Just Be Awesome…
A few weeks back, a parent of one of my graduating Vision Therapy patients emailed to ask “what it takes to be a Vision Therapist?” Although the question has always been common in my surroundings – from patients, to parents, to fellow professionals and even with friends – it’s a question I’ve always struggled to answer. Not so much because my job description is beyond me, but more because the concept of describing what goes into my every day activities can sometimes be beyond words.
In pondering this idea with a few friends – who are also fellow Vision Therapists – this past weekend in South Carolina, some common descriptors came out that most define qualities a Vision Therapist must possess:
Compassion, Motivation, Leader, Flexibility, Creativity, Adaptability, Be A Good Teacher, Be A Good Student, Able To Relate to Patients, Observant, Chameleon, Independent Thinker, Self Esteem and Confidence Builder, Good Judge of Character, and most importantly A Sense of Humor About Yourself.
All very good places to start.
But how do you know when to utilize each skill, when to draw a little more from one end or the other? For some of us it’s just innate, some work hard at it, and still, some of the best Vision Therapists working today will tell you that it’s a balance that we must always self monitor. Perhaps the best description yet came from my friend Karen Danoski COVT in describing this photo of me hanging out with a friend’s daughter at the beach this past weekend.
Karen wrote: This is Robert Nurisio (Vision Therapist) leading by example, extending his hand for comfort, and letting them experience for themselves.
Although the personal compliment was incredible (and a quite a bit undeserved), Karen’s description really defines in large part what a Vision Therapist should strive to become: A leader who offers a soft place for a patient to land while they take risks with their new experiences.
In working to calibrate this thought process in my head even further, I asked one of my more astute nine year old patients his opinion today. I told him what I do, how I try to do it, and how important it is to me to give it my all so that patients are comfortable and find success. It doesn’t always work, but most times we do alright!
My young friend cocked his head, batted one eyebrow and opined, “Being a Vision Therapist is simple. You just need to be awesome.”
Easy enough 🙂