The importance of staff training cannot be overstated. Under-qualified employees can be a result of under-qualified applicants, the introduction of new technologies, or the development of new methods. No matter the reason for under-qualified employees, it should be an absolute priority to continue to train your team for your practice, patients, and community’s sake.
The Importance of Proper Staff Training
Staff training is required and necessary to maintain any successful business. In this section, we will break down the true costs of under-qualified employees and how they can affect your optometry practice.
- Employees who do not receive regular training opportunities often feel unsupported and under-skilled. This may lead to low job satisfaction, frustration with employers, high turnover rates, and underperformance issues and/or mistakes.
- Undertrained employees are less efficient, costing the employer more money and increasing risks for patients.
- Insufficient staff training can lead to lost customers. This is true for all industries, but the medical industry is far less forgiving than most. Any mistake, no matter how small, can potentially lose you customers and damage your practice’s reputation. Alternatively, well-trained staff members will be noticed by clients and contribute to customer satisfaction and loyalty.
In short, staff training directly correlates to job performance, job satisfaction, your reputation, and most importantly the care your patients receive. All practices must prioritize training.
Important Optician Training Offered by PECAA
In addition to the many other benefits of joining PECAA, our optometry network group provides its members with thorough optician training opportunities and resources. PECAA wholeheartedly promotes training for our network partners and we are happy to provide the needed guidance and resources to make your practice the best it can be. Staff training modules currently available for our partners include:
- Officer Manager Training: a 12-hour program that enables attendees to master the skills necessary to excel as an Office Manager in an eye care practice. The courses are taught via webinar and once attendees complete the program, they must pass a rigorous exam to ensure they have attained the skills required to receive the designation of ‘Certified Office Manager.’
- New Employee Training: a program designed to get those new to eye care familiar with the industry, through courses such as: Introduction to Eye Care, Ocular Anatomy, Ophthalmic Terminology, Common Eye Problems and Your Role in Eye Care.
- Ophthalmic Assistant Training: with this program, both new and veteran Ophthalmic Assistants can learn the basic skills needed to document a history and process a patient through pre-testing. Courses include: Communicating with the Optometric Patient, Chairside Assisting, Pre-Testing, Telephone Triage, Understanding Refractive Errors and Patient History.
- Optician Training: these courses describe the role of an optician along with sales and technical skills needed to be successful. Courses include: Successfully Discussing and Dispensing Eyewear, Technical Aspects of Opticianry, Frame Choice: Style and Function, Optical Sales: Rules to Sell ‘BUY’, and Ophthalmic Lens Types, Materials, and Treatments.
- Administrative training: these courses discuss the fundamentals of billing and managing the front desk and patient schedule. Courses include Scheduling Best Practices, Front Desk – Be a Star, Medical Billing Basics, and Your Role in the Financial Health of Your Practice.
More information on PECAA’s training is available here.
Other Forms of Optician Training
In addition to the outstanding resources listed above, optometry practices should also be diligent in providing their employees with:
- A thorough and comprehensive employee handbook and position manual: This ensures employees are following the rules and procedures established by your business. Your handbook should be updated on an annual basis and include topics like how to use practice-specific software, policies, and procedures, pricing information, forms, PTO procedures, etc. A position manual is an extra resource, helpful when training new team members or delegating specific duties.
- Job shadow and mentoring opportunities: Job shadowing is a great way for new hires and experienced employees to learn from one another and provide guidance in real-life situations. The most successful approach is usually having a less experienced team member shadow a more experienced member for a few days, then vice versa to ensure competency and thorough learning.
- Cross-training opportunities: Similar to job shadowing, cross-training makes sure that one team member is not the only one who knows how to do a specific task. This is important if you have a small team and one person is out sick; you do not want your practice’s day-to-day activities to be interrupted by a single absence.
- Two-way feedback meetings: Regular meetings provide employees and employers the opportunity to share feedback, successes and difficulties. This is extremely important for the health of your practice, as it improves employee satisfaction, training processes and strengthens employee relationships.
If you’re interested to learn more about our trainings, feel free to contact us!