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Thread: Opticianry Summit?

  1. #151
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    This is a very complicated topic. It would make a great topic for a forensics event. My take:

    1) All or none statements are a little over the top.

    2) A national, unified exam is the way to go. However, the problem is state laws are very difficult to change and certification (or lack of) is on a state by state basis. I believe CPAs have a unified exam and this has served accountants very well.

    3) We are a long way from requiring a 4 year degree to be an optician.

    4) There are many types of opticians. Some are really sales people working on a commission. Others are technicians in a lab. Not sure if this is an issue or not, just pointing out that an exam needs to be inclusive of all of the skills required of an optician and will be more difficult for those who "specialize" in one area of the practice.

    5) Other professions have advertised the value they provide to the public. The American Institute of Architects comes to mind. A "look for an ABO" certification could have some impact, but the lack of a well funded national organization hurts this effort.

    6) The general mood of the nation is to have less regulation. Opticians, with all due respect, do not command the respect of architects, engineers, pharmacists, accountants, lawyers, MDs, etc. that all require professional registration to practice. I am not saying this is right, I am just saying this is the general perception. While other professions that do not require a college degree such as hair stylists and manicurists need to pass a test in many states, there are many, many other professions that do not require certification.

    7) Many of the pro-certifcation people have "protectionist" tone to their argument. Keep things the way they are or adapt rules that will put things back to the way they used to be. I am not sure this ever works. You will not stop the chain stores, the imports, the websites, etc. We are in a world that is accelerating in terms of change. Focus on adapting to the change and capitalizing on new opportunities rather than fighting change.

  2. #152
    Ophthalmic Optician OptiBoard Gold Supporter
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Tabor View Post
    This is a very complicated topic. It would make a great topic for a forensics event. My take:

    1) All or none statements are a little over the top.

    2) A national, unified exam is the way to go. However, the problem is state laws are very difficult to change and certification (or lack of) is on a state by state basis. I believe CPAs have a unified exam and this has served accountants very well.

    3) We are a long way from requiring a 4 year degree to be an optician.

    4) There are many types of opticians. Some are really sales people working on a commission. Others are technicians in a lab. Not sure if this is an issue or not, just pointing out that an exam needs to be inclusive of all of the skills required of an optician and will be more difficult for those who "specialize" in one area of the practice.

    5) Other professions have advertised the value they provide to the public. The American Institute of Architects comes to mind. A "look for an ABO" certification could have some impact, but the lack of a well funded national organization hurts this effort.

    6) The general mood of the nation is to have less regulation. Opticians, with all due respect, do not command the respect of architects, engineers, pharmacists, accountants, lawyers, MDs, etc. that all require professional registration to practice. I am not saying this is right, I am just saying this is the general perception. While other professions that do not require a college degree such as hair stylists and manicurists need to pass a test in many states, there are many, many other professions that do not require certification.

    7) Many of the pro-certifcation people have "protectionist" tone to their argument. Keep things the way they are or adapt rules that will put things back to the way they used to be. I am not sure this ever works. You will not stop the chain stores, the imports, the websites, etc. We are in a world that is accelerating in terms of change. Focus on adapting to the change and capitalizing on new opportunities rather than fighting change.
    Wow! A post that makes a lot of sense without being arrogant, antagonistic and condescending. That's refreshing!
    Gary

    Ophthalmic Optician, Society to Advance Opticianry

  3. #153
    Master OptiBoarder MakeOptics's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by optilady1:417997
    So is the answer, to become rebels? Rogue opticians who dare to be all they can be by casting off all paper credentials for lab smarts and street cred? ABO and state licenses be damned, we meet underground to become a new secret society who's gang symbols are long lost thickness calculations mixed with free form formulas?

    Naively enough, I thought I would have a respectable career when I became an optician, but these last few days' posts make me seriously wonder if I should think about a new job path.
    Consider this currently and for a long stretch, no one in a leadership position lived in a non licensed state. These organizations never represented me.

    The certifications that define opticians are the ABO and NCLE. Most states don't even allow opticians to fit contacts so the NCLE holds little value. Most (not all) licensed states don't even recognize the ABO towards licensing, there are the few exceptions. Continuing education for both certifications read like advertisements rather than unadulterated knowledge.

    And you know what through it all they have convinced you to send them a check for your renewal. If I keep buying into the system then I send the message that the system isnt broke. So yes I cast off my certifications and am heading in a different direction. I will not send these clowns one dime of my hard earned money until they start using it in a meaningful way and no summit now or ever is going to be enough to keep me fooled for another year.

    I am sorry you feel less respectable but this was the awakening I needed to finally feel more respectable again.
    "I prefer the honest jargon of reality to the outright lie of books" -Jean Rostand

  4. #154
    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    Stan is the man. Tabor is in favor.

  5. #155
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Tabor View Post
    4) There are many types of opticians. Some are really sales people working on a commission. Others are technicians in a lab. Not sure if this is an issue or not, just pointing out that an exam needs to be inclusive of all of the skills required of an optician and will be more difficult for those who "specialize" in one area of the practice.
    This is true especially in an unlicensed state such as mine. I still believe all those practicing should be required to pass the ABO which is not a difficult exam. Whether or not you "specialize" in one area or all is up to the individual. That being said if the ABO exam were to be required tomorrow to continue to call yourself an "optician" more than half the employees of the company I work for would be callinng themselves "sales specialists".

  6. #156
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    Blue Jumper

    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Tabor View Post

    .........................................We are in a world that is accelerating in terms of change. Focus on adapting to the change and capitalizing on new opportunities rather than fighting change.


    Very well said. Above sentence should be the start of a new discussion. How about it ?
    Chris Ryser
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    DLO. NA.IC.I.T.PO

    http://optochemicals.com............................. http://arcoatings.com

  7. #157
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    We need to tick-off a high ranking politician then things will change....

    Do the qualifications for RN's, Pharmacists and MD's differ from state to state?

    Opticianry will not change unless there is a public out-cry and government gets involved.
    Clinton Tower

    The intellect to live free is in short supply
    ALT248=°

  8. #158
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    Quote Originally Posted by scriptfiller View Post
    We need to tick-off a high ranking politician then things will change....

    Do the qualifications for RN's, Pharmacists and MD's differ from state to state?

    Opticianry will not change unless there is a public out-cry and government gets involved.

    I agree with everything you said.

    Qualifications for other professionals vary slightly from state to state, however the bottom line is there are generally education, experience and testing requirements for each.

    I do not hear a loud public outcry regarding the need for licensing. I recall reading somewhere that it has been over 20 years since a state has instituted a licensing requirement for opticians (don't quote me on this). It takes money and organization to get such a law passed and opticians have little of either. And don't think the big $$ at the optical chains and labs wouldn't fight this.

    I do believe dispensing eyewear most closely mirrors the pharmaceutical business. Both involve prescription written by Doctors and dispensed by a 3rd party. While there are differences, I do believe that eyewear is an important enough issue that their should be a clear standard of care for the making of Rx lenses, the edging and fitting of the Rx into the frame and the testing of the lenses to the Rx after being mounted in the frame. There should also be a basic level of knowledge required for the optician with respect to understand lens materials, everything having to do with the prescription and many other issues. The profession needs to clearly codify this knowledge and make sure the tests for certification (ABO) is clearly updated based upon today's technology.

    More publicity needs to be done regarding these standards and ABO or whoever could do a better job helping practioners differentiate themselves to show they are certified and adhere to these standards. Is this is happening today? Is there is a perception that the powers to be in our industry from the various industry associations should be less about making money, holding confernces, tradeshows, and networking and more about support what actually happens in the business? Or are they doing a great job at promoting and advancing the profession? Before answer this, look at an annual report for the Vision Council and see how much money they have on their balance sheet. You will see they have $14.7 million in assets and take in about $10 million per year and pay out $9 million in expenses. Then look at the members and the board members. The members are almost all labs and other vendors. Their board is all labs and frame vendors. Do you think they care about the plight of opticians or do you think they believe in the status quo? The cynical side of me says that what they do care about is holding Vision Expos where all the ABO members and non ABO opticians pay big money to travel to NY or LV to buy products from the Vision Council members.

    I could not find an annual report for the ABO on the internet. However, I am sure the operation is a small fraction of the size of the Vision Council.

  9. #159
    Cape Codger OptiBoard Gold Supporter hcjilson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scriptfiller View Post
    Do the qualifications for RN's, Pharmacists and MD's differ from state to state?
    Yes they do, however they are essentially the same and licensing is usually done by endorsement which generally is a formality with individual boards of registration.
    Last edited by hcjilson; 03-31-2012 at 01:29 PM.
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  10. #160
    Cape Codger OptiBoard Gold Supporter hcjilson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Tabor View Post
    I agree with everything you said.

    Qualifications for other professionals vary slightly from state to state, however the bottom line is there are generally education, experience and testing requirements for each.

    I do not hear a loud public outcry regarding the need for licensing. I recall reading somewhere that it has been over 20 years since a state has instituted a licensing requirement for opticians (don't quote me on this). It takes money and organization to get such a law passed and opticians have little of either. And don't think the big $$ at the optical chains and labs wouldn't fight this.
    On the contrary, I think the big chains would embrace the concept of licensed or registered opticians. Case in point, just 2 weeks ago I saw a receipt from a large chain store for progressive lenses and a frame. Lenses were poly but no transitions and no AR. I almost fell out of my chair when I saw that they had charged this young lady $490 for a pair of Navigators. What better way to establish your creditability than to have a licensed, certified optician on the other side of the table? Most of the larger chains have career progression programs which bring people along so I do believe having well trained, proven dispensers is in their best interest and I think they have come to this realization as well.

    Your point's however, are well taken.
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  11. #161
    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Silver Supporter Barry Santini's Avatar
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    There will be no public outcry. Period.

    B

  12. #162
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craig View Post
    Who ever would have thought that the great art of fitting contacts would be over and done with for all intensive purposes. Sorry Chip lives on, but most opticians do not do contacts anymore and that is fine with me.
    Really??? You might want to check out this website... www.clsa.info

  13. #163
    Master OptiBoarder MakeOptics's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmorse View Post
    Really??? You might want to check out this website... www.clsa.info
    A handful of opticians make the exception not the rule.

  14. #164
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Tabor View Post
    There should also be a basic level of knowledge required for the optician with respect to understand lens materials, everything having to do with the prescription and many other issues. The profession needs to clearly codify this knowledge and make sure the tests for certification (ABO) is clearly updated based upon today's technology.
    Hard to argue with this analysis, and unfortunately history does repeats itself.
    Many in opticianry leadership positions cannot think outside the box, are resistant to change and will never step down from the seats of power.
    I also agree that Vision Council's decision not to invite Warren MacDonald speaks volumes.

  15. #165
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    Quote Originally Posted by scriptfiller View Post
    We need to tick-off a high ranking politician then things will change....

    Do the qualifications for RN's, Pharmacists and MD's differ from state to state?

    Opticianry will not change unless there is a public out-cry and government gets involved.

    You are playing with words here...
    Qualifications?
    Do you mean education?
    Do you mean license?

    The arrogance---
    RN minimal requirement 2 year college degree (minimal)
    Pharm D is a doctoral program (that is 6+ years)
    MD are you kidding me?

    And all have NATIONAL STANDARDS and all require practical examinations.

    What do these things have to do with optical dispensing?
    Do you think there is a reason these fields require more than optician?

    Public outcry?
    heck 99% of the public does not even know what an optician is!

  16. #166
    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    Public outcries are easy to manufacture. Look at the news around you.

  17. #167
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    I think the national chains would love a stratified national opthalmic dispensing optician qualification/standard. Then they could schlep their ("Qualified")employees all around the country.

    John@OWDC, my question was made from the standpoint of being ignorant of the previously mentioned professions/persons in an attempt to better understand how they are licensed and certified, no arrogance implied.
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  18. #168
    Cape Codger OptiBoard Gold Supporter hcjilson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmorse View Post
    I also agree that Vision Council's decision not to invite Warren MacDonald speaks volumes.
    tmorse,
    I can say with some certainty that you have no idea of what you are talking about, sometimes, and this is one of them. when ignorant of a subject it is best to keep silent rather than open your mouth and remove all doubt.
    To begin with, you have no idea of who or how people were chosen to be invited. If you did, you would be an insider to the Vison Council, and I am reasonably certain you are not. End of statement. If you have any questions of my veracity please PM me and I will be happy to provide you with whatever info I can.
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  19. #169
    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Gold Supporter Judy Canty's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=scriptfiller;418180]I think the national chains would love a stratified national opthalmic dispensing optician qualification/standard. Then they could schlep their ("Qualified")employees all around the country.[QUOTE]

    Quite the opposite, big box retailers oppose any regulation of Opticianry. The NAOO is still working diligently and very quietly on behalf of the major chains.
    "Jargon is the last refuge of the scoundrel." --Roger Ebert

  20. #170
    Ophthalmic Optician OptiBoard Gold Supporter
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    Use only four words:

    Higher standards = Higher Wages.
    Ophthalmic Optician, Society to Advance Opticianry

  21. #171
    Ophthalmic Optician OptiBoard Gold Supporter
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    Who wants higher wages?

    ___Opticians

    ___Employers

    Check only one. (Chain stores are employers)
    Ophthalmic Optician, Society to Advance Opticianry

  22. #172
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    Quote Originally Posted by hcjilson View Post
    tmorse,
    I can say with some certainty that you have no idea of what you are talking about, sometimes, and this is one of them. when ignorant of a subject it is best to keep silent rather than open your mouth and remove all doubt.
    To begin with, you have no idea of who or how people were chosen to be invited. If you did, you would be an insider to the Vison Council, and I am reasonably certain you are not. End of statement. If you have any questions of my veracity please PM me and I will be happy to provide you with whatever info I can.
    And why not provide that information right here, right now?

    It may answer a question many people have.

    It is not OK to post on a public forum and then pick and choose what to take to email.

  23. #173
    Cape Codger OptiBoard Gold Supporter hcjilson's Avatar
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    See reply by PM, and I really don't need anyone to tell me what is appropriate to post on these pages.I moderate here I just don't make a big deal out of it.
    "Always laugh when you can. It is a cheap medicine"
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  24. #174
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    It is an unintended consequence of the new and current practical test in Florida in which all candidates must be verse in contact lens fittings in order to obtain their license... Our ability to fit contact lenses independently (in Florida) from prescribers have been in the books almost 20 years with no changes. What happened is the state never tested opticians to make sure they knew how to. Now any optician after 2011 must know how to fit them or they simply will not get their license. Contact lenses must continue to be part of opticianry as they are the only thing we do that has protected our license from deregulation. You can purchase online eyeglasses and contact lenses but eyeglasses do not provide physical harm if badly selected, fitted and adjusted other than a minor discomfort but badly fitted contact lenses may lead to blindness. The public demands safety and ill fitted contacts create harm.

    CNG

  25. #175
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    Quote Originally Posted by CNG View Post
    ...badly fitted contact lenses may lead to blindness. The public demands safety and ill fitted contacts create harm...
    CNG
    Can you point us to the data to back this up? I think we're all well aware of the complications of CL over wear, but in fairness, I've never heard of hordes of people waking up blind from a sloppy cl fit. Not being snarky here, I am genuinely interested in learning about this if true.

    And I believe the trend in online optical dispensing (among other things) shows that the public does, in fact, not care as much about safety - but rather about perceived value or simply cost. At least that's my impression.

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