A question often asked in the ocularist world: Is it more important to have great bedside manner or great skills? If you had to choose one or the other, which one would you pick?
Our take on this is: Obviously skills are the most important, but if you don’t have a good bedside manner, what the heck are you doing in medicine anyway? People who go into medicine should ideally do it to care for people.
Ocularists do more than build a piece of plastic. We are in the business of restoring self image and self esteem. Using this as our guiding philosophy, we MUST be willing to come back and address our patients’ concerns regardless of how valid we personally feel they may be. The patient is the person who must wear the piece all the time, so the patient must be the one to feel comfortable with it. If that means working on something longer, leaving work later or working on it another day, ocularist work is a process of rehabilitation. The highest level of integrity is acknowledging that process. If things don’t come out perfectly one day, there is no excuse for quitting. It we acknowledge our work as a process, we will continue to perfect it and do everything we can to address patient concerns.
An ocularist should never make a patient feel uncomfortable about his or her appearance, even if prior work done was less than stellar. An ocularist should never belittle a patient if the patient inquires about the quality of a piece he or she has created. We are in the business of making people feel their best and this starts with the way we interact with our patients.
Advanced Artificial Eyes does not run a practice making 20 eyes in a day. We take care of just a couple of people every day and do the best we can. That just allows us to provide the highest level of care for the patient because we have the time to really care for them rather than just concern ourselves with the mechanics of making the piece. We are proud to have both the skills/technology, AND deep level of compassion that is at the core of any patient practice. Combining these two facets is what the rehabilitation of a traumatized person is all about.