Thanks to the joys of Facebook memories the anniversary of 2 major milestones happened this past few weeks - starting my pre-reg and passing my OSCEs and becoming fully qualified.
First up was 2 years since I started my pre-reg. Looking back at my records, confidence and test times it is easy to see that I have progressed a lot. When I started I was getting everything checked, wanted to dilate every older patient with smaller pupils, was making big unnecessary changes to prescriptions resulting in retests and remakes and taking up to an hour to test patients. It has taken a lot of practice, over 1000 patients during pre-reg alone and a lot of extra work outside of the store to keep knowledge up to date. In a timely reminder of when I started our new pre-reg has just started her optometry career after working with us for the last 2 summers on summer placements. It'll be interesting and exciting to see how she progresses and I will do my best to pass on knowledge from my experience and any tips on how to get through it.
(Edit due to delay in posting I've also had the memory that I'd had visit 1)
Secondly, and possibly more importantly, was the notification that I'd passed my OSCEs and was now fully qualified. I still remember not being able to sleep properly the night before and being awake well before the expected time of 9am for the results to be posted online. Thankfully they were up before then and I had passed. The other thing about that day was that I was off on holiday 2 days later, and so had to get all paperwork sorted and sent off to ensure it was all sorted by the time I got back. So whilst on holiday I was constantly checking my email for updates whether I had my GOC number and then getting my NHS number sorted before I got back so I could get straight back to testing upon return. Luckily mine all got sorted whilst I was away, and so unlike some friends in England waiting on Capita, I was able to carry on testing almost every patient without any problem.
Whilst I learnt a lot through pre-reg and it helped build my confidence in testing I know I still have an awful lot to learn. It is also not an experience I would want to repeat anytime soon. A lot of what is holding me back from quicker, more efficient testing is just having confidence in my own abilities and knowledge. That is one of my personal downsides that I need to keep working on but it's coming (slowly).