I don’t know
about yours, but my clinic is a pretty busy place.
exists in the middle of Central Florida’s retirement mecca, where there are
never any shortages of patients requiring cataract surgery, needing treatment
of macular degeneration or any of the myriad of ocular pathologies that exist
in an elderly population. We have four clinics and two surgery centers where
five ophthalmologists and five optometrists treat their patients. Many of our
clinics’ technicians and testing personnel travel between the locations several
times during the week. During the winter months, when the snowbirds begin their
annual dual residency treks, our patient volume increases significantly!
In a high-volume
practice with multiple doctors over different locations, logistical problems
are hard to avoid.
I was hired to
be the retinal angiographer for our retina specialist, but that’s hardly my
only responsibility. Between our cataract surgeons, cornea and retina
specialists, cosmetic surgeon, and four optometrists, my role can change at the
drop of a hat if the clinic’s scenario changes.
I’ve been called
upon to work up post-op patients before seeing the doctor, or just simple
VATAs. I may find myself doing an OCT for an optometrist, then immediately
jumping over and doing testing for our cataract pre-op patients. All the while,
I’ll be keeping an eye on my photography workload and balancing it out with
providing as much assistance around the clinic as I can.
Many of the
clinics’ employees are cross-trained to perform many different functions around
the practice in the event of absences, or other circumstances. In addition to
the obvious benefits to the clinic to having employees cross-trained, there is
the perk of expanding ophthalmological knowledge and scope. All this extra
experience serves to make me a better photographer, having seen the patient’s
progress from the initial workup to the post-doctor testing.
A certain degree
of craziness cannot be avoided in our field. The nature of juggling patients
and their needs along with the doctors and their different protocols can create
a perfect storm of chaos. However, the more knowledgeable all the clinic
employees are about every aspect of the patient experience, the smoother the
entire experience can be for everyone.
Does this tale
sound familiar? Do you play many roles in your clinics? Sound off in the
Price is a
retinal angiographer at Mid Florida Eye Center in Mt. Dora, Florida. He has
been taking ophthalmic photos since 2010.