Clare Bray

Clare works as a Senior Ophthalmic Technician at the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust.

Tell us about your role and the impact it has on those work with

We perform Visual Fields checks, OCT scans and other imaging and diagnostic tests on behalf of the clinical staff, which enables them to spend more time focussing on seeing patients face to face or performing admin tasks.  This takes a little of the pressure off the clinical staff and means that the patients do not have to wait as long, and that more appointments can be booked each day.

What attracted you to a role as a support worker?

I wasn’t aware that it was an option.  I used to perform very similar tasks in a previous job with a high-street opticians, and earnt a lot less money and a lot less respect doing it.  I enjoyed the healthcare aspect and hated the retail side of things, so it made sense to look for something that played into that and actually made a difference in terms of helping patients receive the best care that they can.

How has training/development helped you in your role?

I was given the opportunity to progress to “Senior” Ophthalmic Technician within a few months of joining, which gave me a lot of reassurance that I was doing a good job.  I’ve also refreshed skills that I knew previously, and have learnt many new ones on the job – it’s easiest to learn by doing, sometimes. 

Every time I’ve mastered a new piece of tech, or a different test, it’s given me more confidence.

What are you most proud of in your role?

I’m proud of now being able to confidently run a virtual glaucoma clinic, something I would never even have attempted six months ago.  I’m proud of working for the NHS.

What would you say to encourage others into a role as a support worker with AHPs?

I don’t have a degree.  Don’t let that put you off.  I still get impostor syndrome thinking about it, but not all technician roles require one.  You might have the skills, experience and potential that they need.