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Stories of Resilience: Embracing Change, Whether You are Ready or Not
One of the things I find so exciting about optometry is that it is ever-evolving, and in order to be successful, you have to evolve with it. Adapting to change has been a common theme throughout my career, most notably during the past year, and I have found that the most effective response is to embrace it.
Changing with the Times
Optometry has advanced so much over the years, and as beneficial as those advancements may be, they still represent change and the necessity to adapt. When I first started my career, we used paper charts —I was trained flipping through charts and writing neatly on the pages inside. Soon after my children were born, I moved to a different practice, which allowed me to work part-time and spend more time at home. The new practice was transitioning to electronic health records—a positive move but definitely an adjustment! I jumped right in, learned the new technology along with the rest of the staff, and was quickly up to speed.
Facing Unwanted Change
Of course, there are times when we are faced with negative changes that are out of our control, such as those caused by the pandemic. Like many of you, my staff and I woke up every day during that time period not knowing what was coming at us, what we should do, or how people would react. We knew that we had to find a way to care for our patients amidst all of the uncertainty, so we came up with a game plan. We collaborated with our colleagues across the country to see what they were doing; we utilized resources from VSP and the VSP Global Premier Program to get our staff trained and prepare for reopening; and, we found new ways to communicate with our patients. Most importantly, we adapted—we tried one thing, and if it did not work, we tried something else. Our staff came together, our patients greatly appreciated all our efforts, and our practice became stronger as a result.
Growth from Change
As I see it, change is inevitable, especially in our industry. While it may be uncomfortable, embracing change is how we grow, how we become stronger, and how we move forward.