This case study explores the challenges faced by Optometry Australia, the solution PushFar offer and the results of implementing a mentoring program.
Optometry Australia represents 85% of registered optometrists in Australia. The peak professional body provides the networks, support and guidance to help its members succeed. Since 1918, the organisation has united the sector to make Australia a world leader in the delivery of vision and eye health services and patient care.
The optometry sector is rapidly changing as a result of fast-moving technological, societal, economic and now, pandemic transformation. Scope of practice, patient and clinical management is evolving, along with community expectation of health care providers.
The sector is now 57% female, 43% male with majority under 45 years old.
Optometry Australia is committed to providing skills and support needed to assist members to successfully navigate current and emerging challenges and opportunities.
“To connect with strangers you admire in the same profession is incredibly powerful”
Sophie Koh, National Professional Services Advisor
Australia is represented by corporate and independent optometry practices. Irrelevant of the ownership model, optometrists are typically based in small workplaces.
While on-going professional development is a pre-requisite for registration, it is often skills such as dealing with constant change, owning a practice, managing workplace stress, negotiating a promotion or a contract and work-life balance that can help drive career progression and satisfaction.
Understanding this, Optometry Australia sought a solution that would enable members to connect, to share and to learn from each other.
With members located all over Australia and abroad, a digital mentor platform was seen as an ideal way to provide members with an efficient virtual environment to connect.
Optometry Australia selected PushFar as it offered a highly accessible and tailored digital solution easily accessible via the click of a mouse irrelevant of where members lived or worked across Australia.
The process of implementing the mentor solution was fast, with the PushFar team offering guidance throughout.
PushFar has created a space where Optometry Australia’s members can access career and professional development guidance and advice from their peers within a safe and private digital setting.
The initial pilot saw 100 people sign up to the program when launched in early 2020. 46% of were in mentoring relationships within the first week.
120 members signed up to the platform in the first six months.
The program is aiding members – particularly recent graduates who are starting out – to develop their careers, to expand their skills and to understand the many, varied career paths that optometry can provide.
Optometry Australia is aiming for at least 200-300 members within the mentor program by end of 2022
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