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Dispensing optician: Job description

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A dispensing optician is trained to dispense and fit spectacles and other optical aids, working from the prescriptions written by optometrists and ophthalmologists.

Dispensing opticians advise patients on various types of lenses and spectacle frames, including advice on style, weight and colour. They also advise patients on how to wear and care for their spectacles and, with further training as contact lens opticians (CLOs), their contact lenses.

The majority of dispensing opticians work in high street outlets for large, multiple-chain optician stores or for independent practices. The role requires extensive use of technical expertise and good customer service skills. Selling is also an important part of the job.

Typical work activities

The role of a dispensing optician may include:

  • interpreting optical prescriptions written by optometrists or ophthalmologists;
  • giving advice to patients on lens type, frames and styling;
  • with further training, fitting contact lenses and giving advice on their care and use;
  • taking frame and facial measurements to ensure correct fit and positioning;
  • advising partially sighted patients on the use of low vision aids;
  • advising patients when adjustments or repairs to spectacles are needed;
  • selecting, managing and ordering a range of optical products;
  • ordering lenses from prescription houses;
  • checking lenses on delivery to ensure that they meet the required specifications;
  • arranging and maintaining shop displays;
  • liaising with sales representatives from vision care product suppliers;
  • supervising and training trainee dispensing opticians.

Dispensing opticians who choose to take on additional store management responsibilities may also undertake the following activities:

  • recruiting and overseeing the professional development of staff;
  • administering, organising and planning the development of the business;
  • keeping accurate patient and business records;
  • undertaking management and marketing activities.
 
 
AGCAS
Written by AGCAS editors
Date: 
July 2012
 

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