So, I finally have a job.  A real, full time one that involves being in the same place every day.  This is after three months of not working (my contract ended on 15th July and this job will probably start the week after next, NHS willing).  Three months of slowly going mad while I waited on OSCE results, insurance, GOC, NES, NHS…

I’ve decided to create a new blog to document my life as a NQ. I was thinking about calling it something silly like “Adventures in Optometry”.

There’s still not much information on the internet about the day to day experiences of being an optometrist so I would urge you all to start a blog and share your stories.  Not only is it a cathartic experience, you’ll be forced to reflect on what happened while you are writing (in the hope of becoming a better optom) and, in the end, you are contributing to the optics community.

Optics is a small world and we are part of a new generation of optometrists, one with a variety of technologies at our disposal. We can support each other via social media even if we are based in different parts of the UK (or the world).

On a more serious note, I found pre-reg quite isolating and I know I’m not alone (pun intended).  Pre-regs are a very vulnerable group and we are at the mercy of supervisors, all the layers of management and even optical assistants.  Everyone knows a pre-reg who has a horror story but most of them won’t speak up for fear that it’ll affect their chances of a job at the end.  As I said, optics is a small community and no-one wants to be branded a troublemaker.

I urge anyone who is struggling to reach out to someone else.  You aren’t alone: you have a network of colleagues who care and you have the College and AOP for advice and support.  Also, there are other jobs.  If you are not getting the help you need or being mistreated as a pre-reg then why do you want to stay with that company? Don’t let fear of losing out keep you silent.  In the end, you still might not get the job that’s been dangled in front of you during your pre-reg or you might be asked to relocate hundreds of miles.

Anyway, I’ll get down off my soapbox now.