Nicole’s welcoming smile greets our patients as they enter Ridgefield Vision Center, but she’s not just our receptionist. Her background as an artist makes her a natural to assist patients in deciding which frame best flatters their face. We asked Nicole a few questions to get to know her better:
How long have you been with Ridgefield Vision Center?
Since July 2015 — almost a year and a half.
What is your role here? Officially, I’m the receptionist. I work at the front desk checking patients in and out, scheduling appointments and pulling insurance authorizations. Since I started here, I’ve also been helping out in the optical department. I am cross-trained to sell glasses and cut lenses using the edging machine in our lab. I’ve also been given the unofficial title of “Merchandising Manager,” because I enjoy creating displays for the new frames and various brands of frames and sunglasses that we carry.
Before RVC, what was your most interesting job? I was a Design and Merchandising Intern at Quirk Gallery, where I did everything from merchandising to helping create a giant cake for the owner to jump out of for her husband’s birthday party! I was always working on unique projects there. I brought that merchandising experience with me and put it to good use here at Ridgefield Vision Center.
What do you like best about working here? Helping patients find the right frames. It is not uncommon for a patient to come in and not know what shape frame looks good on them or what kind of frame they want. It’s really exciting for me to pick out a frame for someone that they never would have picked out for themselves, and then have them absolutely love it. Every time a patient comes back and tells me how much they love the frame I helped them choose, it’s a good day.
What’s the biggest challenge? I had never worked with insurance before, so there was a learning curve, but I’m lucky to have great teachers in Amber, Megan and Mike. Despite this, insurance plans are constantly changing, so trying to keep up with the continual changes is definitely my biggest challenge. I work with insurance every day and yet rarely does a day go by that I don’t see something new. Luckily, our staff is experienced enough to handle all of the changes as they come in.
What’s your work philosophy? I strive to be well informed and helpful, so that our patients trust that they are in good hands when they come here. If I don’t know the answer to your question, I know where to find it.
How has Ridgefield Vision Center changed since you’ve been here? In the past year and a half since I have been here, we have all made an effort to cross-train and learn new skills from each other so everything runs more smoothly. With such a small office, it is important for all of us to be able to do as much as we can to help out. Our goal is to never stop learning and training, so we can be better informed and more efficient for the benefit of our patients.
What’s your favorite thing to do outside of work? I am an artist, so I spend most of my free time in my studio: weaving, printmaking, or generally creating. I am also an instructor at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond — I teach Frame Weaving every couple of months. Occasionally, I volunteer at various galleries where I enjoy getting to meet new people. I also enjoy simply spending time with my boyfriend, Brian, and our English Bulldog, Cue.
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!