Chantal Richard is an optician and clinical coach at Visique Mont-Laurier. She is highly appreciated by her patients and colleagues. In fact, she was nominated (along with 9 other employees of the Visique/FYidoctors family) for the title of "Coach of the Year" at our 2019 General Assembly.
Since grade 3, she has been fascinated by the visual system and optics. That is why she is now a professional in this field. What makes her proud and what she loves above all is mutual aid; yes, mutual aid between colleagues, but also mutual aid abroad. In 2014, she left on a humanitarian mission to the Philippines with Optométriste sans frontières
Read on to find out more:
1. What is your current role at Visique?
I am a clinical coach in Mont-Laurier and I will also support the new acquisitions teams.
2. Briefly describe your academic background and training locations.
I did my elementary school in my home village: Ste-Anne du Lac, my high school at Polyvalente St-Joseph in Mont-Laurier and my visual orthotics technique at Collège Édouard-Montpetit in Longueil. To date, I have more than 19 years of experience as an optician.
3. What makes your clinic a unique place to work?
It is a regional clinic where everyone knows each other. I love the very friendly and especially family atmosphere that we have thanks to the great team I work with.
4. What made you want to work in the field of vision care?
I'm the only one in my family who wears glasses. Since my 3rd year of elementary school, it has always fascinated me to understand the why and how of the visual system.
5. What do you like most about your work?
I never get tired of seeing how people react when they receive their new glasses and finally see clearly! In other words, I like contributing to their visual well-being.
6. What is one of the most difficult aspects of your work?
When a patient has an eye disease and I have to explain to him that he will no longer see as before...acceptance is sometimes difficult.
7. Tell us about one of your favorite moments at the clinic?
When you have a busy day and teamwork is put to good use. Everyone helps each other, it makes me proud!
8. How do you see the future of eye care?
People are becoming more and more informed. We must be up to date with technologies and processes to facilitate access to care. In the near future, we will have to offer online services such as contact lens renewals and appointments.
9. What is the most important advice you want to give your patients?
You have to protect your eyes every day from the sun. Its harmful rays cause serious damage to eye health. It is too often secondary to have a good sunglasses.
10. What is your personal style of glasses?
I have a retro style frame, made of fine metal that fits perfectly to my rather narrow face.
11. Where can we find you when you are not at Visique?
I really enjoy outdoor activities so, hiking on a Laurentian mountain like Devil's Mountain, going to the beach on my paddle board or even playing on a Dek Hockey surface.
12. Do you have anything to add?
Here is a nice memory of my volunteer mission. I spent 3 weeks in the Philippines, on the island of Palawan, in February 2014 with Optometrists Without Borders. We were a group of 7 people: 3 optometrists, 2 opticians and 2 assistants. The aim was to provide eye exams to local people and to provide them with free glasses to meet their needs. We were received by the religious communities in the region. Obviously, we didn't speak their language so we had interpreters with us. It was a really rewarding experience for me and made me realize how spoiled we are in North America. People are so grateful to see well when they are given glasses. Some had never seen well since birth. This little boy in the picture had an astigmatism of -4.00. We were able to have him manufacture custom eyeglasses for him in Quebec and then ship them to him. It's still a memorable experience for me, I'd go back anytime!
Dr Frédéric Marchand, optométriste