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HomeminewsGame Changer: Optical Assistant Essentials Clocks up 6,000 Completions

Game Changer: Optical Assistant Essentials Clocks up 6,000 Completions

Optical Assistant Essentials (OAE; www.opticalae.com) the free online learning platform for new and recent employees of optometry practices, is creating a sensation worldwide with over 6,000 course completed since its launch in August 2020.

Developed by the Australasian College of Optical Dispensing (ACOD) and mivision as an introductory course, optical assistants across Australia and New Zealand and as far away as Puerto Rico are seeing the value it offers.

Indeed, Rosa Moralez from Puerto Rico, took time recently to write to James Gibbins, Director of ACOD and course presenter, to thank him for making the course accessible.

“I am super excited that I found you all on Google. I have taken all the modules and have passed them all. You and Chedy are excellent teachers and I have learned a lot with you both. I am in Puerto Rico and I am working in the lab of our optical office and this has been a game changer for me. Thank you so much!”

Mr Gibbins said it has been delightful to receive Ms Moralez’ feedback as well as feedback from other participants.

“Comments we’ve received have been excellent – participants like the fact that they’re short courses, that they’re convenient and easy to access. They also like the simple presentations. This particularly surprised me as I anticipated that participants would expect a more sophisticated standard of production, however we’re finding each module is perfectly pitched. Students are getting everything they need to know in video format and its accessible 24/7.”

Mr Gibbins said around 30% of students enrolling in ACOD’s Cert IV Optical Dispensing course voluntarily complete the Optical Assistants course as an entry point before commencing the more complex Cert IV.

“They find it a really helpful introduction to the topic, especially if they’re new to optics,” he said.

Todd Tai, Director of mivision who partnered with Mr Gibbins and his fellow ACOD Director Chedy Kalach to produce the series, said the number of course completions had validated their concept to promote dispensing knowledge from the ground up.

“Six hundred students have now participated in the courses and over 200 have graduated, which means they’ve completed the entire series of 23 courses – that’s phenomenal and it means we’ve been able to help hundreds of optometry practices deliver a higher standard of vision care to their patients. This, in turn, builds longterm customer loyalty and practice profitability.

“It also means that the sponsors of Optical Assistants Essentials – primarily lens labs and frame suppliers – are benefiting as these young optical professionals gain more relevant industry knowledge about their products, facilitating higher quality, more accurate dispensing and reducing the chance of error.

“It takes time to train staff, but thanks to ACOD and our course sponsors, we’re able to deliver the OAE courses to practices and participants at no cost – it’s a fantastic way to upskill your staff and provide a better standard of care,” said Mr Tai.

OAE is currently planning new courses that will be filmed and added to the program.

“This is an exciting, evolving space and we look forward to supporting practices and their staff by building on their knowledge with the latest information on optics and lens technologies,” Mr Tai said.