I recently had the opportunity to visit the The Vision Care Institute (TVCI) in Jacksonville, Florida. TVCI is a state-of-the-art vision care facility, owned and operated by The Vistakon Division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Inc. The educational program is designed to offer new and seasoned eye care professionals with hands-on instruction and up-to-date information on ACUVUE® brand products. Attendees receive training in specialty contact lenses, communication skills, and patient education under the tutelage of other industry professionals.
One out of every five optometrists in the U.S. is an alumnus of TVCI.
The program takes place over the course of one day and is comprised of didactic lectures, hands-on contact lens fitting workshops, demonstrations, and a manufacturing tour. Lecture topics included product identification, patient education, clinical research, innovative technology, and UV protection.
Fitting Presbyopes and Astigmats
Following a lecture on ACUVUE® Oasys 1-Day with Hydraluxe for Astigmatism and 1-Day ACUVUE® Moist Multifocal brand contact lenses, attendees headed into the exam rooms to fit several patients with the lenses. After the fitting session, participants received feedback from faculty, peers, and from the patients. The most practical tip I gleaned from this experience was: "always refer to the fitting guide." The guide is based on extensive clinical research and is your best reference for achieving a predictable and successful fit.
Improving Communication Skills through Behavioral Traits
Prior to attending TVCI, we were instructed to complete a confidential online DISC assessment. DISC is a behavior assessment tool based on the DISC theory of psychologist William Moulton Marston, which centers on four different behavioral traits: dominance, inducement, submission, and compliance. DISC profiles help you and your team increase your self-knowledge in how you respond to conflict, what motivates you, what causes you stress, and how you solve problems. In addition, it facilitates better teamwork and develops stronger sales skills by effectively identifying and communicating with the patient in a way that resonates with their behavioral style.
At the end of the session, attendees toured the manufacturing center to see how contact lenses are made. Contact lenses are more than a cosmetic convenience; they’re medical devices, so you can expect a lot of work goes into manufacturing them according to federal regulations. Having witnessed the advanced technology and immense amount of time and effort that goes into creating a single lens, I now have a better appreciation for the intricacies of contact lenses.
The Big Picture
What I found most valuable about the program was that it enhanced my existing knowledge of ACUVUE® brand contact lenses in order to better serve my patients. In addition, I learned more about myself, my personality, and how my behavior is interpreted by others -- and how it differs between personal and professional environments. The DISC personality profile was eye-opening; I am now more aware of the different behavioral styles of my patients and adjust my communication methods accordingly.
How to Attend TVCI
TVCI is open to eye care professionals (ECPs) and optometry students. For additional information, visit: http://www.acuvueprofessional.com/tvci. Contact your J&J Vistakon sales representative for more information regarding upcoming TVCI opportunities and how to register.