Specsavers Graduate Program: Sight-saving technology a draw card for graduate optometrists

For Graduate Optometrist Alexandra Coffey, having access to world-class technology and equipment to help save the sight, and lives, of her patients, is one of the reasons she’s glad she joined Specsavers.

Joining the Specsavers Norwood store in SA, Alexandra said the transition from student to graduate optometrist was incredibly comfortable thanks to the team and her Optometry Partner, who is always willing to take the time to discuss cases and offer guidance when needed.

“There was a great balance between providing mentorship and independence to make my own decisions and use my clinical judgement. It was great to feel so supported,” says Alexandra.

While the impact of COVID-19 has been challenging, Alexandra says the support from her store team and the Graduate Program team meant she never felt like she was missing out.

“We were lucky enough to attend the Graduate Induction event in Melbourne just before the pandemic hit, but unfortunately, once travel restrictions came into place, many of the in-person events we’d usually attend were cancelled.

“However, we have been lucky to have so many of those events moved to webinars supporting recent graduates, so I haven’t felt like I’ve missed out on any support,” adds Alexandra.

Above the support and mentorship on offer, the technology and equipment Specsavers provide and what that means for her patients drives Alexandra.

“I have great pride in offering comprehensive eye examinations, including technology such as OCT at no charge to the patient. I have been able to detect many sight-threatening, as well as some life-threatening issues, allowing me to support my patients with the best and most appropriate treatment.

“The most memorable for me was a new patient to our practice. He had previously attended regular annual eye exams at a different optometrist. However, when he visited us, we performed an OCT, which he’d never had before, and identified a meningioma – a type of tumour, which was growing behind his eye. Using the OCT we were able to detect this life-threatening condition and refer him for diagnosis and management.

“Reflecting on this experience makes me feel very lucky to be practicing at a time when we have access to state-of-the-art technology. Working for a practice like Specsavers that values the importance in providing us as optometrists with the technology so we can provide the best clinical experience to every patient,” adds Alexandra.

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