Posted on 06th November 2020
At Cameron Optometry, we have a huge range of patients who walk through our doors every day. From babies who have had cataract surgery and require specialist contact lenses, to people with rare, complex eye conditions. We also treat people with a range of conditions that may not directly affect their vision, but that still require our specialist care. This is why our staff have received specific training to assist those who may not find a trip to the optometrist as straightforward as others. This includes those with all kinds of additional support needs, learning disabilities, anxiety and with other unique requirements.
For many, a trip to the optometrist is nothing more than routine, sometimes even a welcome break from their working day; a chance to check all is ok with their vision and eye health, walking away from the practice having been given the reassurance they sought. For others, attending an optometry appointment can be seen as a huge hurdle, a challenging event, which may come with some level of anxiety and concern. If this is you, your child or someone you care for – please know, we are here to help. We have outlined some of the ways we look to alleviate some of the stress that you may associate with a visit to the optometrist.
Before the appointment
Familiar surroundings: You are very welcome to pop in ahead of your appointment to take a look around and familiarise yourself with our practice. We can take you through what will happen at your appointment to hopefully reduce any anxiety on the day of your appointment. If you can’t make it in, or would rather do this from home, you can also watch this video, which takes a child and her mother, through the steps of a standard eye examination, again allowing you to familiarise yourself with the surroundings. This was filed before the pandemic, so this video on our new hygiene measures may also be helpful.
Timing: We always make every effort to ensure we run on time, and will make a concerted effort should we know our patient may become anxious if we run even a minute or two late. You may benefit from booking an appointment first thing in the day to ensure you know you will be seen on time, and this is often a time when the practice is quieter.
During your appointment
On arrival: We have several waiting areas in the practice, so you can advise us where you would like to wait, for instance, you may prefer a quieter waiting area, rather than a thoroughfare. You are very welcome to bring someone into the appointment with you. All our examination rooms are spacious with additional seating.
Time: What we provide in abundance is time. Our standard appointments are longer than most, but we are happy to add additional time on should you require it. You will not be rushed at any stage during your visit. If you would like a longer than standard appointment time, please let us know when booking your appointment.
Our examinations: All our pre-screening and optometry staff are very experienced in supporting patients who may find a trip to the optometrists unnerving. This page of our website takes you through the stages of an eye examination which may also be helpful.
If we don’t manage to complete the whole examination in one appointment, that is absolutely no problem, and a follow up appointment can be easily made. It may be that the patient would prefer the pre-screening tests performed one day, and then the tests with the optometrist, performed on another day. This is absolutely fine and something some patients prefer.
Preparing children: There are many popular children’s programmes that have episodes specifically about the characters visiting an optometrist, Topsy and Tim, Peppa Pig and Get Well Soon being a few. Watching these programmes may help children prepare for an appointment. Books such as ‘Going to the Optician’ by Avril Webster and ‘Going to the Optician’, a Biff and Chip book by Roderick Hunt are also good books to read in advance.
In conclusion, we have extensive experience in assisting people for whom a trip to the optometrist may not be straightforward. We can be entirely flexible to ensure their visit is as stress-free as possible. We always read the latest advice on how to help patients during their appointment, and are happy to incorporate anything into the appointment that may make things easier such as a timer. Please let us know how we can tailor the appointment to best suit your requirements at the time of booking.