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Staff training key to progress

March 27, 2013

Many practitioners may question the return on investment on providing training and education to their staff. The AOA Paraoptometric Section offers optometrists other considerations when looking to improve their staff along with their practice.

“Recognition of paraoptometry as a professional career lies with today’s paraoptometrics and the optometrists who support that segment of the profession,” said Jill Luebbert, CPOT, a past section chair.

Refuting false assumptions

“If I pay for training my staff, they will leave for employment elsewhere, and I’m left empty-handed!”
Many practice owners may feel this way, but according to Donald Sanders, Ph.D., in his book “Retain or Retrain,” “Between sixty and sixty-five percent of the people I interviewed said they left because of issues related to their direct supervisor, for example: not being listened to, not being challenged, no sense of personal development, supervisor style of “my way or the highway,” lack of respect, obvious favoritism (particularly in terms of promotional opportunities), no teamwork, rules not applied equally to everyone, no encouragement/ praise/ recognition, a sense of being ignored or isolated and boring, repetitious work (knowing other types of work were available).”

Some of the main reasons cited in the book for leaving were due to management issues and lack of education opportunities. The practice could be more at risk for losing valuable employees if it does not provide education opportunities for its staff.

1. “Staff training is expensive!” The AOA Paraoptometric Section offers education opportunities as member benefits. The cost calculates to only pennies a day. The newest offerings include:

  • Self-Study Course for Paraoptometric Assistants and Technicians
  • Billing and Coding: Foundations for Beginners webinar series

Section continuing education courses, webinars, and articles are designed to be:

  • Convenient—self- paced, accessible for any schedule, available 24/7, and do not require physical attendance at a conference or event.
  • Self-directed— allows students to choose content appropriate for differing interests, needs, and skill levels.
  • Cost-Effective— costs are frequently less than what is typically charged for registration fees, hotel accommodations, meals, time off from work and child care.

Many optometrists are unaware of the variety of training options provided by the AOA Paraoptometric Section.

Training programs and products are tailored to meet the optometric practice’s specific needs.

To find out more about how continuing education allows paraoptometrics to stay current in the field of eye care and the importance of studying direct patient care and office competency, contact PS@aoa.org.

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