I had a?conversation?today with one of my staff concerning a problem one of her optician friends was having with their optician staff making a sale and ensuring that the client returns for?subsequent?purchases and advice regarding eye care. This made me think. What makes for a great optician? Would a great salesperson be an ideal optician? Would an optician with amazing technical skills be the ultimate? Or how about just a great?schmoozer.
We pondered and discussed at length what would be the make-up be of the perfect optician.
The Opticians Association of Canada web site ?www.opticians.ca/page.asp?id=3 ?defines an opticians as follows:
“An optician is a licensed professional trained to help you see better ? whether you?re near or far-sighted, or have low vision due to more complex eye health issues.”
It goes on to explain the services provided by Opticians and our scope of practice. (Optician’s scope of practice in some provinces also includes refraction.)
So what is the?definition?of a great optician?
We decided that in our opinion a great optician would be one with excellent ?interpersonal communication skills,?professional?knowledge, and a passion to educate and provide the best vision care available to the our clients.?To be a?professional one must meet a certain set of criteria. Below is a set of professional criteria as put together by Dr. Diane Kashin, RECE, ?https://twitter.com/DianeKashin1 .
Code of Ethics ? moral obligations spelled out in a code to which the professional is accountable.
Commitment to on-going learning ? the professional is required to continuously upgrade work-related knowledge and skills.
Standards of Practice ? that reflect performance as aligned with standards of practice.
Commensurate salary ? professionals earn salaries that reflect training, skills and responsibilities.
Autonomy or self-governance ? ?internal control over the quality of the services provided? (Feeney, 2012, p. 8).?
Recognition – legally recognizing that licensed opticians are the only group that can practice as opticians.
Commitment – to serving a significant social value or social altruism.
Rigorous requirements – for entry to training and eligibility to practice.
Prolonged training???acquiring knowledge through participation in rigorous educational training that is theory laden and practical involving professional judgement about applying theory to practice.
Body of knowledge?– a profession bases its work on a particular body of knowledge that is relevant and unique; not normally possessed by others in society?
As Licensed Opticians we must strive to meet the above criteria as we have traveled the road to professionalization. But it does’t stop there. We must always work towards making our?professionalism?visible.
So… What is the make-up of a great optician? What do you think? I look forward to your comments.
One thought on “They’re In The Door….. Now What?”
While I agree with all the features you’ve listed to describe a good optician I think you need to add emphasis to the concept of commitment. A good optician is not only committed to performing at the highest level on the job but also makes a commitment to the profession as a whole to participate in the governance of their regulatory body and of their association.
Too many professionals, although they demonstrate excellence in their day-to-day practice leave it to others to volunteer untold hours doing the things that are necessary to keep the nuts and bolts of the profession together and to move forward. Go to any annual general meeting and ask who among the group is prepared to become a member of the board. There will be a very small show of hands. If you examine the level of participation of even those who have been willing to let their name stand and who have been voted to a Board you will find only a handful of the directors who are doing the hard stuff. Invite members of the profession to submit constructive recommendations and you won’t receive much. Ask people to volunteer at an education day and you’ll see the same warriors stepping forward.
Lack of broad-based participation is one reason why small groups of people get a strangle-hold on the profession making what appear to be arbitrary decisions that have far-reaching impact. If you don’t cast an informed vote when called upon to do so, if you don’t require the highest level of rigor from your elected representatives, if you never step forward and undertake to help make decisions at a leadership level you are eroding your investment in your profession to others who may not have its best interest at heart but instead have a personal agenda.
I commend you on undertaking this blog. The more positive discussion that takes place in the blogosphere the more the widespread community of opticians can really become a community.
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