After ten months of full on work, I took advantage of the magnificent weather in Darwin to have a much needed week’s break before starting my clinic up there. My husband and son came with me and we had a very relaxing time lying around the pool, soaking up the sun.
The clinic was unusually quiet this time round. But I spent the time doing some useful networking. I went to the Royal Darwin Hospital where I met Kerry, the ophthalmology nurse, and Dr Mahendra, the ophthalmologist. One of the things we discussed was the fact that I can only get up to Darwin every six months, which needs to be widely advertised so that people can make use of my time. Dr Mahendra has said he will review the clients prior to my clinics so they can be referred if need be. This will be very handy, as previously when I needed to do adjustments, it had to be approved through the hospital first. I then had to wait till the next clinic before fixing the problem.
It’s frustrating that WA is such a big state and we can’t extend our services to everyone on a more frequent basis. When I make eyes for people in Darwin – whether they’re new or replacement eyes – I know that in a few weeks they’ll require minor adjustments. And my next visit is six months away. The way I deal with this problem is to see all my clients in the first week of the clinic so that any adjustments can be made in the following week.
Some clients just can’t wait for my next trip up to Darwin. A man who’d had a damaged eye for seventeen years as the result of an accident, was referred to me by an optometrist the day before I got on the plane back to Perth. I took an impression and made up a clear shell for him to try out, just to see if he could tolerate it. Soon after I arrived home, he rang me, full of excitement. The shell was so comfortable that he wanted his new eye as soon as possible. He’s thinking of planning a holiday to Perth so that he can have a haptic lens fitted.
Since I’ve been back in Perth, I’ve already had two new referrals for my next Darwin visit. So next time, there’ll be no time for swanning around the pool.