The personal touch: making a difference through Home Visits
Sanveer Benning, a domiciliary partner based in South East England, shares what attracted him to the role and why he enjoys it.
After working in optometry for almost eight years – most of that time in store – I was ready for a new challenge. Something with more variety.
I’d worked in domiciliary before, from my time as a locum. It was refreshing to be out and about, meeting different people in different places. To be honest, I found it more interesting than sitting in a test room all day.
I also wanted to further my career. I spoke to few people and decided that joining a partnership would be my next step. After completing the pathway scheme, I became a partner in a Home Visits team last summer. Almost six months on, I’m loving it.
Getting more out of the job
It’s very rewarding helping people who can’t easily leave their home to get optical care. They’re so grateful that we’re able to come to them. Some haven’t had an eye test for many years, while for others it’s their first time.
Providing them with glasses, so they can do seemingly basic things, like reading a book or watching TV, makes a big difference in their lives. It’s really heartwarming seeing their reaction when they’re able to do this.
Don’t believe everything you hear…
Before working in domiciliary, I’d been told a lot of negative things about it, such as the conditions of people’s homes and the lack of equipment. While some places I visit aren’t the cleanest, most are perfectly fine as many get support from family and carers. It’s the same with care homes, where they must follow strict health and safety standards in order to operate.
With equipment, you have all the essential tools you would’ve been taught to use at university. Plus, things are always evolving. With a couple of trials taking place this year, who knows what will be available in the future. I don’t think it’ll be long before there isn’t much difference between testing in store and in domiciliary.
…experience it for yourself
The best way to understand domiciliary is to go on a shadow day. That’s what I first did, and I haven’t looked back. It broke down the misconceptions I’d been told, and it gave me a feel for the job. I’d suggest speaking to your regional retail manager to find out how you can arrange one.
Working in Home Visits is different from being in store. And that’s not a bad thing, especially if you’re looking for a change. It’s made me a better optometrist and a more compassionate person.