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  • Arizona Opticians licensing

    Here we go again with a new house bill to try to eliminate Opticians license in Arizona!
    HB2740 has been introduced last week and has 10 representatives who will be considering repealing the board.
    If we have any Az licensed opticians, we need to get this info out and contact rep Hendricks at the Az legislator.

  • #2
    Counterpoint: Welcome licensure removal. Why? Then all regulations that keep opticians from earning their true potential as individual entrepreneurs go away. If online business vendors can enjoy such advantages, why not opticians and stylists within a state.

    Discussion.

    Comment


    • #3
      "If you can't beat them, join them"???

      Discussion: the public suffers. The legislature is paid for by the commercial outlets.

      Eventually licensure wins out, someday. "True potential" is a loaded term.

      Comment


      • #4
        Licensure only ensures the public of an entry-level set of skills. At the same time, it has kept passionate and talented opticians from being their own boss and earning what they are truly worth—which is not happening for 99% when they are employed. If the public “suffers,” then the free market will redirect tgem to those who excel and satisfy.

        B

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        • #5
          Barry, licensure does guarantee at least something. In the majority of states in this country this country to use the title Optician set the bar for all of us! A PULSE. There is strong evidence here regularly that people who post here, and see themselves as professionals, can't understand basic optics!

          Here is the bottom line. As you in particular know, I have fought this battle far too long. I do not feel Licensure will happen in another states, and soon some will fall. When one goes, others will follow. It's been coming, and warnings have been loud.

          There is a wonderful opportunity and modeled after CPAs. Being a CPA in most jurisdictions is not required but sets the standard across the country. We have that model now. If an Optician (capital O) wishes to standout, and position themselves better, there will be opportunities. That was the impetus for developing the Society to Advance Opticianry years ago. I had commitments from OAA to support this movement, but they did not want another membership organization! Those who now lead that group, have members. I wanted recognition for these people who go above and beyond. When they started selling membership, I left!

          Today, there are new Certificate Programs, online and easily accessible. I'm developing one now. There are ways to learn, and remember it you feel education is expensive, try ignorance. We've been the Wizard of Oz fooling the people far too long.

          But friend, things are changing. I met some people at OAA Leadership last year. Young, bright and energetic. They look at Opticianry in a professional light, and these folks are making positive changes! They gave me hope for a brighter future!

          I'm attending Leadership again next week and look forward to seeing these new young leaders!
          Last edited by wmcdonald; 02-11-2024, 05:59 AM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi wm,
            this has been tried before in Az and hasn't gotten passed, but this time they seem to be attempting to sneak it though quickly and quietly. Even the house bill has no text other than the headline to repeal the board. I've tried to do my part by writing emails to the Az governor and the bill sponsors in my district as well as getting the word out to as many licensed opticians in Az. Sadly, many won't take it serious until they no longer have a license to protect.
            As the current investigator for the Az opticians board, I've seen some pretty serious violations that would go unchecked and very possibly cause harm to the patients.
            I've been looking into relocating to North Carolina but I'm not sure I would continue working in the field..

            Comment


            • #7
              It's been tried regularly and funded by large corporate interests. I am not sure what harm can occur, but licensure is limited to about 20 states now. If one falls, others will follow. Coming to NC- we have a lot of openings over here for corporates, and others. If I can help in any way, let me know. Licensure here is stiff, but that's a good thing, overall.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by varmint View Post
                As the current investigator for the Az opticians board, I've seen some pretty serious violations that would go unchecked and very possibly cause harm to the patients..
                Could you detail more specifically what the “harm” would be to these patients?

                My issue with licensure is how it restricts opticians from becoming entrepreneurs. If online vendors can sell into states with no prospect of regulation, then I suppose we would see many more complaints of “harm.”

                But we’re not. Discomfort and dissatisfaction yes. Harm no.

                B

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                • #9
                  How about going into the trial contact lenses and giving contacts to a pt without a doctor's prescription or even an eye exam for apt who never wore cl. Not even giving any instruction on how to insert/ remove or care?
                  Maybe that pt ends up with a serious eye infection or worse as the contacts are not suitable or compatible for this pt? Could that cause harm?
                  Or how about taking a doctor's rx and trial framing and changing the rx because you believe the doctor doesn't know how to refract? Who's got the liability if the pt had an accident because their vision was not what it should be since you decided to undercorrect what the Dr asked for?
                  I've experienced both of these scenarios with my investigations.
                  These are only 2 that I've been involved with.
                  I disagree that an unqualified dispenser can't cause harm. Arizona is also heavily populated with seniors who a lot of times have more difficult prescriptions.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Barry, Are you ok with online venders selling contacts without an Rx, or being able to walk into any of the local smoke shops and buying contacts without an Rx? Our board is continuously investigating smoke shops, gas station convenience store, t-shirt shops, and other for this. One stops and another starts up across the street. I even watched a group of teens at a swap meet booth trying on lenses and taking them out to let the others try on the same lens! I even went into a smoke shop and purchased a pair without an Rx and asked if I needed an Rx and was told no. I thought NY was a strict licensed state, does this not happen there?

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                    • #11
                      Update today... board members spoke to the bill sponsor ahead of todays house session and learned they are trying to eliminate the optician board while moving the rules/statutes to be overseen by the optometry board. Of course the optometry board hasn't been made aware of this yet. For today the bill was tabled but will be discussed on a near future agenda.

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                      • #12
                        In Europe, contacts are routinely dispensed from vending machines.
                        Where are the bodies?

                        B

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                        • #13
                          If CLs become commodities there will be problems.

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                          • #14
                            Are we saying contacts should just be de-regulated and the FDA should step aside and let anyone dispense contacts with or without a doctors rx? Why have any regulation for our profession. Maybe it's just the people in Europe are immune to eye infections and such and can wear any contacts no matter if they fit or not.
                            It almost sounds like you are against opticians having any education or training. Anyone can do it, right?
                            I'm just not sure what point you are making, Barry.
                            Originally posted by Barry Santini View Post
                            In Europe, contacts are routinely dispensed from vending machines.
                            Where are the bodies?

                            B

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I have the same thought every time this discussion comes up. I have worked in this field since 2011. I graduated college with a BA in 2010 but post-recession, my desired field pretty much went belly up and I had to find SOMETHING to support myself and pay off my student loans. I ended up getting hired by a regional optical chain on 2011. I didn't grow up dreaming of being in eyecare. It's just what was available. I think that's the case for a lot of people who are working as "dispensing opticians" who aren't licensed or certified. This was a job that was hiring and we took it. I started out at $0.50 above minimum wage.

                              I am hoping to pass the ABO in March and finally be certified. Pennsylvania is not a licensed state. When I first moved from technician/front desk staff to optical, I didn't even get a pay raise. And no one offered me any really training beyond what to sell and the bare bones training on taking segment heights. I had no idea WHY I was doing things; I just knew this is what I am supposed to do so I'd do it. I think a lot of people here own their own optical shop. If you are just an employed optician, the average pay rate is not that great. Until last year, I didn't earn enough to live on my own. My pay would not cover all my bills and rent. I know many others are in the same boat. So, unless you are required to get licensed and/or certified, what's the motivation? If it was required, it would give those skilled and knowledgeable enough to pass tests and obtain licensure a leg up. Those opticians would be rarer and could command a higher pay rate. This is a trade that does require skills and expertise. And learning all the stuff required to pass the ABO or obtain state licensure ensures you understand the concepts of optics, which in turn ensures better care for patients/customers. In the past year or so that I have been studying, I feel WAY more confident in myself, even if some people still like to put those of us who aren't as knowledgeable or experienced down as just warm bodies fulfilling a role. Those warm bodies are people who happened to get into this field and want to pay their bills.

                              Just my thoughts though. I get frustrated seeing disparaging comments. Employers need to do better at training new employees if they have no experience and incentivizing them to pursue further education by making it worth their while. I think we ought to earn more than someone working in a non-skilled/non-trade field. Right now, our local McDonalds is paying more per hour than the chain optical/optometry offices here pay. That's pretty sad. Big chains are making profits hand over foot and buying up all the independents but claim they can't afford to pay their employees a liveable wage. You're not going to draw in passionate, skilled, caring employees when the pay is low.

                              Most of us will never make enough to even think of opening our own opticals and becoming owners. What if this was a field that actually paid a little more for the skill and expertise, like nursing or even medical assistants?
                              :spin:Krystle:spin:

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