Graduate optometrists share learning from year two projects

The Year Two Projects see graduates plan and execute an in-store initiative that leads to positive outcomes for the store in an area that aligns with the graduate’s professional development interests.

To award the winner of the best project, a panel comprising members of the Graduate Recruitment and Professional Development team and the Optometry Department evaluated each project based on how closely it aligned with Specsavers’ vision and values, the planning and management of the project, as well as on the presentation itself. The graduates in the audience were also given an opportunity to anonymously vote on the project they thought was best.

Taking out the People’s Choice Award was Erin Lam from Specsavers Macarthur in New South Wales. Through her project, Erin was able to increase the percentage of patients who completed a visual field test on the same day as their initial appointment. This reduces the likelihood of losing the patient to follow-up and enhances patient outcomes by facilitating early detection of potential eye conditions.

The overall winners, as determined by the judging panel, were Steven Lam and Czarina Igno from Specsavers Sunbury in Victoria. The pair jointly conducted a project that increased the number of new contact lens fits in line with the store’s business objectives.

Czarina and Steven’s project is a great example of what the Year Two Project aims to achieve: to demonstrate measurable impact in an area that relates to the graduates’ personal and professional interests, whilst also demonstrating a positive benefit for their store.

Steven and Czarina were great presenters, but they were also able to back this up with a thoughtful and targeted project that demonstrated how staff training can have a significant impact on overcoming the barriers to contact lens uptake and ensuring patients are properly educated on the lifestyle benefits of contact lenses. This is also a project that can be scaled up across many stores and has the potential to have a huge impact on contact lens conversations and take-up.

The Year Two Project presentations signified the completion of the Specsavers Graduate Program for the cohort and the event included a celebratory component where each graduate received a certificate of completion.

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