Bill Harvey: To the far side of town

Challenges make any job more interesting; and communication is the real issue

It is the challenges that make any job more interesting.

Like most newly qualified optometrists, I remember my first few days, working on my own without supervision, as both exciting and somewhat scary. I will now confess that, yes, I felt relief if there was a ‘no-show’. The patients I felt least confident about seeing were also the ones where I could probably do the most good; namely, very young children and the elderly.

If you undertake a dilated examination of everyone over 70 years old, you will always find something of interest. Most eye disease is age-related, and readers of Optician should have no qualms identifying these. The real challenge is how best to communicate any findings with a patient who, even if yet to suffer any significant cognitive impairment, is likely to have a whole range of eye care beliefs and ingrained views that might need modification.

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