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An insight to an optometrist’s love for her career

Careers and University, Optometry, The Health Industry

With Valentine’s Day coming up, we thought we’d ask health practitioners what they love about their profession. Here’s what optometrist Emma Slinger had to say for #loveyourcareer week….

What I love most about working as an Optometrist is the ability to solve people’s visual needs and therefore help my patients to do the things they enjoy. This can re-open their world of possibilities and create new adventures. Once I had a patient who was dismayed because she had given up her cross-stitch as her eye sight wasn’t good enough. We had to go beyond just simple glasses and were able to find a magnifying system that worked great for her cross-stitch and she was so appreciative.

Tell us about your most memorable patient.

The patient that sits most in my mind is the one who had been having problems for the past few years and gradually getting worse in terms of her fatigue and also decrease in muscle strength. She presented to me noticing some doubling of her vision and also complaining of her other various general health conditions. I was able to work out that she had poor muscle control that was atypical. With this information, she was able to be referred to a specialist that was finally able to provide her an answer with something she had been suffering from for years, with no previous diagnosis. She was so grateful for answers, I’ll always remember her extreme gratitude.

How do you motivate yourself to move forward and keep the passion burning for your chosen career if you experience burnout?

I have branched into practice ownership and having both the business and patient care aspects helps to keep me balanced. If one side of my work gets a bit intense, e.g. difficult patients or issues with cash flow, the other aspect offers a place to get my head off it and focus on something else.

What is something that can be improved that would make you love being an optometrist even more?

If, as an industry, there was more patient education performed on a regular basis about what optometrists are for and how skilled they can actually be. This would allow optometrists to really stretch their clinical skills more so.

Emma Slinger is an optometrist and owner at Eyecare Plus Karalee, which is an independent optometry practice. She has special interests in children’s vision, diabetic eye disease and myopia (short-sightedness) management.
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