3 ways to honor staff for Paraoptometric Appreciation Month

August 24, 2022
September marks Paraoptometric Appreciation Month, the only formal observance dedicated to honor optometric practice staff. Three ways for doctors to honor their staff and for paraoptometrics to advance their careers.
2021 Paraoptometric Appreciation Month

September marks Paraoptometric Appreciation Month, the only formal observance dedicated to honor optometric practice staff—so make the most of it. Reinforce the value paraoptometric staff bring to your practice—this month and year-round—with these three suggestions.

1. Enroll staff as AOA associate members.

It's included as part of your AOA membership, and this vital step opens the door to AOA member benefits and services.

Learn how enrolling staff as AOA associate members leads to practice success.

2. Encourage paraoptometric certification.

As optometric scope of practice continues to allow doctors of optometry to practice at the top of their license—utilizing the fullest extent of their education and training to meet the increasing demands on the U.S. health care system—optometric staff shouldn’t be overlooked. Increased responsibilities, procedures and demands on doctors of optometry translate into a greater need for proven, skilled support on the part of paraoptometric staff. 

“The more they can do, the more they produce,” said William T. Reynolds, O.D., past AOA president, in the July/Aug 2020 issue of AOA Focus. “And everyone wants to do something valuable, to be valued.

"That’s why it’s so important that paraoptometrics become certified,” he added. “I think we’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg. As practices evolve, I think you’re going to see techs play more integral roles in practices.”

Developed by a panel of AOA doctors and paraoptometrics, paraoptometric certification ensures practice staff stay up to date in contemporary continuing education (CE) and professional development. Each level of certification requires successful completion of an exam prepared and administered by the Commission on Paraoptometric Certification (CPC), with the assistance of Professional Testing Corporation (PTC), to ensure mastery of the specific skillsets.

Practices can help ensure their staff have every opportunity for success—and it begins with the CPC Paraoptometric Examination Candidate Handbook. This newly updated manual helps candidates better understand the processes and procedures to become certified, and how to retain certification through renewal. It’s not only required reading prior to applying for and taking certification examinations, but also the handbook is the go-to resource for staff seeking certification.

3. Engage on EyeLearn Professional Development Hub

The AOA EyeLearn Professional Development Hub, a member-exclusive, centralized education resource, launched earlier this year with an entirely new, user-friendly look and feel for doctors, paraoptometrics and optometry students. Access the ever-expanding catalog of CE and professional development courses, webinars and resources oriented to advance clinical proficiencies and practice management expertise, available whenever and wherever you’re ready to learn. Further, EyeLearn hosts and archives impactful webinar content, such as the Para Speaker Series. Read more about the relaunched EyeLearn.

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