Laura Dowdy of BBR Optometry in Hereford is among 65 students who successfully completed the new ABDO College Optical Assistant training course that started in September 2019.
Nick Black, dispensing and contact lens optician at BBR Optometry, said: “Laura has been with us for just over 18 months, and is our first member of staff to undertake the new ABDO College Optical Assistant course. With an average grade of 87 per cent, Laura’s done fantastically well and we are all very proud of her.”
The practice is currently open six days a week to provide emergency eyecare, spectacle repairs and replacements.
“We’re running on a skeleton staff of three optometrists, two of whom are independent prescribers,” Nick told DO Online, “providing telemedicine where appropriate and seeing patients face-to-face if necessary. “As the practice DO, I’m working on alternate days and remaining on call at other times. We also have two optical and two clinical assistants working alternate days. So Laura and Charlotte, our OAs, are providing simple repairs when I am in or not available.
“We also have a WhatsApp group for the whole practice, so people are keeping in touch to maintain spirits with quizzes and other posts. Although working staff are holding the fort, we appreciate the significant role the furloughed staff play in the big picture,” Nick added.
ABDO College head of operations, Steve Hertz, commented: “We are very pleased to hear that employers are getting involved in celebrating their staff’s successes. Students will have worked very hard over the course period, and to achieve the required standards is very much worthy of congratulations. We look forward to beginning training with our next cohort in September.”
The deadline for applications for the 2020 ABDO College OA Course is 27 July, and the course begins on 1 September.
Successful completion of the course allows the learner direct entry into Year 1 of the FBDO Diploma without the need for prerequisite GCSEs or A Levels while studying subjects directly applicable to everyday practice.
Click here for more information about the ABDO College Optical Assistant course.