Jessica White, COA, is the technician supervisor at The Harman Eye Clinic. She has successfully completed the COT exam and is awaiting instructions for completing this level. Jessica took the time to share her passion for gentle service.
I began working at The Harman Eye Clinic when I was 20 years old. I had never worked in a medical practice before, and to be honest, I didn’t even know what a cataract was. I suppose I felt a little bit overwhelmed once I realized the amount of information I was expected to learn, but the emotion I remember feeling most was amazement.
I had been an avid watcher of “ER” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” and so my view of medical staff was that they barked orders at each other, gossiped, and called patients by their medical condition. Looking back on those misconceptions, it’s a wonder I even agreed to take the job!
The reality that I saw at The Harman Eye Clinic was that people respected others. I shadowed a patient through cataract surgery on my first day of work, and the patient and I both were treated with extraordinary kindness. While the patient was being cared for by the nurse, the surgery coordinators were taking care of me. They told me what to expect and where to stand. They even taught me a few key medical terms while we waited. From my first hour at The Harman Eye Clinic, my co-workers were doing everything they could to set me up for success.
Later that day, I observed exams in clinic. Again, I immediately felt welcomed by the staff and saw that patients were feeling the same way. I had never felt so much warmth in a medical office, especially from the staff!
My journey to becoming an experienced technician was a long one, but I was never alone. There were always people making themselves available to answer my questions and teach me something new.
Looking back now I see that I was very much like a patient when I began my training. I had so many fears and doubts, and there was so much information presented to me at once! It was overwhelming at times, but my co-workers worked hard to help me. Their encouragement gave me the confidence I needed to continue.
Time after time I see our staff investing in our patients like they invested in me when I first came here. They look beyond the data and see who the patient is and what they need in order to feel secure. I am so proud to be a part of this place, but that isn’t really because of the medical side of things.
Yes, what our surgeons do is incredible and I love seeing patients regain their independence by having cataract surgery or iLASIK. But, the best part is knowing that the way we treated those patients made a difference in their experience.
Too often, the mood in a medical office matches the surfaces: It is sterile. The problem with sterility is that nothing can grow in that environment. The beauty of The Harman Eye Clinic is that we are constantly growing and changing to meet our patients needs in a better fashion.
Our surgeons and staff understand that when our patients trust us with their vision, they are really trusting us with their livelihood, their quality of life, and their independence. That trust deserves a great deal of respect and care, and it needs to be on a personal level. We strive to make connections with our patients because we know that it is important to treat the person, not the condition.
Any ophthalmology practice you go to will have similar medical equipment. There will probably be front desk staff, technicians, and clinic managers. Of course, there will be doctors, too. I feel that there is a difference here at The Harman Eye Clinic and I feel patients agree…
…At The Harman Eye Clinic, we do not only have skills, we have heart!
— Jessica White, COA