I have just opened my first community eye care practice. I want to be the best practice in the area. Do you have any tips?

Create and maintain a high level of professionalism. There are lots of definitions of professionalism and one that caught my eye recently expresses its meaning very well.

Professionalism is the art of conducting yourself in a manner that lets others know they’re in good hands. An individual who lives and works by a code of ethics, values time, and stays true to their word is generally considered a professional.’

Looking and behaving in a professional way lets the people you’re dealing with know that they can trust you and rely on you.

In my experience, a professional will build and maintain positive relationships with patients, stay on good terms with colleagues, look to other professionals for guidance and mentorship, routinely analyse their performance and think of ways to improve.

You can stand out by:

Look and dress as a professional. Be mindful of personal hygiene when dealing with patients.

Stick to your personal code of ethics. If you’re an honest person outside the workplace, you can bring the same values to your work.

Stay calm under pressure. Everyone has hard days but it doesn’t help to lash out at colleagues or to complain. Temporarily detach yourself from the situation, and try to look at it objectively. The next time a similar situation arises, you’ll know what to do.

Find a mentor. There will be days when you find yourself stumped. Mentors can be sources of support. Best if you can find someone in your own practice so it’s easy to contact them. But if you can’t, ask past teachers or someone you studied with at college.

Taking your personal brand of professionalism up a level or two will help your patients and your practice.


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