Following on from last week's post, this week we want to focus on something very exciting for us....
A topic that we haven’t been outwardly bragging about is our dedication to staff development.
Liz our practice manager has recently qualified as a Tutor for the Dispensing Opticians course. By marking assignments and mentoring students through their studies, Liz is able to keep her own knowledge fresh as well as helping develop the future generation of Dispensing Opticians. Only those with the highest level of passion for the industry take the plunge into this exciting role.
Since qualifying in 2005 there have been a huge amount of developments in the optical industry which Liz has kept closely in tune with, both through personal research as well as compulsory CET training that must be undertaken by all registered Dispensing Opticians.
This most recent step in becoming a tutor and supervisor means Liz is able to be at the forefront of any new optical and dispensing developments, allowing us to be as up to date with our advice and products as possible.
As well as Liz, I (Natalie) have also taken a big step in my career by qualifying as a Dispensing Optician. This has involved 3 years of hard study along with working full time in practice and developing a portfolio of skilled and thorough dispensings. I came to the practice in March 2015 when I was midway through my course with the prestigious (and beautiful) ABDO college, based in Godmersham in Kent. Lured in by Brad’s extensive testing and the wide catalogue of frames, lens materials and designs, I transferred here from my previous Opticians to ensure I was able to use my pending qualification to the best of my ability.
Having now qualified I have gained the letters FBDO after my name and am able to practice as a Registered Dispensing Optician.
So what is a Dispensing Optician?
Many of you may not be aware of the role of the Dispensing Optician in practice as it hasn’t been widely publicised in the past. However in fact a Dispensing Optician (D.O. for short) is crucial to the running of an optometric practice.
A D.O has a legal obligation to oversee the dispensing of children and clients with sight impairments. Here at Brad Abrahams we are pleased to say that your children will only be seen by a Dispensing Optician, or a student under the direct supervision of Liz. This means that you know you will always be given professional and accurate advice when it comes to your children’s eye health. Many large "chain" Opticians do not employ even one qualified Dispensing Optician, and here we have two fully qualified, and a third who has just commenced his study.
For Partially sighted clients or those with a severe sight impairment, the dispensing of spectacles is crucial in ensuring the patient's residual vision it utilised to its fullest potential. Seeing a D.O for the dispensing is both a legal requirement and necessary to ensure the best possible spectacles for the patient.
D.Os also have a legal obligation to carry on their training well past their qualification date. CET (Continued Education and Training) means that all registered D.Os will be up to date in their knowledge. CET involves attending lectures and seminars, reading articles and taking assessments regularly, being involved in peer reviews as well as interactive learning. A certain amount of points have to be achieved every year otherwise a D.O is removed from our professional register. As serious as it sounds, we welcome it in the profession as a way to keep our knowledge as up to date and extensive as possible.
With all of that in mind we can also announce that our third dispenser Ahsaan has now embarked on his journey to join the world of Dispensing Opticians. Following his Maths Degree from Bristol UWE in 2009 he has recently been enrolled at ABDO college (where both Liz and myself studied) and is in his first year working towards his qualification. With Lizzy as his supervisor to help him through his three years of study, we are convinced he will do great! Our aim is to have a fully qualified dispensing team, something that is almost unheard of these days in Optometric practice and something we are very proud of at Brad Abrahams.
Why don't you book in to see us so you can test out our knowledge for yourself!
We hope to see you soon.
Natalie, Dispensing Optician