This is one of the many FAQs I’ve received since I graduated university two months ago, and unfortunately the answer is no.
For those who don’t know, I’m a Pre Registration Optometrist, this means I need to work in practice for about 1 year before the Optometry Gods deem me worthy of being unleashed onto civilians. In other words, I need to be supervised for a year before I am registered with the General Optical Council.
The Pre Reg Program is like a cryptic fraternity that no one can know anything about until they have been initiated into it. All I was really told during my degree was that I would have several visits from an assessor, there would be competencies to achieve and stages to overcome, and then I would finish my qualification by passing this massive practical exam known as the OSCE. I now feel this was somewhat understated….
But I was also told one other thing….. that this would probably be one of the hardest years of my life.
After my graduation, the Optometry Gods bestowed unto me a great book of knowledge, listing the different tasks I had to do to prove my worth as an Optom.
From here it is now my duty to prepare for each and every one of them… and when the time is right, a mysterious and almighty evaluator shall appear at my door to test my worthiness.
This is also known as “Visit 1”. I already had mine a few weeks ago and quite a lot of preparation was involved. This is where the studying came in. We were warned to anticipate this, however it still took me by surprise how exhausting the revision was. Becoming used to a new town, a new routine and of course the teething problems of moving into a new flat all added to the obstacles of finding time to study and stay organized.
That being said, I have every intention of making sure this is NOT one of the hardest years of my life.
I truly believe I’m one of the lucky ones. I’ve been able to move in with one of my best friends, who’s also doing her pre reg, so we’re able to face all of these challenges together. And of course, my boyfriend is always willing to provide a listening ear, even when I use words like “phoropter”.
While there’s no doubt in my mind I will probably reach a breaking point once or twice during this process, I don’t doubt that I will bounce back with the help of such a strong support system. In the mean time… wish me luck ❤
Oh… and in case any thirsty 3rd year optoms were still wondering what some of the fraternity secrets were, as many pre regs before me, my lips are sealed 😉