What is your advice for someone working their way to become an Optician?
For me, hands-on training was invaluable. Fortunately, while I was learning I worked in an office that had a wide variety of patients so I had real life examples of things I had to learn. It was much easier to learn the concept and how it was applied when I could see it in the lens or know the case from beginning to end. If you lack this in your office there are some really great teachers who make online videos.
Why should anyone get certified/licensed?
In our world there is a wide variety of skill and competency levels. You should meet the basic defined skill level to have the title of optician. This credential can also prove your worth and potentially increase your salary.
In your experience, what is the best way to prepare for an Opticianry test?
I learned a variety of ways while preparing for my test, depending on my mood. If I had time to really learn some core things then I read chapter books. I had a really cool iPhone quiz app that i used when I only had a few minutes but wanted something to do. The most important thing is to learn the concepts well enough to put them into application.
What was the point when you decided to attain your license/certification?
It was just a breaking point and time to earn the title. I was serious enough to about the work to get the certification rather than change industries.
What do you feel is your strongest skill as an Optician?
Product knowledge and implementation. Discussing with the patient how they want to use their glasses, to ensure that it is possible and that the options will deliver the way they expect.
What role have you held that best helped you to be the Optician you are today?
I started in optometry at the front desk, then worked as a technician, before becoming an optician. Each role has helped me for the next and I am a much better optician because i worked in these other roles. This also helps when considering office management types of things because I know how one change here will affect something over there.
What is your advice to someone who lacks sales skills or confidence?
If you know your stuff in regards to frames and lenses the patient will gain trust in you doing your job well, which can make it easier. An important skill to learn is when and how to wrap up a sale. Dragging it on is not only very inefficient but can dampen the patient experience.
Responses in this interview provided by Carissa Dunphy, ABOC