, an optometry
student at Plymouth University and BCLA
Student Ambassador, tells us about starting
Q. What’s it like treating real life patients for the
It’s a steep learning curve! Being responsible for the
patient, it is necessary to be able to listen to their
needs, assess the problems clinically and then go
on to form an appropriate management plan.
Q. What did you do to prepare?
I found the resources on the BCLA website
invaluable and strongly recommend them. They
offer concise prompts of what to ask on history
and symptoms allowing you to fully appreciate how
your patient is living with their contact lenses. I also
found the resources of how to formulate a flowing
and thorough slit lamp examination specifically
for lenses very helpful, as I had been struggling to
keep to the allocated time frame for these initial
Q. Anything else?
The BCLA conference was also a big help and
if given the chance I would definitely encourage
students to attend.
Q. What did you find useful at the conference?
The exhibition gave me a better understanding of
available products including contact lenses that
meet different patient needs and dry eye and lid
hygiene treatments. Understanding how they work,
it is so much better to be able to confidently and
clearly explain how they work and how a patient
should use them.
Q. Would you recommend going to the
conference or other BCLA meetings?
Yes! I found the lectures to be hugely helpful in
getting a better understanding of the clinical side of
assessing the anterior eye. It is great to hear experts
speak about these topics, reinforcing and adding
to the knowledge gained in the first years of the optometry degree.