Wood

Stories of Resilience: An Attitude of Gratitude

By James Wood, OD June 07, 2021

The events of 2020 were really challenging--everyone in the community was affected. Like many others, our practice was closed for a month and when we reopened, our patient flow was down significantly. It was difficult and unnerving to navigate through this uncertain territory.

During that period, the resiliency of our staff was remarkable. We didn't know what to expect from one day or one week to another, but the staff pulled together and made the best of the situation. During the downtime, we obtained education and CE credits from Premier Academy360 and prepared to reopen using resources from VSP and the Premier Program, such as reopening guides, PPE equipment, and a COVID grant. Once we were open, the staff was back to providing excellent customer service and taking care of patients to the best of their ability, following CDC and AOA guidelines.

We believe our position in the community was strengthened because of those efforts. We reaffirmed to our patients that we’re a practice they can count on, and the bonds and rapport we’ve developed over the years became even stronger. We’ve been very gratified and humbled by the response from our community and our patient base.

As I look towards the future, I’m very optimistic about the field of optometry and our practice. The considerable “baby boom” generation now needs both refractive and medical eyecare services—everything from dry eye to peripheral retinal disease. I also believe medical eye care will grow as the scope of optometry continues to expand. In terms of the practice, we're very fortunate. Things are not quite as easy as they used to be, but we're very pleased that patient demand is at an all-time high level. In fact, we opened our third office in the midst of the COVID pandemic.

If COVID taught us anything, it’s that we can make it through just about any obstacle that lies ahead. We learned to be extremely flexible and adaptable because things change week by week, sometimes day by day. And, we learned not to take anything for granted—our health, our ability to practice, our family, or our friends. As I see it, we learned to have an increased attitude of gratitude.

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