Helping a grandmother see her grandchild's first smile is just one of the reasons that OutsideClinic optician Eleanor Knobbs loves her job delivering life-changing eye tests at home. She tells us more about this special moment.
Helen Stewart, in her 40s, recently celebrated becoming a grandmother but was left feeling sad when she couldn’t see her granddaughter’s smile clearly while enjoying newborn cuddles.
She noticed her eyesight had significantly deteriorated over the last year and she was struggling to see her favourite TV shows, however a medical condition meant she couldn’t get to her local high street optician and she didn’t know what to do.
Helen’s mother, Jean Stewart, was becoming increasingly concerned and started doing some research. She discovered a company called OutsideClinic, who can come to your house to test your eyes - this seemed like the perfect solution. Although she was concerned about how the examination would compare to her usual optician, they decided to give it a go.
The minute the local optician, Eleanor Knobbs, turned up to the house, there was a sense of relief - they had nothing to worry about. Norfolk resident Eleanor said, "As there are lots of little villages in Norfolk, lots of our patients are unable to get to their local opticians easily, so it's lovely that we can go to their homes and test their eyes."
As Eleanor set up her equipment, it was clear that the eye test would be similar to what she'd had before, just with smaller portable equipment. She even took photographs of the back of the eyes and had a wide range of glasses for Helen to try on. Jean said, "Helen burst into tears when she saw her granddaughter's face clearly for the first time since she was born. It was a really special moment."
Jean went on to say, "She is absolutely delighted and can see things that she hasn't seen before. Her glasses are really comfortable, so she is very happy."
Moments like these are so rewarding for opticians. "Having worked in a high street practice before, making the change to domiciliary has made me enjoy being an optometrist much more," Eleanor said, "It's such a rewarding change, and I would encourage everyone to try it."
There are so many others, like Helen, who need an eye test at home. With a huge increase in demand for their at-home services, OutsideClinic are searching for optometrists in Norfolk and other areas of the UK to join them in helping vulnerable people to get access to crucial eye care.
Working in domiciliary eyecare can be a rewarding and fulfilling career for many, but often those working in high street opticians don't consider it as a career option. Generally, they get to spend longer with patients, enjoy the open road rather than being stuck inside a dark room all day and are supported at all times by an always available head office team. With industry-leading portable equipment, weekends off, and the possibility of flexible contracts, more and more optometrists are switching from high street to domiciliary work.
To learn more about optometrist roles in Norfolk and other areas of the UK, visit outsideclinic.co.uk/careers.