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    Trade? or Profession?

    With all the optical marketplace changes today, has there been a shift in how opticians view themselves and how others percieve opticians? Is opticianry a trade, profession, or something else?

    #2
    For me, I kinda fell into the eyecare field because someone got me a job working with an OD while hubby was in school. I felt like I found my "calling" helping people. In the 20+ years since then I have worked in many offices in TN, NC, AL and GA. I went on to get my ABO, NCLE and Georgia LDO in the past 5 years. I love what I do. It is a career for me, a profession for which I still feel a passion and I am thankful for that.

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      #3
      It is a professional trade.

      Most of us are highly trained, have high standards and work in a professional environment. Most of us dispense medical devices...contacts, ophthalmic lenses, and frames. (profession)

      We also work with our hands, and often are involved in light manufacturing. (trade)
      Ophthalmic Optician, Society to Advance Opticianry

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        #4
        Originally posted by Johns View Post
        It is a professional trade.

        Most of us are highly trained, have high standards and work in a professional environment. Most of us dispense medical devices...contacts, ophthalmic lenses, and frames. (profession)

        We also work with our hands, and often are involved in light manufacturing. (trade)
        Yup, nailed it. This is exactly how I feel. I'm proud that I work with my hands. I cook, I sew, I paint, I make glasses. I consider myself pretty skilled at them all. For all the uncertainty swirling around our professional trade, I am still glad I have had the opportunity to be an Optician- it's led me to have a great respect for all craftsmen of all different trades. I know I would be miserable if I was stuck in a cubicle creating TPS reports.
        "Strictly speaking, there are no enlightened beings; only enlightened activity." -Shunryu Suzuki

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          #5
          Wow, Johns, that's a great description.

          I gotta say, if opticianry doesn't survive, nobody is going to know how to correct vision. I kid you not: I was in Cleveland OH for a big optometric conference, and there is nothing but medical care, medical care, medical care.

          I can't stress enough how important it is to our country that we have people who understand optics, can apply optics, can fabricate glasses, etc. IT WILL NOT COME FROM OPTOMETRY.

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            #6
            It is a professional trade.............................

            Originally posted by Johns View Post

            It is a professional trade.

            I fully agree with that.

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              #7
              But the problem is most Opticians do not understand optics at all. It is measure a PD, take a Seg Height, and take the money. Ask the majority of Opticians to find the approximate power of a lens in a given meridian and they cannot. My colleague, Roy Ferguson has more specific data on things Opticians cannot do on state board licensing exams and it is stunning. The problem with this field is the lack of education and training, and a lack of consistent definition of what an Optician is across the country. It is about more than making pretty glasses.......at least in my mind........but I suspect in most, that is about it. The field should have taken professional shape, in my opinion, but the way it is now, it is not even a standardized trade across the country. It is just a hidge-podge of people grouped together by a similar title. It is a shame we have degraded this much. Most who enter the field are like the lady in Georgia above who found a job. No real preparation needed, it seems, and that is the mistake we have made. Until folks have to pay some dues to enter this field, and we make it worth their while to do so, we will continue to spiral downward as a field.

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                #8
                Originally posted by wmcdonald View Post
                But the problem is most Opticians do not understand optics at all. It is measure a PD, take a Seg Height, and take the money. Ask the majority of Opticians to find the approximate power of a lens in a given meridian and they cannot. My colleague, Roy Ferguson has more specific data on things Opticians cannot do on state board licensing exams and it is stunning. The problem with this field is the lack of education and training, and a lack of consistent definition of what an Optician is across the country. It is about more than making pretty glasses.......at least in my mind........but I suspect in most, that is about it. The field should have taken professional shape, in my opinion, but the way it is now, it is not even a standardized trade across the country. It is just a hidge-podge of people grouped together by a similar title. It is a shame we have degraded this much. Most who enter the field are like the lady in Georgia above who found a job. No real preparation needed, it seems, and that is the mistake we have made. Until folks have to pay some dues to enter this field, and we make it worth their while to do so, we will continue to spiral downward as a field.

                I agree with this too. Wholeheartedly.
                "Strictly speaking, there are no enlightened beings; only enlightened activity." -Shunryu Suzuki

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                  #9
                  When I was in High School a gas furnace exploded in my face burning my corneas. I spent a week with both eyes patched so I learned a little bit about how the blind live. That is what sparked my interest in "optical" of some kind.
                  I went to college to learn this stuff and of course sat for all the national and state exams more then thirty years ago. So for me it was not by accident that I fell into this field (well maybe it was) but I made a conscious decision to jump into it. I took it on as a Professional trade, careerer not a "job".
                  What I have found over the years is that you can learn as much about this profession as you want, learn all the formulas of math that there is. But if you do not use those formulas on a regular basis you will forget them. Then to understand them again you must go look them up and refresh yourself.
                  The only ones who use most all the formulas and remember most of the In's and outs of the optical world are the educators of the field. Just how much of a demand is there for those type of people in this field? How often have you shared the formulas and how they work with the general public........most of the public could care less. All they want to do is see and don't care how it happens.
                  I'm just saying there is book knowledge that is learned and then forgotten because of lack of use. Then there is practical knowledge that is learned and retained because it is used every day. I dare say that everyone of us who have been around a while have on occasion stood in place with that "deer in the headlights look" or that "senior moment" because we could not recall the information off the top of our head. That does not mean that we are stupid Opticians that just means that there are many different sides of the profession. I have yet to ever find anyone who uses all of them every day.

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by wmcdonald View Post
                    But the problem is most Opticians do not understand optics at all. It is measure a PD, take a Seg Height, and take the money. Ask the majority of Opticians to find the approximate power of a lens in a given meridian and they cannot. My colleague, Roy Ferguson has more specific data on things Opticians cannot do on state board licensing exams and it is stunning. The problem with this field is the lack of education and training, and a lack of consistent definition of what an Optician is across the country. It is about more than making pretty glasses.......at least in my mind........but I suspect in most, that is about it. The field should have taken professional shape, in my opinion, but the way it is now, it is not even a standardized trade across the country. It is just a hidge-podge of people grouped together by a similar title. It is a shame we have degraded this much. Most who enter the field are like the lady in Georgia above who found a job. No real preparation needed, it seems, and that is the mistake we have made. Until folks have to pay some dues to enter this field, and we make it worth their while to do so, we will continue to spiral downward as a field.
                    Any chance optometry schools and colleges (yes, the enemah) can get involved in optician training?

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                      #11
                      Originally posted by drk View Post
                      Any chance optometry schools and colleges (yes, the enemah) can get involved in optician training?

                      That would be fantastic. I understand what some say about "book learning" vesus "experience" but I would like a nice certificate on the wall that holds a little more clout than my ABO. Even after over a decade of optical work I would gladly go back to college and finish a degree if I had to, instead of being an Art school dropout. :)
                      "Strictly speaking, there are no enlightened beings; only enlightened activity." -Shunryu Suzuki

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                        #12
                        As usual, I gotta say Right on Johns! There are many things in this thread to agree with or disagree with. Education, Yes! College Education, maybe. University education, no. Let me briefly say why on the last point. I don't think consumers are willing to pay for it. If they were, there would not exist the world of online eyewear. I wish I could go along with you wmcdonald, I just don't see it as a reality with the costs involved.

                        My two cents to the original poster, Karlen, I believe we are a Professional Trade, just as Johns described it. For Now AnyHow. As to how Opticians are percieved, that is a many sided facet. I don't think it is consistent even amongst ourselves let alone the general public. Wmcdonald describes this very well, and has a great solution, just not what I believe is a realistic solution. I'd be curious to your thoughts as you have posed an interesting question.

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                          #13
                          In the state of Washington, we can not call ourselves an optician until we sit before a state board and pass a comprehensive exam. It is Washington state that defines me as an optician. What would you define an RN as; trade or profession. To obtain my degree in opticianry, I was required to put the same amount of time in school that an RN degree requires. I consider nursing to be a profession, why would I consider what I do for a living to be anything less. Profession

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                            #14
                            Originally posted by huskypaul View Post
                            In the state of Washington, we can not call ourselves an optician until we sit before a state board and pass a comprehensive exam. It is Washington state that defines me as an optician. What would you define an RN as; trade or profession. To obtain my degree in opticianry, I was required to put the same amount of time in school that an RN degree requires. I consider nursing to be a profession, why would I consider what I do for a living to be anything less. Profession
                            You don't have to square it with any here per se.

                            But the majority of US state legislatures, and the internet completely disagree with you.

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                              #15
                              Sorta reminds me of an arguement going on now in town. A final judgement has yet to be reached after many meetings.
                              See: http://www.aikenstandard.com/article...SEARCH&slId=19

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