Your Community Optometric / Ophthalmic / Eye-care Team
The Receptionist – usually the first person you will talk to and the last person you will deal with. Often they will have no paper qualification in optometric practice but they have learnt how to keep the practice running smoothly by doing their job. They may not have all the answers to all of your questions but they will know some one who does.
Optometric Assistant – not all practices have an optometric assistant. An OA has more training and interest in the clinical side of the practice. S/he will be able to do some of the more automated tests passing on the results to the optometrist.
Dispensing Assistant – again not all practices have a DA, sometimes they are called frame stylists. They have no dispensing qualifications but have been trained by their practice to sell what the practice stocks.
Dispensing Optician – DO’s are registered with the GOC (General Optical Council) to dispense spectacles and low vision aids. They have completed a period of training at a recognised college and passed specific examinations to qualify as a DO. They are required to prove their continued updating of their knowledge by gaining a required number of CET points each year.They have an extensive knowledge of all available spectacle lenses, frame materials and styles. A good DO will make the selection of specs that suit you appear easy. Specs bought without expert advice amy seem like a bargain but can be an expensive mistake. For more information about dispensing click here
Contact Lens Practitioner/Specialist – these are opticians (DO’s or Optometrists) who have a Specialist Interest and training in fitting contact lenses. A DO contact lens practitioner has to take additional training to qualify as a contact lens fitter and works alongside an optometrist. Hopefully contact lens wear will give the wearer no problems, but there are potential risks if care is not taken! Regular eye checks with a practitioner you trust will ensure continued lens wear.
Optometrist – (used to be called Ophthalmic Optician) will hold a degree in optometry, and possibly other additional qualifications in areas of special interest. Optoms are registered with the GOC and also have to prove their continued updating of their knowledge by gaining a required number of CET points each year. For more information about Optometry click here