my new students and miss them all when I don’t have their work to mark – I am strange I know but my students mean a lot to me.

What made you choose to be a distance learning tutor?

I had two amazing tutors in my first and second year but in my third year I did not get the same level of support so I decided that I was going to be a tutor to help students get the support I wanted in my final year of the course.  Plus, my mum was an A level teacher so teaching is something I have grown up with and I knew how much she loved it so I thought I would too and I do I love having my students.

You are currently studying towards your Contact Lens Optician qualification, tell us more.

So I have wanted to do the CLO course with ABDO for 14 years and as a manager I have not been able to complete it, so when I looked for my next role I wanted to ensure that I was able to start the course and get my next qualification under my belt.  I have just taken my theory exams and plan to take the practice in June 2019 case record depending.  The CLO course is a very intense course and I believe you get out of it what you put into it.  If you do the reading and have a good supervisor at work yu will be able to achieve good results.  It’s much harder than the DO course and so it should be as we are going to become specialists in the area of Contact lenses

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

Don’t think about it just do it I have never regretted becoming a dispensing optician and there is no age limit to becoming one either just get enrolled with ABDO and do the DO course.  The support you get from your tutor will help you and the college teaching staff are just fab too.