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A Day in the Life of a VIP Employee: Why Do You Want to Work in Ophthalmology?


Because of the unique medical and surgical combination involved in ophthalmology, there are many opportunities in this healthcare field, including as a front desk assistant, technician, and medical assistant. We sat down with Kayla Hoke, an administrator at Advanced Sight Center, a Vision Integrated Partners (VIP) practice, to learn more about what each day looks like in her career in healthcare and why she wanted to work in ophthalmology. 

How did you get into your role?

I finished college in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in business. Throughout college, I worked as a nanny and wanted to get into the healthcare field when I graduated, but I had limited healthcare experience. Ever since I was young, I really wanted to work in healthcare. I ended up seeing a front desk position at a local surgery center. I took that position, and with each task that was handed to me, they’d ask if I’d be interested in it, and I’d say, “Yes.” And then, they’d ask if I had ever done anything like that before, and I hadn’t, but I said I was ready to learn. 

Within my first month, I went from being a part-time front desk person to full-time scribe at Advanced Sight Center. I grew in my role and eventually became a manager. The administrator asked what I wanted to do with my career, and I told him it would be a dream come true to do a job like his, and he said to keep doing what I was doing because I was on the right track. 

Eventually, I became an assistant administrator to him, and then when he retired in 2018, I was offered the role of administrator. At just 29 years old, I became an administrator of a surgery center and ophthalmology practice. 

Why did you want to work in healthcare?

I like that it’s service-oriented, and I like working with people. The wellness of someone and making sure that they’re getting the care that they deserve has always called me. When you look at ever-changing markets, there are things that fade in and out, and while healthcare is dynamic because it changes every day, it’s something that people are always going to need. 

What does a typical day look like?

I use a written business plan that I drafted to guide what efficiencies and opportunities I’d like to address in the practice. I review schedules at the medical practice and the surgery schedule. I’m looking for availability, utilization, and opportunities. I look at both current and future states and what’s to come, then make adjustments according to business plans.

I look at financials in a number of capacities. For example, I look at the revenue side and our accounts receivable. I want to see where we are, what we need to focus on, and what support I can provide my team to have continuous improvements. I have to validate the payments in our practice management system and reconcile that with the bank account.

I’m the bridge between staff and the human resources (HR) team. I consider myself an employee advocate. While I no longer have to make decisions for insurance renewals or run payroll like I was in the private practice, I still have a responsibility with respect to both. When insurance renewals come out, I provide my staff with the details they need. 

I have a responsibility to review time cards and payroll registers before payroll is sent. Aside from special circumstances, I’m still the point contact for my staff when it comes to HR matters, and then I escalate to HR or direct them to HR in situations where I need their support and expertise.

What is your favorite thing about VIP?

I do so many things and wear so many hats. I like doing a little bit of it all, and I like the variety. My favorite thing I like is the people with whom I work. Everyone is 100 percent dedicated to the greater good of this organization—it’s awesome and inspiring.

Coming from a private practice and joining VIP, it’s been great to have more opportunities with them that we didn’t have before. They’re really about supporting their employees and always looking for ways they can improve that. VIP respects and values their staff. 

My team is full of individuals that have had quite a number of years of experience just in our practice alone. They continue to grow and learn. They love the business we’re in, how the business is run, and the physicians we work with. They’re the face of this practice just as much as the physicians are. It’s nice that patients get to see that consistency.

What are some challenges in your role?

I’ve implemented five new softwares over the last nine months, and these are some of the most challenging things you can do in a practice. I had a vital part in configurations, data conversion, implementation, training, and troubleshooting. VIP supported me as I evaluated options and made commitments. They empowered me in these opportunities in which I might have previously hesitated. 

I knew I had the support of the whole team. If I needed help, all I had to do was ask. VIP had existing relationships with some of the vendors that created a wonderful bridge for support with the representatives that carried over into the practice. Others, I was able to help create that relationship and pass it on to other practices in our group. 

What advice do you have for people wanting to work in healthcare or ophthalmology?

Show up on time, ready to go, and work hard. Try to work harder than the person next to you, which will make them work harder, and it becomes contagious and helps drive success for both you personally and the organization. When you focus, work hard individually, and work hard as a team, everything else will fall into place. 

Interested in working in ophthalmology?

Vision Integrated Partners is actively hiring across our practices and ambulatory surgery centers. If you’re interested in a rewarding career in the healthcare field with lifelong learning and growth opportunities, we encourage you to visit our careers page and apply to join our team.