Optical Knowledge In Eye Care — Not Just For Optometrists and OpticiansWhile there are defined positions throughout an eye care office, it’s common knowledge that for a practice to run efficiently, each staff member must routinely wear multiple hats. On average, more than 60% of a practice’s revenue is from optical, which means the staff directly impacts revenue — so getting the entire team well-versed in basic optical knowledge is important to enabling everyone to contribute to the practice’s success.

Depending on previous training and tenure, employees will have various levels of industry knowledge. Keep reading to find the resources that best meet each team member’s needs.

Eye Care Basics

From day one of working in an eye care office, knowing the language is valuable for speaking with patients on the phone, replying to general email inquiries, and understanding the doctor’s chart notes and patient care instructions. This can include being able to explain a glasses prescription in simple terms to a patient, properly triaging and scheduling patients with urgent eye care problems, answering why the $39 retinal image is recommended, and knowing how to decipher exam and eyewear benefits, among other things.

Many industry vendors provide complimentary libraries of pre-recorded webinars and informative digital content for their accounts. For a comprehensive new-to-eye-care slide deck series, PECAA Max members can access PECAA’s New Employee Training.

Becoming Well-Versed In Optical

Seasoned staff members are vital to the practice as they juggle most of the hats and often pinch-hit when strained areas of the practice need more support. These employees are the perfect choice to assist the optical department when needed. They should be familiar with contact lens names and pricing, capable of guiding a patient through general frame selection, know the difference between distance, near and multi-focal prescriptions, know current lens treatments and options, fill in holes on the board after a rush, replace a screw or even dispense an order to a patient in a hurry.

These optical-specific skills can often be learned through continuing education courses online, many of which are available without cost. PECAA also offers an accredited Optical Management Certification Course, available to PECAA Max members, HEA Advantage members as well as non-members, to equip your team with the skills necessary to run your optical efficiently and profitably.

Becoming A Certified Or Licensed Optician

Even if your state does not require licensure, encouraging optical staff to earn their American Board of Opticianry certification (ABO) is essential to their, and your practice’s, success. Becoming a certified optician formally proves a proficiency in optical knowledge including ophthalmic optics, ocular anatomy and refraction, ophthalmic products and instrumentation, dispensing procedures, and laws and regulations, including ANSI standards.

ABO exam study material is available to help PECAA Max members prepare for the National Opticianry Competency Examination (NOCE) in a variety of formats — start with PECAA’s ABO Certification review, complete with an 180-question test and answer key. Once certified or licensed, members can take advantage of free ABO CE’s.

Support Staff Development

A recent workplace survey report found that 94% of surveyed employees responded that if their employer invested in helping them learn, they would stay longer.

Bear in mind that not every staff member will have a work email address to receive news about all the resources the industry provides. Encourage them to look around online, talk to industry representatives or ask other staff members what they found valuable. Show your staff that you are committed to supporting them and see their value — in turn, it will help your bottom line.

Join Our Community

If you are not already a member of the PECAA Max community, we invite you to join us! You can connect with our Solutions Specialist Team at 800.959.2020, Option 3 or contact us using the form at the bottom of the pecaa.com home page to learn about all of the resources available to help you Build, Connect and Prosper as a PECAA Max member.

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