Optical practices are all different in terms of size. Some employ several members of staff and may be part of a larger national group, while others are much smaller, independent businesses with only a limited number of staff. All local opticians offer sight tests, which means that an optometrist must be present, but when it comes to who’s who in the practice, here is our brief and easy to follow guide. |
Your optometrist is a professional whose main job is to examine your eyes. They are highly skilled and are concerned with the health of your eyes as well as your sight. Basic training to become a qualified optometrist takes four years and they must be registered with the General Optical Council (GOC) before they can practice. Many take higher qualifications that enable them to treat eye conditions and prescribe specific medicine. One of the principle roles of the optometrist is to prescribe and fit glasses and lenses, but many also conduct home visits and provide safety glasses and sports eyewear as well.
Larger practices may have a dispensing optician who is a highly trained individual concerned with offering advice on frames, lenses and coatings. These people will quiz you about your lifestyle, occupation and what you intend to use your glasses for before guiding you towards the best eyewear. Not only will they advise on which frames are best for your prescription and face shape, they will also offer information about caring for your specs.
Not all local opticians have an optical technician in house, but larger practices may well do. This person will work in a lab that could be out of the way at the back of the practice. They are involved with making optical parts for glasses and contact lenses that fit the specific prescriptions. Glazing, finishing and inserting lenses is also part of their role, as are repairs and adjustments.
The Support Team
When you visit your local optician you may notice several more members of staff, including reception staff, optical assistants and clinical assistants. These people often greet you on arrival and work closely with the practice manager to ensure the smooth running of the business. Support staff make sure all the necessary paperwork is complete and usually take you through your payment options. On occasion they can also help with contact lens fitting and choosing frames. You may even be offered coffee by a member of support staff!
Even if you’ve been wearing spectacles for many years, it can really help to understand the job of everyone at the local optician so you know who to go to with specific questions. If you’re having your eyes tested for the first time, you may feel a little daunted, but now that you know who does what, and that everyone is there to help, hopefully you can relax a little more about the experience.
David Paul opticians epitomise everything you want from a local eyewear specialist. Not only do they offer eye tests, as a local optician they also provide an expert service that includes OCT testing, advice on buying your ultimate pair of designer glasses and much more. The team of experienced eyewear specialists and expert optometrists are there to make your glasses and contact lens buying experience the best it can be.
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