We’ve all been told that what we don’t know won’t hurt us. This old adage could not be more misleading when it comes to the functional knowledge and training of your practice’s techs. Due to the highly specialized nature of the ophthalmic field, likely very few of your techs were hired with extensive ophthalmology knowledge and experience in the field. Generally, upon being hired based on personality and perhaps previous non-specialty or other-specialty medical experience, these green techs are handed over to senior techs for training.
This is often an informal, learn-as-you-go type experience, leaving gaps in knowledge, comprehension, and experienced that are sometimes not revealed until it is too late – the wrong drops instilled at the wrong time can cause irreversible damage to a patient’s vision. An improperly done refraction can crack a patient’s lenses – a costly mistake! A typographical error could lead to a patient being given incorrect medication or medication instructions… the list goes on and on.
A tech that is not proficient has many opportunities to make expensive and permanent mistakes, the ramifications of which will be felt deeply by the practice. Explaining the gravity of the situation will only serve to instill fear and nervousness in the new tech, behavior that makes mistakes almost inevitable. How can you ensure that your techs are fully trained before being placed in situations where serious mistakes could be made?
The answer is comprehensive, complete, mandatory training. Just as a confident cook is less likely to get cut by a knife or burned by oil, an employee with reason to be confident will feel more secure in their position and will execute their job with greater effectiveness. We are not interested in over-confidence, which has no real foundation and can be easily shattered. True confidence comes from a foundation of knowledge and experience – they do their jobs better because they are confident in the knowledge that they have and the training they have received.
The stakes are too high to leave it up to chance – you cannot afford to have techs with holes in their training.