Are you looking to hire an optometrist assistant in 2022?
If so, you're not alone. Many optometrists are looking to hire an assistant to help with paperwork, scheduling, and other office duties they just don't have the time for. Without assistance, these tasks can take up a lot of time and limit the amount of time you can spend assisting patients.
This article will discuss the benefits of hiring an optometrist assistant, the skills they need to possess, and how much they can expect to make in 2022.
What is an optometrist assistant?
An optometrist assistant is a position that supports an optometrist in their daily tasks. These tasks include scheduling appointments, billing patients, maintaining records, and providing customer service. The optometrist assistant may also be responsible for performing administrative duties such as answering phones and emails, handling correspondence, and ordering supplies.
The optometrist assistant role is important as they help keep the optometrist’s office running smoothly. This enables the optometrist to focus on providing quality patient care rather than being bogged down by paperwork and other administrative tasks.
Many optometrist assistants obtain on-the-job training, while others may hold a degree from an accredited Optometric Assistant program. These programs typically take around 1-2 years to complete and cover topics such as terminology and medical office procedures.
A medical office is a fast-paced environment, so optometrist assistants need to be able to multitask and stay organized. They should also have impeccable customer service skills and be comfortable working with the public. Many patients are nervous or anxious when they visit the optometrist, so it is important for the assistant to put them at ease, whether that be during the check-in process or when scheduling their next appointment.
Virtual optometrist assistants can address many of the needs of your clinic at a fraction of the cost. Contact a Hello Rache professional today to learn more about how a virtual optometrist assistant can benefit you.
Benefits of hiring an optometrist assistant
While optometrists can handle all of the tasks in their office independently, hiring an optometrist assistant can offer several benefits. A report from Wakefield Research shows that half of healthcare administrative staff report an increasing workload in manual data entry over the past year. This can take up a significant amount of time, adding unnecessary stress and time away from patients.
Some of the main benefits of adding an optometrist assistant to your practice include:
Improved office efficiency
There are only so many hours in a day, and with a growing optometry practice, it can be difficult to accomplish everything independently. An optometrist assistant can help take some of the administrative tasks off your plate to focus on what you do best — providing high-quality patient care. It's also great for creating a healthy work-life balance for all your employees.
Reduced stress levels
In a fast-paced environment, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Optometrist assistants can help to take some of the pressure off by handling tasks such as scheduling appointments, billing patients, and ordering supplies. This can help reduce your stress levels and improve your overall well-being. Many optometry assistants work remotely, meaning you can have assistance even when you’re not in the office.
Improved patient satisfaction
An optometrist assistant can help create a positive customer experience from the moment a patient walks into your office. They can greet patients, answer any questions they may have, and schedule their next appointment. Healthcare Virtual Assistants from Hello Rache communicate with patients through secure teleconferencing software via a tablet, laptop, or desktop computer. This allows patients to have their questions answered in a timely and efficient manner, whether they are in-person at the office or calling in by phone.
Another great benefit of hiring an optometrist assistant is that it can increase your practice's revenue. Taking on tasks such as billing and collections can help ensure that patients are being charged correctly and that payments are being collected promptly. This can free up your time so that you can see more patients, which will ultimately lead to an increase in revenue.
How much do optometrist assistants make?
The average base salary for an optometrist assistant can vary due to several factors, including experience, education, and location.
According to Indeed, the annual wage for an optometrist assistant is $16.88 per hour. Cities like Houston, Texas, have a higher hourly wage of more than $17, while Bernalillo, New Mexico is around $15.
Salaries can also vary based on the unique type of optometry practice. For example, those who work in private practice may earn a higher annual salary than those who work in a retail setting (such as Walmart).
Additionally, optometrist assistants who have certification or additional training may also earn a higher salary.
Education and experience can also affect an optometrist assistant's typical salary. Those with some form of professional training or experience tend to make more than those without. The Bureau of Labor Statistics envisions a 4.1% employment growth rate for optometrist assistants through 2030. This is due, in part, to the aging general population and the growing demand for vision care services.
Skills to look for in an optometrist assistant
Hiring an optometrist assistant can help improve your optometry practice's efficiency. Here are some specific skills to look for when hiring an optometrist assistant:
The ability to prioritize tasks and manage time efficiently is essential in an optometry practice. Optometrist assistants should be able to handle a variety of tasks, both big and small, in a timely and efficient manner.
Optometrist assistants must be able to communicate effectively with patients, staff, and vendors. They should have excellent verbal and written communication skills. Many virtual optometrist assistants communicate with patients through secure teleconferencing software.
Attention to detail
Optometrist assistants need to be detail-oriented to properly handle tasks such as billing and collections. They should also be able to spot errors and take corrective action. With how fast-paced an optometry practice can be, attention to detail is essential.
An optometrist assistant should have strong organizational skills to keep the optometry practice running smoothly. They should be able to maintain accurate records and file paperwork promptly.
Optometrist assistants must be able to build rapport with patients and staff. They should be friendly, personable, and professional. Without interpersonal skills, providing the excellent customer service that patients expect can be difficult.
Computer and technology skills
In today's world, it's essential for optometrist assistants to be proficient in computer and technology skills. They should be comfortable using various software programs, such as electronic medical records (EMR) systems. Many virtual optometrist assistants also use teleconferencing software like Zoom daily, so familiarity with these programs is also beneficial.
Medical knowledge and terminology
Optometrist assistants need to know medical terminology and the field of optometry. This can help them better understand the tasks they're responsible for and make them more efficient in their role.
It's important to note that these skills are not required to be an optometrist assistant, but they can help make the job easier. Some training programs may teach some of these skills, but many are learned through experience.
Bringing a virtual assistant onto your team can help take your optometry practice to the next level. With the assistance of an optometrist assistant, you'll be able to focus on providing excellent patient care while your virtual assistant takes care of the administrative tasks.
If a medical provider feels stressed and overworked, it may be time to consider hiring a virtual assistant. A virtual assistant can help with administrative tasks like scheduling, billing, and collections. They can also provide customer service and support. Hiring a virtual assistant is a wonderful way to improve the efficiency of your optometry practice.
Hire an optometrist assistant today
Does your optometry practice struggle to keep up with administrative tasks? Are you feeling overwhelmed and stressed? If so, it may be time to bring on an optometrist assistant.
An optometrist assistant can help take care of the day-to-day tasks in your optometry practice, freeing up your time to focus on providing direct patient care. The average hourly pay for an optometrist assistant is $16.88, showing that this is a cost-effective way to improve the efficiency of your optometry practice.
If you're ready to take your optometry practice to the next level, hiring a virtual optometrist assistant is a great first step. With the help of an optometrist assistant, you'll be able to focus on what's important — providing excellent patient care.
Read more about how Hello Rache's services work to take your optometry practice to the next level. With our team of expert optometrist assistants, we'll be able to help you provide the best possible care for your patients. Schedule a free consultation with Hello Rache to learn more.