A nervous wreck of a pre-reg!
Despite being a nervous pre-reg wreck as I joined the practice with hardly any real clinical experience of ‘actual patients’ in the real word, I was quickly set at rest when I was welcomed by my cheerful co-workers, whom all went out of their way to make me feel welcome. It seemed awkward to introduce myself as the new optometrist. Another strange sensation was having colleagues and my supervisor approach me and ask whether it was acceptable to do things and how I wanted to do them, in other words – handing over the patient to me with the little confidence I had on the first week. ‘Pre reg is tough, pre reg is so long, pre reg is the hardest year of your life’ was all I heard prior to starting my pre reg and it was now up to me to make the choices!!
Will I complete my pre-reg placement in 12 months?
These were my thoughts in the first week, and now I am still having the same thoughts. Will I really be qualifying in 12 months? How will I go straight into testing when I have literally forgotten everything I learned and practiced in university, all the clinical skills and techniques?
Having already been advised by locums and previous pre-regs that pre-reg was hard, I took it too much as a walk in the park, 5/6 weeks in, and I’m still struggling, being too scared to look at any pathology at all, in the fear I might miss something out. It seems like at this moment I’m only seeing routine Patients, which probably is the case, however, I really need to step up the game.
Covid pandemic limiting my clinical experience as pre-reg?
And Pre-reg really is daunting, it’s nothing like student optometry and with the covid pandemic already limiting my clinical experience, my lack of clinic time did not really favour me in any way. For the first week or two I spent weeks shadowing my supervisor and other locum opticians, everything looks easy when you watch them! But it’s all easier said than done, and hearing from all the customers ‘are you training’ / ‘could you double-check please’ was not really the best motivation.
Pre-reg Stage 1 assessment preparation
In preparation for my first assessment for Stage 1 I was not really prepared, having a lack of clinical knowledge and being told by the supervisor that ‘I don’t feel confident in you testing’ as of yet, really was not the type of words I wanted to hear, however the biggest mistake I made was time management, with such poor time management, I had already missed out on key workshops and deadlines, hence delaying assessment dates further.
Time management and organisation as a pre-reg
For a new pre-reg I would advise upon two areas, number one: being organised to help you make sure you are set up in the right manner, and number two: being on top of time, this year my biggest enemy is time, being on top this will help you succeed.
If you’re having difficulty in your pre-reg and need some help visit this AOP page which gives advice and support for Optical professionals.