This is a sponsored post by National Vision, a supporter of CovalentCareers & new graduate optometrists! 😎
So you’ve accepted your first job practicing at an America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses location. What’s next?
The First Week
It’s official: you are now a real walking, talking optometrist with license and certifications in hand.
The first few days in practice are spent meeting and seeing patients with a peer mentor, which is your Area Doctor. As you would imagine, getting started can be slightly daunting, but your Area Doctor will be the one to help you understand patient flow and documentation while you familiarize yourself with the equipment.
Documentation of exams and getting used to office flow is important to feel comfortable with, but don’t worry, you can take your time with this.
Once you feel comfortable with the documentation and format, it’s time to head to the America’s Best store.
Each store will have a General Manager that controls the daily operations from staffing to office supplies, which allows your focus to be primarily on patient care. From what I’ve experienced, the relationship between you and the General Manager can greatly affect the success of the location and patient experience.
The First Month
Seeing patients for the first time in a new setting can be intimidating.
In the National Vision Doctor of Optometry network, which America’s Best is part of, it’s nice to know you have a mentor and colleagues within the area that are willing to answer any questions that may arise. This goes without saying, but having a mentor in the early days is critical to your success. The fact that America’s Best made it easy for me find a mentor, made that first month much more smooth.
This is also a great time to identify your local referral centers and build an open communication with them.
During this time, all new optometrists are scheduled for a 3-day meeting at the National Vision, Retail Support Center.
This is the perfect opportunity to get to know the organization’s culture and meet the individuals that will be supporting you while practicing in a satellite store. You will also be educated on products and supplies that are held and sold within the store, so you can identify options that best fit each patient’s vision care needs to make accurate recommendations.
What I found most valuable was getting the chance to absorb helpful tips from experienced optometrists, especially when it came to patient flow. Every clinic and office are different, and patient flow is the heartbeat of it all. Having that education made getting started in practice easier than expected.
Because so many colleagues attend this meeting, you have an opportunity to develop countless new lines of communication. During the first month, it’s all about feeling comfortable in your setting, and it’s certainly comforting to know the company is supporting you. National Vision does a great job with that.
Months Two and Three
This is the time when you can learn the most about your office and build a good foundation with the technicians, opticians, and General Manager.
By this time you’ll realize what the patient base is like and what time of day is the busiest, which I can guarantee is around closing time on a Friday night! This is a great opportunity to close out the week on a high note! You’ll develop confidence, a reassuring level of stability and the office will feel like your own. But for those times you’re feeling out of your comfort zone, you are not alone; your Area Doctor is only a phone call away and continues to provide guidance and support as needed.
Within the America’s Best model, you’re poised to successfully practice patient care in the way that you feel is best.
Working with highly-trained technicians, you have autonomy in deciding what pre-screening procedures are needed to be most successful.
The National Vision Doctor of Optometry network cultivates an environment in which you feel most comfortable to practice, with an abundance of support from other optometrists and corporate headquarters. This allows for your focus to be based primarily on patient care, where it should be.
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