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My job explained: Orthoptist

My job explained: OrthoptistBrigit is a senior orthoptist, working in the eye clinic of a large general hospital.

This is very much a 'people' job and, for me, the best thing about it is the kids. It's so much fun to have a job where you are dealing with children.

What made you want to be an orthoptist?

I knew from quite a young age that I wanted to be an orthoptist. I wanted to work in the medical field and to be based in a hospital, but I didn't want the years and years of study that being a doctor involves. And I've always been interested in eyes.

Who are your typical patients?

Most of my patients are children – some with squint, some with eye problems associated with multiple disabilities, and some are young children who just need glasses. Up to the age of eight, children's vision is still developing, so if they have poor eyesight, I need to check that there is no specific problem.

I also see adults, some of whom have developed squint because of systemic disease, such as a thyroid condition, or a neurological disease, such as a brain tumour, or after accidents or brain injuries. We also see older people who have developed squint because of the ageing process.

I also use special equipment to carry out visual field testing, usually on patients who have glaucoma. I work closely with the ophthalmologist in diagnosing and managing some of the patients.

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(Information taken from NHS Careers)