As a second year optical student, the summer provides the opportunity to secure a summer placement; working in an optical practice gaining more of the ‘hand’s on’ experience you need to succeed as a great optical professional.
It’s easy to get caught up in the new routine of practice life and the days can rush by so to make sure you get out and put in as much as you can whilst on your optical summer placement.
We recommend you remember the simple but effective three ‘L’s…
LOOK – look around you when you’re at work. Watch how your colleagues interact with patients and watch how patients behave throughout their time in the practice. Look out for their body language, watch who they come to their appointments with and how they interact together, see which areas of the store attract their attention … all of this will help you learn how to communicate effectively with your patients and colleagues.
LISTEN – listen to everything. Listen to hear how patients are greeted by those in the practice both in and out of the consultation rooms, how do the opticians strike up conversations, how do the practice team relay information to patients and colleagues. Listen to understand how the practice works, everything from scheduling appointments to ordering products to liaising with community health teams for complex cases… all of this information is important for you to learn so that you can understand the workings of a practice.
LEARN – learn from those around you. Everyone in the practice will understand this is a new environment for you so they will be open to answering your questions. Keep a diary each day of the patients you observe, the conversations you overhear and the processes you see happening. Take the time to digest your experiences and if questions arise go in and ask the next day for answers so that you can build your knowledge.
Using the three ‘L’s will hopefully help you stay focused whilst on your placement and we’d love to hear about your experiences so if you’d like to get in touch and find out more please contact optical.info@prospect-health – we do reward contributors to our content platforms and it can be a great link for your CV!