Q&A Mariam Bhojani, Optometrist at Pinders Opticians in Mansfield talks about her Pre Reg experience in 2016/17 exclusively with Vivid Optical’s Danny Alaimo.
How did you decide on where to uptake your pre reg year?
Mariam Bhojani I remember being at uni during my second year the multiples would send their reps in on recruitment drives and convince us on why we should join them. I’m not sure if it was just my uni (Plymouth) but no one came from any independent practices which for me was a disappointment as that’s where my heart was set on heading. I sent out my CV to over a dozen commutable independents and a few came back to me and I settled on Eyesite in Coventry due to the experienced optometrists and the clinical equipment. Having numerous supervisors gave me lots of support and having an OCT enabled me to learn how to interpret basic scans during my pre-reg year.
Once you had settled on where you were going to do your pre reg, was it how you expected it to be?
MB Tough question!! I would say yes. I knew at first, I wouldn’t be doing many tests a day, if I remember correctly I was doing 4 tests average a day at the start and by the end of it I was doing 12 average. It was more about ensuring I was ready to complete my stage one and two as and when I could. My team were supportive and ensured I went at my own pace making sure I was learning constantly throughout.
Finally Mariam, What advice would you give a second year uni student who is unsure of who to undertake their pre reg with?
MB I think the best thing to do is wherever you do your pre-reg make sure you are aware of who your supervisors will be. They are the ones who help you throughout your pre-reg the most and if you have supportive staff and even more supportive experienced supervisors who are willing to take out time for you then that’s the best thing for you during your pre-reg. Also make sure you enjoy it. There are big differences between independents and multiples so do you research before hand as to what you personally would prefer.
It is also worth mentioning that most friends I spoke to that worked away from home enjoyed being in their respective unfamiliar towns and cities so maybe I regret not doing that myself. Always ask the background of the supervisor(s) as ultimately they will be the ones that give you the best chance of passing your OCSE. Also, READ YOUR CONTRACT before you sign it!
Thanks for your input on this Mariam, I’m sure this will be read and listened to by 2nd year University students!
MB Not a problem Danny!
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