"I wanted to be a part of this unique art of the human eye, produced by the latest technologies obtained through ophthalmic equipment."
Meet Andrew to discover why he chose a career in ophthalmic vision science.
One day, I strolled past a room within the medical imaging department at Moorfields Eye Hospital and I saw a picture on a piece of equipment that looked like an exploding star storming through space. I found this image fascinating and wanted to learn more.
I wanted to be a part of this unique art of the human eye, produced by the latest technologies obtained through ophthalmic equipment. I also have a keen interest in the different types of ophthalmic imaging technology and how this can make a difference to patients’ vision.
In 2019 I was a patient at Moorfields and received treatments for my eye. The procedure was life changing as it enabled me to read without aid and I wanted to be a part of this process. I discovered that the imaging department plays a vital role in eye care. Imaging allows doctors to find diseases in their early stages, leading to better outcomes for patients.
I found my current role through the internal Moorefield's NHS website and the role was appealing to me as it had promise of an apprenticeship. I found the apprenticeship scheme easy to deal with as Moorfields as an employer had a flexible and attitude towards my studies.
My typical day consists of carrying out diagnostic tests and investigations essential for diagnosing and managing various ophthalmic conditions. Every patient who attends an eye clinic will have some form of diagnostic testing. I work from 8:30am to 4:30pm Monday to Friday, on average I see around 40 to 60 patients per day on whom I carry out diagnostic test. The main clinic I cover is ocular oncology (cancer of the eye).
An example of diagnostic imaging that I carry out is ultrasound. We use this to detect cancer growth in the eye and the results are then used to decide the best course of treatment for the patient. My role also involves reporting any changes to doctors, communicating with multidisciplinary teams and training junior staff members.
The best part of my day is patient satisfaction, knowing you have given quality care in line with the standards outlined by the hospital. I am still in training for ophthalmic ultrasound and I thoroughly enjoy practising this skill. However, it's quite a challenge to obtain quality images and understand the doctors' range of requests.
Most eye conditions are treatable when caught early, so this revolutionary technology is genuinely life changing. Medical imaging is especially beneficial for detecting cancer and other ocular issues; being part of this gives me great job satisfaction.
I wouldn't change anything about my role as it continually keeps me thinking, and in the NHS I have many opportunities to grow and expand my knowledge.
I like to read non-fiction books and keep up with running. My hobbies have helped me improve my analytical skills, which have helped me to analyse and compare data more efficiently. I am a keen motorbike rider, and I regularly take time out to travel around the UK.
Currently, I am nearing the end of my apprenticeship diploma course which is run by Dynamic training. When I finish, I’ll register with the Academy for HCS’s (AHCS) accredited associate register at Level 4.
I am very proud of the knowledge I've gained through the course, as it helped me articulate myself better as a healthcare professional. And I get to put this knowledge into practice in my role.
If you’re interested in doing a job like mine, my advice is to start by applying for jobs on the NHS Jobs website as a band three ophthalmic technician or healthcare assistant. Once you’re in a role, it’s good to take a keen interest in the high-level imaging conducted by the practitioners.
There are also opportunities through the associate programme at band four; this gives you the time on the job to receive high level training with specific in-house training and in-house accreditation.
Three words I would use to describe the qualities required for this role are perseverance, patience and perfection.