An Ophthalmologist's Advice for Hiring the Right Ophthalmic Tech
Many ophthalmologists would agree that finding the right ophthalmic technician, and developing and retaining that relationship, can positively effect patients’ experience and the business overall. Our client, Dr. Paul Riske, at Raleigh Ophthalmology in Raleigh, North Carolina, has made a lot of great hires for his eye care practice. We caught up with him to get more details on how other practices can hire the best.
Read on to learn more about Dr. Riske's hiring story, the problems that were solved by the finding the right person, and what he looks for in a great hire. He even gives advice to jobseekers on how to determine fit at an eye care organization, and how to build a strong bond with doctors once on the job.
Dr. Riske, tell us about a time that proved to you that you hired an outstanding Ophthalmic Technician.
I hired someone who I first had come in to observe surgeries. I noticed that she was really diligent about taking notes and asking questions. She was compulsive with details and really trying to do everything right. I knew this would be a person who would pay attention to the details. I could tell she wanted to succeed.
Another tech that was hired was the younger sister of a tech that had been working for me for several years. She was very qualified, dependable, eager to learn, and had a great personality, but I was reluctant to have two sisters working for me. However, it worked out amazingly well. They worked very well together and brought great chemistry to the team. It really made the team feel like one big family. The younger sister learned a lot from the older sister and eventually became the lead tech when her sister left for maternity leave and transitioned to another job.
Tell us about a successful long-term hire, and why you’ve been able to retain your employee for that time period?
One of my techs and I have been working together for 14 years. For her part, I think she does a great job and understands my style. She knows my way of practicing and treating patients. Furthermore, she keeps up well with my personal calendar, is very organized, and looks months ahead to make sure nothing interferes with my clinical schedule. In return, I treat her fairly, help her solve problems, and am flexible around her needs.
What do you look for when hiring?
I look for someone who is courteous, kind, and outgoing. Honestly, I usually know in the first five minutes if I’ve met the right person. I look for someone who can interact with patients with a friendly demeanor, who also works quickly and with confidence. A candidate can really make an impression with confidence with a firm handshake and a look in the eye. All of this plus the right qualifications and core competencies makes a great hire.
What advice would you give to an ophthalmic technician for building a great relationship with an ophthalmologist?
I’d say to look for a good work environment from the start. You want a good idea of what you are getting into and how you mesh with the doctor. Competency is very important. Know your stuff, but also understand that there will be a learning curve. Ask the practice how you are going to learn, so that you know training is in place. Also, notice how the doctor deals with stress, patients, and others. Talk to the other techs who work there if you can, and you can even use social media to see who you might know in the office. You'd be smart to get some helpful insight from inside the practice.