I believe I can speak for most of us when, with anticipation I say goodbye and good riddance to hiring in Optometry and Ophthalmology in 2020! The Covid-19 pandemic has in many ways turned our lives upside down. For the first time in the 20 years I’ve been in the Optometric, Ophthalmic and Optical industry, practices have had to furlough or lay-off employees in significant numbers (Optometrists, Ophthalmic Technicians, Opticians, etc). In May, practices responding to the Local Eye Site Covid-19 impact survey showed that 53% of eye care practices had been forced to furlough and layoff Optometrists, Ophthalmic Technicians and Opticians in response to Covid shut-downs. A small number of Optometric practices actually closed with no plan to re-open.
As of the writing of this letter, Covid-19 remains a significant factor in our lives and Optometric and Ophthalmic businesses, however there is hope. According to the CDC’s most recent data (Oct. 5th, 2020), the 7-day moving avg of daily Covid related deaths is 708 per day, down significantly from it’s high in April of 2,856 per day. Additionally, there are now five vaccines in the final, phase 3 trials. We are all hopeful we can return to more normalcy in our lives in 2021.
With more confidence about our ability to effectively treat or prevent Covid related illness, we should see a return to normalcy in our everyday lives. This should result in a significant spike in pent-up demand for eye care and optical related products and services. Naturally, this will eventually drive hiring demand for Ophthalmic Technicians, Optometrist and Opticians and a return to the days of shortages when it comes to hiring eye care professionals.
We’ve developed a 2021 Hiring Guide in hopeful anticipation of these brighter days. Stay tuned! We’re happy to provide it free of charge, and hope it helps your organization compete to hire the best Optometrists, Opticians and Ophthalmic Technicians in the coming days and months as we put the challenges of 2020 behind us.
Brad McCorkle, Founder
Local Eye Site