Amber, our dedicated office manager, is passionate about her work and continuing her education in paraoptometry. She answered a few questions so we can get to know her better:
How long have you been with Ridgefield Vision Center?
I started in August 2008, so it’s been eight years.
What is your role?
I’m both the Office Manager and a Technician. I work with patients before Dr. Droter sees them, and I also work with contact lens patients to teach them how to use and care for their lenses properly. My role involves a little bit of everything: I work the front desk, call insurance companies, monitor accounts payable, work-up patients, fit and train patients on contact lenses, sell and dispense prescription eyeglasses, order glasses, and I can even “edge” them into a frame if need be. Our office runs smoothly because we’re all cross-trained to back each other up.
What was your most interesting job before this one?
I worked at The Body Shop in high school and college. I enjoyed doing makeup for customers, especially for weddings and prom. Retail experience helped me develop the people skills I need to succeed in the professional office setting.
What’s the best thing about working at Ridgefield Vision Center?
Definitely our patients! When patients remember us year after year, it’s very gratifying. Some patients that I fitted for contact lenses in their early teens have now gone off to college or gotten married. Most of our patients come back year after year, because we treat them as family. The advantage of being a small optometry practice is that you remember people’s graduations, new jobs, weddings, and even last name changes. We build strong relationships with our patients.
What’s the biggest challenge?
Understanding so many different insurance plans — they change constantly. Many patients don’t understand the exact benefits of their plans or how co-pays, co-insurance and deductibles work. We review bills prior to check-out, but sometimes it’s tough to cover every aspect. I enjoy sitting down with a patient to go over their plan. It’s like solving a puzzle and it’s rewarding when a patient finally understands their insurance benefits for the first time, especially when no one has taken the time to explain it to them before.
What’s your work philosophy?
To do my best to make sure every patient is completely happy with their experience here. I want our patients to come back year after year — because we are the best!
How has Ridgefield Vision Center changed since you’ve been here?
The size of the practice has changed the most. When I started in 2008, we had three employees and more down-time between patients. When booking appointments, we often had availability in the next day or two. Now we’re booked about two weeks out, sometimes more during busy times such as back-to-school, Thanksgiving and winter break. However, even though we are busier, we have a knowledgeable staff of five who work together to ensure that each patient receives an expert level, comprehensive eye exam.
What have you learned from working here?
That having a great boss and great coworkers make “working” a fun experience every single day. At some jobs, employees watch the clock all day. Here, it’s different. I truly care about my patients, their experience and their lives. Being surrounded and supported by Mike, Megan, Nicole and Dr. Droter makes the experience even more valuable. So what I’ve learned is that this is my ideal work situation: a happy, positive environment where we help people.
What’s your proudest moment at Ridgefield Vision Center?
Completing my Certified Paraoptometric Technician qualification, a two-day test that evaluates technicians on all things optical – from working-up the patient, to anatomy of the eye, and diseases, plus optical knowledge. It’s the highest-level certification an optical technician can obtain. I completed it in the spring of 2016.
What do you do outside of work?
I am currently training for my second marathon, so I’m spending a lot of free time training for that. I’ll be running the Richmond Marathon for a second time on November 12!
For 19 years, our optometry team at Ridgefield Vision Center has provided conscientious, personable vision care for adults and children in Richmond’s far West End, near Godwin High School and Short Pump Mall. We make going to the eye doctor a positive experience. Whether you need eyeglasses, sunglasses or contact lenses, we offer the highest quality products to ensure the health of your eyes so that you enjoy good vision in every season of life. We’ll continue to provide you with valuable information about the human eye and to provide the highest level of professional eye care for our patients’ vision health. Call us at 804-741-1204 and schedule your next appointment today!