As we celebrate International Nurses Day, Optical Express nurse Liz tells us about her career
Sixteen years ago, Liz joined Optical Express when the company took over the refractive surgery provider she was then working for. She laughs, “I came as part of the package! As there were slight differences in the way the two businesses were run, I had a thorough induction which showed me the procedures I would be following. It really helped to set me up for my career with Optical Express.
“Initially, the company only offered laser vision correction surgery,” Liz adds, “I worked in a few different clinics in central Glasgow in the first few years.”
Just as the treatments at Optical Express have evolved, so has Liz’s role. “Around 8 years ago, we began to offer IOL surgery too. It gave me the opportunity to expand my skillset and increase my experience in the field.”
While every nurse at Optical Express is an RGN, those at Optical Express have the opportunity to progress to another level – something that Liz has recently achieved. “I’m now a Lead Theatre Practitioner,” she explains. “The role comes with added responsibility, and those responsibilities vary depending on the type of surgery we’re carrying out. Of course, every patient is unique too. There definitely isn’t such a thing as a typical day!”
Elements of Liz’s role include carrying out pre and post-operative care, anaesthetic nursing and assisting the surgeon. She also enjoys training nurses who are new to Optical Express. “It’s nice to meet them and help them improve their knowledge to prepare them for their career here.”
While some nurses’ roles at Optical Express include travelling to clinics across the UK and Ireland, Liz is based solely at the St. Vincent Street clinic in Glasgow. She says, “The company has been very accommodating and has given me a lot of flexibility in my role. While I was full time initially, I returned after maternity leave to work on a part-time basis. Now my daughter is ten, I’ve increased my days to 4 and that may eventually become 5.
“I enjoy being responsible for an exceptional patient journey in theatre and for ensuring that our team is adhering to our clinical guidelines, policies and procedures, “ Liz continues. “I’m delighted at how my career has progressed during my time here.”