Tracy Schroeder Swartz currently practices at Madison Eye Care Center in Madison, Alabama. She serves as Education Chair for the Optometric Council for Refractive Technology, and consults for industry. She specializes in anterior segment disorders, and be
Here are a couple of tips our practice uses to celebrate the Halloween fun safely and successfully.
The views expressed here belong to the author. They do not necessarily represent the views of Optometry Times or UBM Medica.
Halloween is nearly as much fun as Christmas at our office. When it falls on a weekday, we get to play all day. Here are a couple of tips our practice uses to celebrate the Halloween fun safely and successfully.
Those novelty lenses
Now, I know that some may find this holiday annoying. Those darn cosmetic contact lenses can try anyone’s patience.
The patients who get cranky when they find out they can’t just pay you $10 for the “red eye contacts” and walk out to the party have been to many of our offices. Depending on how dramatic these patients are, this situation can be challenging to deal with when you have an office full of yard work casualties and a pink eye epidemic.
Related: Top 11 patient horror stories
Any cosmetic contact lens marketing campaign must predate Halloween using the following algorithm:
How many days booked out you currently are + delivery time + time required to schedule the instruction for insertion and removal
Patients who wish to look blind, bloodshot, like a cat, like the devil, or like Jeffery Dahmer must plan well ahead. You must train them to do so by putting out the marketing materials when the kids go back to school mid-summer. Walmart has its Christmas stuff out in July, so it won’t be awkward.
For those who love to decorate, this holiday can be rewarding. Hit Pinterest, and spend the weekend decorating because oh happy day-this year Halloween is on a Monday. You can make flower arrangements, dioramas, and all kinds of fun office décor.
Cover your frame boards with spider webs, put bugs in office corners, and put gravestones on the lawn. Hide talking monsters in the bathroom. Create eye charts with the words “Boo” and “Trick or treat” and “Happy Halloween,” eye balls, and pictures of black cats.
Lights similar to Christmas lights can be found at craft and hardware stores to illuminate your lanes with pumpkins, bats, ghosts, and leaves. Consider orange and purple strings to flights, too.
Related: Top 10 patient horror stories
Pumpkins can be fun as well as an exercise in alignment.
For those who do not frequent Pintrest, craft stores carry pumpkins of plastic that you can paint, cut, and store away for next year in your attic. All the fun of pumpkins without slimy forearms and mold.
Cut out eyes and add eyeballs to create exotropic, esotropic, and hypertropic pumpkins. Get creative and make a pumpkin with cataracts or an eye patch. Small tea lights from the dollar store work great for illuminating your pumpkin creation.
Dressing up at the office
If the staff wants in on the fun, then dress up!
Consider using the “Thing 1, Thing 2” theme and create red t-shirts for your whole staff. If you don’t like “thing”, your shirts can say, “Doctor 1”, “Doctor 2”, Staff 1-5, Optician 1-2, etc. Love the Suess idea? Dressing up as a “Who” never gets old, and you get to do cute things with your hair.
More of a Disney fan? Don’t forget the princesses, princes, and the Beast. Have seven staff members and a female doctor? Dress up as Snow White and the seven dwarfs.
M&Ms are fun too, with lots of colors. (Of course, watch out who you make the dumb yellow M&M). Poodle skirts and roller skates can also be fun. You can’t forget the minions, either.
Our staff chose the Wizard of Oz this year. Our male doctor is of course-the Wizard. I learned of this plan when he was the first to read the memo and yelled, “I am the wizard!” at the top of his lungs. I was originally told I was the tin man, but I can’t do BIO with a hat, so now I am, not surprisingly, a munchkin.
I love dressing up for the kiddos at work. I used to dress up as my husband, who is six feet tall. I wore his scrubs (too big), his stethoscope, and his white coat with his name and felt very comfortable all day. Working in the mall is especially fun on Halloween if the kids trick-or-treat at the office.
Tricks and treats
Which brings me to a discussion about treats. Those without children in public school may not be aware of this minefield.
Homemade treats, no matter how high the chocolate content, are typically frowned upon. Foods containing nuts are out-all nuts, not just peanuts.
Dairy is out.
Related: The top 18 staff horror stories
For health conscious parents, gluten and GMO is out. Single-serving containers are in, but nothing healthy comes in single-serve packs except carrots and apple slices-which are too expensive. That leaves bubble gum eyeballs, and things like pencils, erasers, tattoos, and spider rings.
The kids will think everything except the bubble gum eyes is lame, so just stock up on the eyeballs.
And remember, you have to get out of work early to trick-or-treat with the kids or protect your home from hooligans. Or look at like this: Leave early to go eat all the candy you want.