Two questions

Discussion in 'RFA' started by eleanor74, Jan 24, 2011.

Welcome to the Navy Net aka Rum Ration

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial RN website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Hi, I'm new here and hoping for some advice on joining RFA, possibly as a deck officer.

    Has anyone here had laser surgery to meet eyesight requirements? I'm seriously considering it and I'd like to hear of other peoples' experiences. The surgery won't remove my need for glasses entirely without what I consider to be an unacceptable risk, but it can allow me enough sight to meet the requirements.

    Secondly, can anyone clarify the academic requirement? I don't have the 5 GCSEs, only 3. However, I do have 3 A levels and 2 AS levels including maths, I have some higher education qualifications too. Would recruiters see only 3 GCSEs and stop reading, or could I be considered with the higher level qualifications?

    Many thanks for any answers.
  2. Eye Surgery

    I'm not sure what the RFA guidelines are regarding corrective eye surgery, but I would advise caution. I have had detailed discussions with Service ophthalmologists and the messages are mixed.

    There are lots of different types of surgery available, and these should be discussed with a consultant ophthalmologist. A lot of companies which advertise heavily do not use consultant ophthalmologists.

    In general terms, if you're not spending £1500 per eye then you're not spending enough.

    There is a risk to your night vision - not sure what the exact stats are but this would be very important to your potential as a Deck Officer.

    The other option is your age - your eyesight will naturally degrade during your 30s so if you spend a lot of money when you're, for example, 32 then you'll be lucky to get 5 years out of it before having to wear glasses / lenses again.

    Unfortunately it's not as simple as the advertisements would make out. You need to have a detailed discussion with your surgeon about which type of surgery is best, and whether surgery is a good idea at all. Beware of the conflict of interest there will be in talking to a private provider of medical services - they only get paid when an operation is done so they will be keen to "prove" your suitability for an operation.

    RN Medical Officer

    Edited to add:
    I have yet to meet an ophthalmologist or optometrist who has had corrective eye surgery. They all wear glasses.
  3. One of my mates is a consultant ophthalmologist and stated that he has reservations about the long-term effects of laser surgery. If he absolutely had to have corrective surgery there was only one chap (who is based in the US) who he would trust to do it- and he was the pioneer of one of the methods; with a true deep understanding of the mechanisms at work in the procedure.
  4. 1183924195_6086.jpg

    Harry says "You need laser surgery and glasses? You must be blind, oh yes!
  5. Hello Eleanor.

    Here are the ENG1 requirements
    It does have a bit about laser surgery, and it does say

    "Provision of appropriate
    correction. Laser refractive
    surgery is not recommended
    as a means of meeting

    in short the requirements are 6/60 (the single big letter at the top) without glasses and 6/6 with glasses.

    As for the qualifications.

    When i phoned the recruitment office last year i was asked some questions along the lines of

    "do you have a Grade B or higher in GCSE English" Yes...
    "Do you have a grade B or higher in GCSE maths..... in GCSE Science" Yes...

    "Do you have two other GCSE's grade C or above." Yes..

    "Do you have any other higher qualifications" Yes...

    so its best to phone the recruitment line and speak to them.
    Telephone: 0845 60 40 520
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2011
  6. Thanks for the link, Jlou. I looked for that for ages but couldn't find it. I'm quite confused now - the standards say lasers are not recommended, but the occupational health person I spoke to said that some people have done it.

    I did speak to my optician whose company policy is not to recommend so they definately didn't suggest a particular company. They didn't tell me that some of their colleagues have used them too, but for cosmetic reasons and not to pass medicals. I do feel a bit better knowing that opticians are starting to have the surgery; it suggest that they've stopped considering it an experimental treatment.

    I'd still like to hear from anyone who has had laser surgery to meet the MCGA standards, whatever the outcome was. In fact, if it all went horribly wrong I really want to know about it sooner rather than later.
  7. Just a thought guys, are you pulling punches? If it is absolutely impossible for me to meet requirements with lasers then I'd much rather know before I let strangers start poking me about. (And definitely before I part with thousands of pounds and let them do things I'd rather not even think about.)
  8. There is a chance that corrective eye surgery may make your vision worse, as I have detailed above. Even if there is improvement, this will not be sustained as your eyes will continue to age anyway.

    Having said that, if you want to spend a small fortune to improve things for a couple of years then crack on.

Share This Page