Guest Author: Sunny Lee (Class of 2018)
Several weeks ago, just before the semester break, Dale finally threw in the towel. With a single announcement on moodle, our days of casually swinging by the Preclinic to grab a new pentorch or occluder were ended. Word on the street is that we’re going to have to (gasp) pay for any replacements from our student kits—so how’s the average, broke, forgetful uni student to survive these dark times?
As one of the most broke, most forgetful students currently enrolled in the Optometry degree (would you believe I forgot to attend a final exam once), allow me to give you some pointers.
- Treat everything in the student kit like it’s made of money. Every time you pick up your tonometer probe, don’t think ‘ah, here’s my tonometer probe’. Hypnotise yourself into thinking ‘ah, here’s $138 AUD in my hands right now’. You wouldn’t just leave behind $138 in cash moneyz in your clinic room, now would you? (Wait, you would? Sorry, you’re beyond even my help then.)
- Label everything. This sounds silly and elementary, but when I say everything, I mean Your lenses, your ophthalmoscopes, your retinoscopes, your tape measures, your 6D prisms, your flippers. EVERYTHING. I don’t care how trivial you think it is. There are 90 other people in your grade with the exact same PD ruler as you; trust me, you’ll be glad one day you put your name on it. Invest in some good waterproof labels and/or a sharpie. Or even use the marker in your kit!
- Make a list of all your equipment and carry it with you. This is especially
handy for fourth years and up, who regularly have to load and unload like 20kgs of equipment in the clinic rooms. Before leaving, check your equipment list and make sure everything in the list is ticked off.
- Give yourself plenty of time to set up and pack up. I know it’s easier said than done, but not being rushed in and out of the room will give you a little more peace of mind to make sure all your equipment is with you.
- Develop a streamlined clinic routine. Knowing when I pick certain equipments up and when I put them down (and where I put them down) helps to keep my equipment organised throughout my consult/lab and definitely cuts down on packing up time.
- Look behind you before you leave, even if you’re absolutely sure you’ve packed everything!
- If all else fails, believe in the innate goodness of human beings. I know you’re jaded and cynical after x years of this degree, but chances are, if you’ve lost something, someone else will have picked it up and handed it to Dale and/or the clinic reception. Not all hope is lost.
Editors: Cindy Van and Celine Zhang
Disclaimer: The views & opinions expressed in this post are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions & views of UNSW OptomSoc or the UNSW School of Optometry and Vision Science.