Sponsored by VSP

By Deborah Kotob, ABOM

In recognition of the shortage of paraoptometrics in the optical field, VSP Vision™ has added the new Certified Paraoptometric CPO Exam Prep to the VSP Premier Edge Training and Education Staff360 Employee Onboarding and Development Series.

One of the leading topics of discussion in the optical industry is employee retention and training/development, and the symbiotic relationship between the two. The simple truth is that employees engaging in their professional growth and development have higher levels of productivity and team functionality, and express high employee satisfaction.

According to a 2022 Workplace Learning & Development Trends report, “More than 8 in 10 HR managers believe training is beneficial to attract (83 percent) and retain (86 percent) talent, and many employees (48 percent) agree that training opportunities were a factor in choosing their current company. In addition, more than three quarters of employees (76 percent) say they are more likely to stay with a company that offers continuous training. 70 percent of respondents listed online/self-paced courses as the most popular.” Similarly, a LinkedIn Business report found that 54 percent of employees would spend more time learning if they had specific course recommendations to help them reach their career goals.

Relying on network doctors’ feedback and industry observations, VSP identified one of the main reasons for optical employee attrition as the lack of a perceived career path or opportunity for professional growth. Paraoptometric training provides a career path for optical employees. In addition, VSP recognized that Paraoptometric staff represent the area of optical employee development with the highest potential impact on the employee, the practice and the patients. Certified Paraoptometrics (CPO) are allied health professionals essential to the success of the optical practice. CPOs help the practice and the doctor in everything from office management, front office procedures, pre-testing, contact lens instruction, frame styling, fitting, billing/coding, vision therapy and more.

Professional development is significant for the optical employee and has enormous benefits for the optical practice, considering the industry is currently experiencing a shortage of Certified Paraoptometric professionals. And with the number of independent ECP practices growing nationwide, the demand is fast exceeding the number of certified and well-trained paraoptometrics to serve this vital role in the practice.

VSP responded to this challenge, and in alignment with VSP renowned subject matter experts and Master Optician oversight, designed an exciting new resource in the VSP Premier Edge Training and Education Staff360 Onboarding and Development Series—the CPO Exam Prep Guide. The CPO Exam Prep Guide is available to employees at VSP Premier Edge Platinum and Gold-level practices at no cost, saving both the employee and the practice money on this training. The CPO Exam Prep Guide is comprised of a step-by-step eLearning journey to prepare optical employees to pass the national CPO Exam. The eLearning courses are broken into five chapters, covering topics including medical terminology, basic anatomy, common eye disorders, pharmacology, optometric practice skills, business skills, information on different lenses and exam procedures. Employees can access the brief training modules anytime, anywhere and review the courses at their convenience until they feel prepared to take the exam. VSP Premier Edge Training and Education is designed to enhance the patient experience, expand potential services, and save doctors time and money on staff development.

The CPO Exam Prep Guide is the first step in an employee’s education journey to grow in the optometric field. Imagine the difference when optical employees professionally grow, feel valued and take pride in their achievements. It represents a win for the patient, the practice, the employee and the entire optical industry. VSP is excited to provide this career-path opportunity to encourage employee development, thus fostering engaged employees who grow and stay.

VSP Premier Edge is constantly evolving to support doctors in realizing their vision for long-term practice success. Through VSP Premier Edge Training and Education, practices have access to effective and actionable education to support the optical employee’s professional growth and development. Additionally, VSP Premier Edge programs and services are designed to deliver more business-building benefits, increased patient traffic and profitability, highlighting the commitment to private practice doctors and the long-term success of the profession. For those interested in learning more, visit mypremieredgetraining.com.