AE May/June 2021 Vol 30 No 3 - 25

it starts by providing a strong
foundational knowledge of the
ocular system and its associated
disease states. Systemic conditions
that affect the eyes cannot be
ignored. Ask your new hires
questions as you teach the
diagnostic testing and patient
work-up skills to determine
whether they can put the pieces
together. Even if they are wrong,
have them explain how they got
to that response. They will learn
from constructive correction.
Although most adult learners
believe they do best with a hands-on
approach, everyone learns differently.
Some are visual learners, others
auditory, and still others are kinetic
learners. Length of direct instruction
makes a difference, too. Information
that is provided in short bits-think
" chunks " or " modules " -is retained
better than reading a lengthy text,
for example. This is one reason that
instructional videos and podcasts
have become so popular.
EXISTING RESOURCES
Many resources can provide some
background training; among these
are in-person sessions with outside
consultants, patient education
videos, and practice-approved
websites. The downside to these
options is that they are self-directed
with little oversight and minimal
opportunities to ask questions or
obtain clarification.
Educational websites created
specifically for ophthalmic personnel provide already-trained staff
an opportunity to increase their
subject matter expertise. They do
not, however, provide the crucially
important foundational knowledge
for new hires. Often, the educational materials tend to be text
based and lengthy, running counter

The technician shortage is very real, and
what has worked in the past to train
technicians may not be appropriate for
today's new employees.
to the shorter, more interactive
options preferred today.
Resources to prepare technicians
for all levels of the certifying exams
are also available. A minimum of
1000 hours' work experience and
successful completion of a home
study test are required to sit for the
first level of certification.

train technicians may not be appropriate for today's new employees. If
you provide them with a structured program, regular feedback,
and encouragement, however, the
return on your investment may be
a loyal employee who ultimately
trains others. AE

ON THE HORIZON
Several organizations are working
to bring greater awareness of
ophthalmic assisting to the general
population. It is a career path with
limitless opportunities. With virtual
training modules, basic education
can be accomplished ahead of time
to accelerate the student's entry into
the ophthalmology or optometry
workplace. Attention-capturing,
online educational platforms
are coming!
In the meantime, create your own
training program using as many
online resources as you deem appropriate for your new hires. Create a
schedule for them with set expectations within an appropriate timeline.
Be sure to monitor their progress
regularly. The newest staff members
should be assigned to these resources
during the busiest times of the day, to
avoid interfering with clinic flow. At
slower times, they can start to shadow
patients and begin learning their
work-up and diagnostic testing skills.

Jane T. Shuman, MSM,
COT, COE, OCS,
CMSS, OSC (617-4296155; www.eyetechs.
com), is president,
Eyetechs, Ashland, Mass.

IN THE FINAL ANALYSIS...
The technician shortage is very real,
and what has worked in the past to

www.asoa.org // AE

25


http://www.eyetechs.com http://www.eyetechs.com http://www.asoa.org

AE May/June 2021 Vol 30 No 3

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AE May/June 2021 Vol 30 No 3

AE May/June 2021 Vol 30 No 3 - Cover1
AE May/June 2021 Vol 30 No 3 - Cover2
AE May/June 2021 Vol 30 No 3 - 1
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AE May/June 2021 Vol 30 No 3 - Cover3
AE May/June 2021 Vol 30 No 3 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/ae-may-june-2021-vol-30-no-3
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/ae-march-april-2021-vol-30-no-2
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/ae-january-february-2021-vol-30-no-1
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https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/asoa_marapr2015
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/asoa_janfeb15
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/asoa_novdec14
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/asoa_sepoct14_AE
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