Ophthalmic equipment and ophthalmic instruments
For a doctor, it is very important to make any patient feel very welcome in their clinical practice. This will reassure the patient and, if they are afraid, ease that fear. Ophthalmologists are generally not as feared as, say, dentists or gynecologists, but it might still be that some patients feel a little apprehensive when entering their practice. Having a nicely lit, nicely furbished place and hiring an attentive, considerate and friendly assistant are all things which will help making your practice a warm and welcoming place. It is also important to use the right equipment and ensure that it works, so that you can feel confident in what you are doing, because then, the patient will, too.
First and possibly most importantly is the exam stool that you use. This is where your patient will sit while they are examined and you want to make every aspect of that experience as comfortable as you can, given the circumstances. Make sure it is adjustable, obviously, and make it one where the patient can lean back so as to feel more comfortable. The height range, that is, the maximum and minimum height to which the stool can be adjusted should be as big as possible. You want to be able to meet the needs of a little three-year-old child as much as those of a basketball player who is six foot tall. Also make sure the height is easy to adjust so patients will not get unnecessarily confused over how to use the chair you sat them in.
For those people reading this who are not ophthalmologists, a tonometer is an instrument that you use to measure interocular pressure. This sounds quite complicated, but let’s not go into details and assume that anyone interested in buying ophthalmic equipment and reading an article about it has some form of medical education or training. Whether you want a hand-held tonometer, a bigger one or both is entirely up to you, though in any case a hand-held one might be recommendable, even if you also decide to purchase the bigger one. Smaller machines always seem less scary than bigger ones and so patients will probably feel more comfortable with being examined by the hand-held one than by a huge machine the likes of which they have never seen before. You can even get disposable tonometers. The choice is up to you, but make sure you get other ophthalmologists’ feedback before rushing into anything, and make sure you buy this equipment from a reputable company. After all, the diagnosis of your patients may well depend on it and so, as any medical equipment, the most important thing is that is works accurately and dependably.
This would be where you keep all your stuff like instruments or paperwork. Your patients will have very little to do with it, but it is still recommendable to buy one that matches the rest of the furniture at your practice. This way, the treatment cabinet won’t look like a mysterious object containing hidden secrets to the patient, but simply like a part of the furniture. However, this is equipment that you will be the one to handle, so it is vital that you like it. Is there enough storage space for any paperwork or instruments that you might need? Do you think you will be able to keep everything organized in the cabinet and will you find your way around it quickly? Are the size and the material of which it is made appropriate? Those are all the questions you should ask yourself before purchasing a treatment cabinet.
Finally, the most important thing that no piece of furniture can replace is to be nice to your patients and genuinely pay attention to them. Always explain the procedures well before going through them to reassure your patients and to make them feel comfortable. Especially with little children and old people who will be quite apprehensive, this is important. Don’t assume people will be unable to understand such complicated medical things, but rather, take your time to word what you will be doing as simply as possible. One last tip: Having a bowl of sweets standing around never hurts. That way, kids might actually look forward to coming to your practice!