An increasing number of Optometrists are choosing to work in the domiciliary sector; this may come as no surprise as the population ages, and the number of NHS eligible patients rises. Those who make the change, quickly realise that the preconceptions many associate with testing in the home are simply not the case.
Natalie Quinlan recently joined The Outside Clinic after completing her pre-reg and two years in practice with a large multiple
“I was amazed at my first visit to The Outside Clinic when I saw the new portable technology that was now available. Everything is so compact and folds away neatly in a case, so I can conduct, in a patient’s home, a comparable examination that I would have carried out at a high-street practice. My new role has developed skills that I wasn’t practising enough on the high street, such as retinoscopy, direct ophthalmoscopy and dispensing. Within weeks I became more confident than I had ever been in my career.”
Introduction to Domiciliary;
The first day in any new role can be challenging. With The Outside Clinic, you will be assigned to a member of the National Training department for around 2 weeks. Together an individual induction plan can be crafted. Your trainer will take you through all the equipment, processes and be there to support you as much, or indeed, as little as you want or need. The first week will be a mixture of head office based training with some domiciliary visits. During the week you will learn how to best use the portable technology, such as the Nidek Versacam and tablet PC based record keeping system.
During the second week, there is an opportunity to spend a day shadowing and working with an experienced domiciliary Optometrist, where you can discuss areas of practice or hints and tips. The Outside Clinic will then ensure you, and we are happy with all aspects of the role before you begin to conduct any home visits alone.
Day to Day Support;
“At The Outside Clinic, I feel more supported than I ever did in practice.” - Natalie Quinlan, Optometrist, The Outside Clinic
During a busy high-street day, it may be difficult to disturb a colleague for a second opinion. With The Outside Clinic there is always a dedicated head office team of Optometrists, Dispensing Opticians and support staff on hand. Whether the query is for a second opinion or to expedite an urgent referral, the structure is in place to deal with each inquiry efficiently and promptly.
The Clinical Services and support team oversee acute patient referrals and organise emergency appointments, when necessary. A Scheduling team take care of the Optometrist’s appointments, and the Dispensing department picks up on any possible dispensing queries. This team efficiency means that our Optometrists can truly focus on their patients.
With the advancements of digital technology, portable fundus camera images can be emailed to Professional Service colleagues for a second opinion. This gives you the assurance that although you may work alone, you will never feel alone.
Ongoing assistance will be available whether this is spending another day with an Optometrist or a member of the dedicated training department.
Supporting Your Career;
To further support your career and ensure clinical excellence The Outside Clinic has developed a highly respected and industry commended Clinical Governance Programme. This contains regular peer to peer reviews which are scheduled into daily activities. As part of this Optom Support Programme, every Optometrist will have a selection of patient records inspected with feedback given helping to maintain a consistently high level of patient care.
To assist with this accurate and intuitive record keeping, all Optometrists carry a bespoke tablet based record keeping system, designed by Optometrists for Optometrists.
“Our clinical governance program of regular record keeping audits and peer to peer discussions have proved invaluable to me. We regularly discuss my audit results, as well as colleague observations of my work in the community. With this support, my record keeping has improved each year with The Outside Clinic, initially from a clinical stand point, but in recent years also recording everything I am communicating and why. Our Professional Services team at our Head Office are always on hand to support me if needed. Just knowing they are there is great, and really helpful.” – Steve Clark, Optometrists, The Outside Clinic.
Ongoing CET & CPD training
Our patients are at the heart of what we do. To give them the highly professional service they deserve, we support you to become the best you can be. We offer bespoke Continued Educational Training (CET) and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programmes tailored to domiciliary requirements and supported by one-to-one training.
Some of the CET programme is accessed via The Outside Clinic online system. Convenient and flexible, the learning includes VRIC quizzes, downloadable articles and online multiple choice questions. Also, throughout the year several regional CET events are held, meaning hands on experience and peer to peer interaction can be gained.
Payment of professional fees
All General Optical Council annual fees, professional indemnity and public liability insurance are paid for by The Outside Clinic.
There are many opportunities for progression within the company. All Optometrists receive regular reviews to assist with career development. This is a supportive process in which we listen as well as give feedback. Our aim is to help every one of our team achieve success and fulfilment in their professional career.
This year, we are celebrating our 30th anniversary as a leading domiciliary eye care company. Our success has been built on developing a structure of highly skilled, knowledgeable, motivated practitioners, product innovation, an unwavering patient-centric focus and industry commended Clinical Governance Programme. We challenge ourselves to be the best we can be and nurture our staff to achieve their best. We can only accomplish this with an exemplary level of training and support whether it's your very first day or ongoing throughout your career we will be there every step of the way.
Why not come and see for yourself what it’s like to be part of our great team? We run a series of “Taster Days” where you can try out the new equipment, meet people, and get a flavour of the company. There’s no obligation. We’d love to see you. Call Jim Gilbert now on 01793 648607.
Your future starts here…