In his late twenties, before he was famous, Richard Branson was headed to the Virgin Islands. At the airport, his flight to the Virgin Islands was canceled because of maintenance and it was supposed to be the last flight out that night. Branson decided to charter a private airplane but couldn’t afford to do it by himself. He picked up a small blackboard and wrote, “Virgin Airlines – $29.” Then he went over to the group of people who had been on his cancelled flight and ended up selling tickets for the rest of the seats on the private airplane he chartered. He used that money to pay for the private airplane and was able to get to the Virgin Islands that night.
Branson had dropped out of high school and started a business. He also signed the Sex Pistols to his record label when everyone else said they were too controversial. He chartered an airplane when he didn’t have the money. Branson is a successful entrepreneur and has developed over 100 brands so far.
Something that distinguishes Branson is that he says things like: “screw it, just get on and do it.” Which is closely followed by: “Why can’t we mine asteroids?” When others come up with an excuse on why timing isn’t right, Branson gets started. He figures out how to stop procrastinating and takes the first step – even if it seems unorthodox.
Almost all opticians in British Columbia (BC) renewed on time this year – 87% as of March 31st. Having almost all BC opticians renew on time calls for a celebration.
During the month of registration renewals, the College office is extremely busy handling our regular workload, plus the high volume of enquires from opticians that need help renewing. This year, there were a few opticians that asked me: “Why should I renew? What is the College doing for me?” The College is not here to protect opticians. Instead, the College’s mandate is to protect the public by regulating opticians in BC. What I would encourage opticians to ask instead is: “How can I be a good health care professional? How can I utilize licensure as an optician?”
Every year, I speak to the students at Douglas College and teach them about what it means to be a health care professional and an optician. I help them understand that being a regulated health professional means being passionate about what you do and ensuring the right things happen for safe patient care. I ask the students the following questions:
• What do you love doing?
• What is important to you about being a professional?
• How do you want your patients to describe you?
• What value do you bring to your patients and the people you work with?
Ultimately, the purpose of these questions is to help the students determine how they want to show up.
Being an optician means that you are a regulated health professional, follow a high standard of care, competent, extensively trained, accountable, and ethical. Licensure is a tool to help you be professional, help you develop, and help you adapt. Licensure is not going to solve all your problems but it is a tool to help you succeed if you actually utilize it as much as possible.
Take the time to constantly reflect and develop the vision of how you want to show up to your patients and the people around you. A quote from Richard Branson: “If you’re a lot smaller than the bigger competitions, you’ve got to use every weapon you’ve got.”