STEM Job of The Month - Optometrist

October 10, 2018

1. Name and position title? 


Yi Zhu Tan / Pre- Registration Optometrist 


2. How would you explain your job to people not from your industry? 


Optometry is a primary healthcare occupation that provides an important service for members of the public.  As an optometrist, my main role is to carry out ocular health checks: by using different examination techniques, we can detect ocular disease as well as systemic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure.  Within those checks we also test sight and prescribe patients with an accurate correction for their vision, if required – including occupational and safety eyewear, spectacles, contact lenses and low vision aids.


3. What makes it exciting working in your industry overall?  


Being able to meet and communicate with a wide range of interesting people from all walks of life.  Every day presents a new challenge, where patients may require further investigation and referral for a medical condition.  We are very fortunate in Grampian to have access to new technology and care pathways that allow us to help more patients that ever before, retain and improve their sight.


4. What do you enjoy most about your role? 


The satisfaction achieved from genuinely helping people and improving their quality of life; by providing patient- centred care which includes listening, communicating and involving patients in their care.  We often get to see the same patients back, year after year, developing trust and relationships with the whole family.


5. How do you think other people see your strengths and your contribution at work overall? What qualities might you be known for?  


I would say my caring and friendly personality; it helps me communicate relevant information with empathy and manage patients in difficult situations. While this can be challenging at times, it is also what makes my role interesting and motivating. 


6. What's a big challenge for you right now, or perhaps one for your industry?  


The field of optometry is always challenging - with new competencies and different roles, particularly in the field of independent prescribing and shared care schemes (with the hospital eye service).  Your high street optician is the communities first stop for emergency eye care – we triage daily emergencies; dealing with trauma, ocular disease and complications of systemic disease, working closely with secondary care ophthalmologists.  With an aging population and ever more sophisticated treatments, we are on the front line of constantly evolving eyecare practises.


7. What outside interests might you have? 


I have been swimming from a young age, so I will always try to find some time in the pool.  I always make sure to get some time off each year to travel; my new favourite spot is Barcelona.  When travelling, my favourite thing is trying the different cuisines – and when I get home, I enjoy experimenting in the kitchen, cooking dinner with my friends and family.


8. How would you describe yourself in three words?  


Friendly, confident and caring.  

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