How to thrive in your career as a Dispensing Optician

Author: Staci Hearnshaw
Author: Staci Hearnshaw
Posting date: 18/10/2022

Are you new to the world of optics? Then you have at least one thing in common with Emma, one of our Dispensing Opticians at our Tallaght, Dublin store. Emma was searching for something new - a career that would stretch her and give her meaning. She came across our Eye Care Professional roles, and before the end of her first day, she knew she'd made a good move.

If there is one thing that we can say proudly with our hands on our hearts, it's that everyone has the opportunity to develop their skills and expertise at Vision Express. We'll give you all the support and tools you need to build a meaningful career. After all, it's how we create joy in vision.

But that's enough from us. Over to Emma to give us an insight into her role as a Dispensing Optician and her best advice for anyone thinking about taking on the role.

How would you describe your role at Vision Express?

“As a Dispensing Optician, I get to do a bit of everything. I look after everyone, from my youngest patients getting their first pair of glasses and being able to see the world clearly, to advising my older and elderly patients on how to navigate their changing vision and visual needs.”

Above: Tallaght, Dublin store

Can you tell us about your career path?

“I came to Vision Express because I needed a career change and fell in love with optics within my first day. I knew very quickly I had the ambition and desire to advance my career as an Eye Care Professional, and I am very fortunate that Vision Express sponsored me to achieve that. I wouldn’t be writing this as a Dispensing Optician now if I hadn’t been able to take that opportunity.”

What has been the most challenging part of your career path?

“Unfortunately, the pandemic threw a spanner in the works for everyone and delayed my final exams by a few months. It was difficult to see the finish line with guidelines changing and lockdowns closing in. But the company always made sure to make the latest guidelines clear to us, and thankfully, I wasn’t too delayed in finishing my qualification.”

What would your advice be to those wanting to get an Eye Care Professional qualification?

“Do it! I enjoyed every moment of my studies, and how optician training is presented is so different to a traditional degree. There are very few degrees where you get to put your learning into practice so immediately and effectively. Studying complements the job such that as you finish assignments and exams, it truly informs your day-to-day practice and guides how you work to provide the best patient care.”

How would you describe your day-to-day responsibilities?

“One of the best aspects of my job is that no two days are the same! Within the last week, I saw an eighteen-month-old and a 95-year-old, recommended sports goggles to athletes, and taught someone how to use contact lenses for their wedding. I’m always ready to help a patient searching for advice about frame and lens selection or a colleague looking for the best recommendations for our patients.”

What skills do you need to be a great eye care professional at Vision Express?

“Compassion, patience and enthusiasm. When you are so immersed in the world of optics, it can be easy to forget that not everybody walking through the door shares our experience and knowledge. This is true for everyone, from parents worried about their child needing their first pair of glasses to someone suffering from vision loss.”

What do you enjoy most about your role?

“The patients! I’ve had so many wonderful experiences over the last several years. I’ve laughed and cried with people. I look after every member of some families. And I always make sure our customers have the best experience possible when they come through our doors to the moment they leave.”

What's your best piece of advice for those wanting to become an eye care professional?

“Pair up with a good supervisor. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have supervisors I can approach for practical advice and bounce ideas off of. They’ve made the whole experience easier.”

What has been the best part for you about working at Vision Express?

“The opportunities I’ve been given. I never imagined I would find a job I love where I would be so supported with my career progression .”

Browse and apply for a Dispensing Optician role with us

Has Emma tempted you into looking at Dispensing Optician roles? We hope she has because we're always on the lookout for passionate Eye Care Professionals - people who like caring for people. Like Emma, we'll support you to be at your best and ensure you're involved in shaping our success. So if you've got your sights set on becoming a qualified Optometrist or building your skillset, we'll make sure you have everything you need.

Browse our Dispensing Optician jobs or explore all our Eye Care Professional roles to get a better idea of the people that make up Vision Express.