Guest Blog: Dhruvin Patel shares his career as an optometrist
Dhruvin Patel is an optometrist and entrepreneur encouraging a healthier relationship with technology in the digital age.
1. What interests you the most about being an optometrist?
Being an optometrist allows me to be on the front lines of primary care. It’s the little things that make it worthwhile, like helping a child see clearly after years of living with blurred vision.
It’s also very humbling to be part of a community who are so determined to improve the quality of diagnosis and treatment of conditions. Eye health is an ever-developing field and it’s fascinating to see the advancements that are being made every day.
2. What does it involve to become qualified?
Qualifying as an optometrist takes three challenging but rewarding years of gaining knowledge and insight into the human eye, as well as understanding the wider implications of eye health.
During my university years I was required to see up to 20 patients a week. After qualifying from a pre-registration process, a further year is then needed to refine practice and become a confident optometrist. It’s no walk in the park but it’s so worthwhile.
3. What would you say to others considering a career in eye health?
If you have the passion for it it’s a fascinating field to be in!
I highly recommend undertaking a shadow day at your local opticians. They will often be happy to let you experience their day-to-day and share the sort of experience you can only learn on the job. And don’t be shy! Ask the optometrists anything you’re unsure of or want to know more about.
On a separate note, it’s important to look ahead and consider where the industry is moving. It may be five to ten years before you qualify – what will the profession look like then?
4. What do you believe are the most important developments in eye research, and why is eye research so important?
With globally recognised institutions undertaking more clinical studies, we are now able to access a whole world of cutting-edge research. This has had a huge impact on the industry, allowing practitioners and patients everywhere to access expert opinion, best practices and scientific information with ease.
A lot of the time we forget that research is also about preventing rather than just curing eye-related conditions. This is especially important with regard to our ageing population. If the prevalence of eye diseases continues at this rate and actions are not taken to solve issues at the source, health care institutions like the NHS will not be able to cope.
Dhruvin’s eye health company, Ocushield has chosen Fight for Sight to be its charity partner. The company develops products to help filter out the blue light emitted from backlit screens and digital devices and will be donating £1 to the charity from every screen protector sold.