A smooth journey

Clinical technician at Tompkins, Knight & Sons, Lyndon Bird's take on putting patients at ease while capturing images

Lyndon Bird

I joined the team at Tompkins Knight & Son Optometrists four years ago.

I recently completed my level 4 optical technician SMC (tech). My role is to greet patients at the beginning of their journey and to put them at ease during their enhanced diagnostic procedures. I ensure that when the patient arrives at our practice, they are warmly welcomed in our reception area with an offer of locally roasted coffee from our high-tech coffee machine and a selection of newspapers and magazines available.

I maximise the patient experience by offering a range of diagnostic examinations as appropriate, including optical coherence tomography, macular pigment screening, ocular biometry, visual field assessment, and audiology screening. It has been remarkable to see diagnostic eye care technology evolve so rapidly during my relatively short time at the practice. 

The most enjoyable aspect of my role is engaging with patients. 

Every patient is a new challenge, which means my job is never dull. I find it satisfying to educate people and answer any of their questions about various diagnostic examinations. Some patients are ‘eye-phobic’ and I do my best to keep them relaxed with conversation to assist them with their needs, which I find particularly rewarding. 

Being a good time manager is the most challenging aspect of my role. 

It requires a tightrope artist’s balance of keeping to a strict diary schedule, while at the same time not making the patient feel like they are being rushed. Any deviations from the schedule causes a cascade of delay for everyone, so I ensure extra time is set aside for frail or elderly patients, people with disabilities, and children.

It is crucial to put the patient at ease with a warm smile and a friendly demeanour.

Many people are nervous in health care settings. The diagnostic suite is the first clinical environment the patient enters and greatly affects their initial perception of the practice. We aim to make people feel reassured and relaxed, encourage them to ask questions and to emphasise that they are in safe hands.