Clinical Assistants and Optometrists play a key role at the Queensland Eye Institute Clinic. We sat down with Dr Rebecca Cox, a Clinical Optometrist & Research Optometrist at QEI to find out more about her passion for eyes and how she started her career in Optometry.
Bec had always intended to work in the health industry as some of her family were allied health practitioners but had not thought of Optometry until Year 12. For her, Optometry had a good mixture of biology, physics, chemistry and maths which she then studied at university. After graduation, Bec went on to work at an optometry clinic then taught and completed a PhD at QUT before joining QEI at the start of last year.
Being an Optometrist, it makes sense that Bec is intrigued by the eyes. As she explains, “I am interested in how eyes work and it all fits together. Everything has to be so precise to work well, from the cornea at the front of the eye to the retina at the back of the eye. It is all so complex for something so small as the eye.”
Day to day at the Clinic
“The work is varied, on some days I assist at the clinic, checking patients’ vision and prescriptions, and taking scans and measurements before they meet with the Ophthalmologists. On other days I have a dedicated Optometry clinic where I review patients who have recently undergone anterior segment and refractive surgeries such as LASIK or Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK). I also perform dry eye treatments including IPL and Rexon. Clinical research and analysis is also part of my role which I enjoy.”
Optometrist & Clinical Assistant
“I really like the variety and making a difference in my current role. Working in an Optometry practice I was not as involved with the management of patients with complex eye conditions as I am at QEI where I can now make a bigger, lasting impact on peoples’ vision. I also enjoy the aspect of clinical research; reviewing surgical outcomes and analysing the safety and efficacy of new procedures.”
Outside of work
When Bec isn’t looking after the eyes of her patients, she focuses on playing both netball and indoor soccer socially. Keen to be a bit more creative in her spare time, Bec has just started pottery classes.
Having recently had laser surgery at QEI, Bec is no longer short-sighted and as a result does not need her contacts for playing sport which is “brilliant” she says.