Training is like a recipe. It teaches staff to do something step by step. Education on the other hand, teaches staff how to think outside the box and then choose the best action to take.
Fortunately, at my workplace the doctors are firm believers in educating, encouraging and investing in the staff professionally and personally. Throughout the year we have many opportunities for educational events and we are always encouraged to attend.
Recently the opticians had the opportunity to tour the lab that we use regularly. Is there any better education out there than seeing things first hand? For the new opticians it was a great way to see the actual process of finishing a lens from start to finish. For the established opticians it was good to see the changes with digital surfacing and the newer anti-glares.
I don't think any of use realized how many times the lenses leave the tray, get moved around and still return to the correct tray. We were also able to see how the generators differ from a traditional progressive lenses to a digital progressive, quite an impressive process.
The anti-glare process impressed us as well. Who knew that the lenses were dipped, stripped, and dyed as many times as they are to get to the actual application of the anti-glare. It all makes sense now why some anti-glares are not compatible with different products.
The opticians loved meeting the customer service representatives that they talk to daily and they were finally able to put a face to the voice.
I would encourage all opticians to go on a lab tour.