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Thread: State opticians associations

  1. #1
    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Gold Supporter Judy Canty's Avatar
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    State opticians associations

    What three things can your state opticians association do to attract/retain your membership?

    No rants, please. I'm looking for solid, acheiveable actions.

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    Wave

    Training programs that really teach something (as opposed to selling the latest and greatest progressive.) Things like frame repair, adjustment and fit for varying anatomy (ears, noses, etc.),. Frame shapes (keyhole bridge, saddle bridge, various temple types, etc.) Lens temple ballance. Publish charts and update them listing the various lens manufactured (Chart listing all std. depth progressives and thier various uses, virutes& Limitations. Another chart with all short corridors same information). Chart listing all special lenses such as quadrafocals and when to used them. Chart listing all bifocal another with all bifocal with virtues (acutal clear visual field in each range, etc.)

    Association that envelopes all opticians whether M.D., O.D. Independent, Chain, wannabe appretice in lab or unemployed and provides low cost membership and training for same.

    Publish a complete list of all opticians in the state with any specialties that particular optician may have. As well as a nationwide E. Mail list of all opticians with a board where one can recieve expert advise on special situations that arrive.

    Judy: Let me know if you need more.

    Chip

  3. #3
    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Gold Supporter Judy Canty's Avatar
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    Thanks, Chip. Those three are really great and pretty do-able. I especially liked your first one...sort of a "big book" concept.

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    Master OptiBoarder rbaker's Avatar
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    To echo Chips thoughts – training, training, training. Utilize the expertise that exists with the organization. Perhaps an annual ABO test prep course would be very well received and a good incentive for new membership. On the other end, why not some very advanced education perhaps partnered with a local school of nursing or medicine. The main thing is to raise your sights and provide meaningful educational opportunities and not just the typical advertising pap that has been the staple of most State Societies.

    If you have a school of opticianry in your State where do they fit into your educational program?

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    Paper Shuffler GOS_Queen's Avatar
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    Great topic!

    This last year, I have emailed my state society 5 times. I have received auto-replies to each of them saying that they will get back to me. I have had one email response back.

    I compare my state optical society to two other groups I am involved with (one is the training and development ASTD and the other is the human resource group SHRM). The websites for ASTD/SHRM are well organized. I can easily find what I am looking for. If I email, my emails are returned. All are welcomed to the websites but there are "perks" (additional things to access) for paid members to the ASTD/SHRM.

    ASTD/SHRM has monthly meetings. All are welcome. Meetings are posted even in the metro newspapers. Members pay less than non-members ($10 - $15 vs $25 -$30).

    There are SIGS and GIGS (special interest groups and geographical interest groups) so you can connect with people with similar interests or geographically. These include Newbies to the industries, people with advanced skills, specialization (like e-learning). They even have mentorship programs ~ paring up newbies with veterans.

    There are classes held twice a year for ASTD. One class is a 5 - week class for newbies to the industry. One subject each week. They have another class for senior level members. Again, one subject each week.

    SHRM has a national certification test - they provide weekly training sessions on one particular topic one night a week each week leading up to the test. Each session is $30 whether you are a member or not. Only certified people teach the classes.

    Our state optical society has nothing listed on the website for ABO/NCLE training or even when the exams are going to be held. :hammer:


    I know you didn't want any rants ... so I am sorry if my reply comes across as a rant.

    It's frustrating asking your state optical society "what can I do to help the organization " and getting absolutely no response in reply.


    Thanks for asking ~ I think it's a great topic !!!


    Karen
    "I just love the smell of Optidirt in the morning.

    Smells like------Victory." -- Uncle Fester :p


  6. #6
    Master OptiBoarder ziggy's Avatar
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    I would like to see the state org's working with each other, to form a unified voice to protect opticians. Every state is so diffrent in reguards to what "is" an optician. They should be the same. I know this is a long term goal but I feel it needs to be done. And I agree, great topic Judy!
    Paul:cheers:

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    I'm not an optician. I am an optometrist. Having said that, I'm not so sure it is the job of a state association to educate it's members in the basics. I think that is the job of an institution of higher learning, or a technical school, or even a well run apprentice program.

    I think a good state association should offer CE to it's members, though, as well as other things such as maybe health insurance, representation to the state legislature on issues affecting scope of practice, or insurance and regulatory issues that affect optical practice. A good state association should be in the business of educating the public in what is good eyecare/eyewear and how to seek out it's members.

    Just an opinion from someone who has served as his state optometric association president some time ago.

  8. #8
    Master OptiBoarder rbaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fjpod
    I'm not an optician. I am an optometrist. Having said that, I'm not so sure it is the job of a state association to educate it's members in the basics. I think that is the job of an institution of higher learning, or a technical school, or even a well run apprentice program.

    I think a good state association should offer CE to it's members, though, as well as other things such as maybe health insurance, representation to the state legislature on issues affecting scope of practice, or insurance and regulatory issues that affect optical practice. A good state association should be in the business of educating the public in what is good eyecare/eyewear and how to seek out it's members.

    Just an opinion from someone who has served as his state optometric association president some time ago.
    Opticianry is not a profession it is a trade or craft. It is more closely related to the trades of electrician or plumber than to the profession of optometry. Most trades us the apprenticeship model of education and this is usually administered by a labor union and regulated by a State legislature through appointments to a Board of Registration.

    In the absence of a meaningful National Association we find that opticianry is an abortion of state regulations, education, apprenticeships and in many states no representative presence at all.

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    If opticians had the time and money to be educated at higher learning institutions they wouldn't waste thier time becomeing opticians. They would be O.D.'s Or O.M.D.'s or anything where they didn't have to put up with such low pay, unscrupulous competion and c**p.

    Be happy that some quality people are willing to do this due to the circumstances of thier lives. Remember we were fitting contact lenses when O.D.'s were afraid to them, M.D.'s thought them too time consuming and technical and the O.D.'s didn't as a rule have slit-lamps.

    Chip

  10. #10
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    Chip, you sound angry at me. In my statement, I said institution of higher learning, OR technical school, Or a well run apprentice program. Take your pick. In NYS, many opticians graduate from an associates degree program from the City University of NY. But that is beside the point. The question was "what can state associations do to attract members?" I think I gave some well meaning suggestions. Maybe they aren't practical for opticians, but I would hope they are.

  11. #11
    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Gold Supporter Judy Canty's Avatar
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    Remember, I said no rants.

  12. #12
    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Gold Supporter Judy Canty's Avatar
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    I do believe that one of our functions is to provide some education at a basic level. We do it here in Virginia, and attract staff members from OD/MD offices who are interested in expanding their knowledge base. It is also a great way to introduce many of them to opticianry as a career and allows us to expand our membership at the same time.

    Opticianry does have a viable national organization, the Opticians Association of America, and a national organization dedicated to promoting education in the field, the National Academy of Opticianry, as well as an association of college-based Opticianry programs, the National Federation of Opticianry Schools whose programs are accredited through the Commission on Opticianry Accreditation, the only organization recognized by the US Department of Education to provide such oversight.

    Many state leaders in Opticianry either monitor or post on OptiBoard and I am trying to help them gather some insight on what could help them grow their organizations. As a former president of my state association and former OAA board member and a former COA commissioner, I know that a strong state association is an absolute necessity. While we may disagree on how well or by whom we are represented, we can at least provide some insight on what can be done better.

  13. #13
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    Judy,

    Agreed.

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    Redhot Jumper

    Perhaps a good course would be identical to the one Cougar High (U of H) had a one year course that made one an optometrist back in the early 60's. Today it wouldn't make one a licensed O.D. but it might make one quite capable as an optican, Or maybe not. That was back in the day when the W/J rep would go in and heat all the diameter gauges, stretch them so only thier lenses would check out the correct diameter. Same thing happened with plastic rulers just to mess things up for a while. I don't remembe how but thickness gauges could be manipulated as well for the same reasons.

    Oh, the good old days.

    Chip

    Sorry about the rant Judy and rbaker, but we old folk get lonely late at night and after my Long Island (the only good thing to come out of New England) Ice Tea stuff just comes out.

  15. #15
    Master OptiBoarder rbaker's Avatar
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    I have been involved in this debate since I was president of my state opticians society in 1972-73 and I have been listening to this discussion since Christ was a corporal. It is the most frustrating endeavor that I have ever been involved with. In these past years we have seen a deterioration of the skills and scope of practice of opticianry rather than the achievement of those lofty goals that we envisioned in the sixties with the advent of licensing/registration and formal education programs in some states. Some of us actually foresaw the day when graduation from a full time, two year program would be required for licensing. We also looked forward to licensing in every state. So, some of us are sitting here today quite disappointed in what opticianry has become and quite skeptical about it’s future.

    While your efforts to breath some life into state societies and the OAO is laudable I think the patient is terminal. We have too many diverse goals and agendas to come to a consensus on what opticianry is or how it should be governed. Nothing would please me more than to be proven wrong but we have had 35 years of zero progress and stagnation. All this while the group of members which had the foresight to split off from us has grown immeasurably.

    It’s difficult for me to write about this without ranting.

    Chip,

    Screw the Long Island Ice Tea. I am going to do a couple of Demerol and go for a drive with my grandchildren standing up in the back of my pickup. And. Long Island is not a part of New England.

  16. #16
    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Gold Supporter Judy Canty's Avatar
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    And that is exactly why we need to make our associations more relevant to today's Optician and why we are actively pursuing new members. Too many of us are sitting behind a dispensing table pi$$ing and moaning about the past. It's time to move on. I began this thread looking for information that would benefit state associations not whining about the past. Lets keep on topic please.

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    Master OptiBoarder ziggy's Avatar
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    The OAA should request that all state presidents should come together at one time to work a national agenda. This will be the only way trade will progress. IMHO the state org's should not worry with CEC's, for god's sake there are bunches of places to get CEC's. The state/national org's should be there to advance the profession. Sometimes we work too hard at keeping the status que(I know i miss spelled that). It's time to get on the offense and quit playing defence.

    not a rant Judy just my 2 cents
    Paul:cheers:

  18. #18
    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Gold Supporter Judy Canty's Avatar
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    That would be the OAA Leadership conference held yearly in late Jan/early Feb. Unfortunately, not every state association has the means or the interest to send a representative. This is another reason I began this thread. New/current membership = operating capital. Again lets stay on topic, please.

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    Paper Shuffler GOS_Queen's Avatar
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    I would like to know:

    1) how I can be involved

    2) how membership benefits me

    I would like to have:

    1) the website updated regularly

    2) newletters (or even email newsletters) sent out to all opticians
    (not just those who pay the annual membership ~ again, I would like
    to see what the organization is doing)

    3) inquiries should be answered professionally and promptly (vs how I received the one and only reply out of 5 that I requested information on this last year ~ I only got the word "CANCELLED" back as a reply about an event listed on the website that I inquired about)


    4) monthly or quarterly meetings that all are invited to attend

    5) SIGS and GIGS (special interest groups and geographic groups) to network with others of similar interests or geographical locations across the state


    Karen
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    Smells like------Victory." -- Uncle Fester :p


  20. #20
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    Newsletters......

    ...cost and mailing them to all is a financial burden most can't afford. Go to a meeting, talk to the folks involved, and if you agree with their direction, join. There are many professional associations Opticians can play a role in, but most choose not to do so. Leaders, listen to these posts and act accordingly. You can't do all things requested here like the newsletters to everyone (who is "all opticians"?), but make an attempt to make your organization more responsive and you will grow. We need proactive leadership and active participation to again regain our status.

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    OptiBoard Professional Karlen McLean's Avatar
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    My 2 cents

    1. A plan to bring in new membership. Not just ideas, a plan with steps that require action and results. New membership is essential to keep the organization fresh and with the times, and financially viable.
    2. Mentoring new members to help them grow in the profession and the organization. "Revolving door" boards and executive committees exisit in part because no new membership is trained to help and take over.
    3. Ask what your state members want using a simple survey via mailer, online, or phone call. Tally the results, then accomplish the three most requested.
    4. Personal contact is essential. That means a system for members to call or visit potential members on a regular basis. Sure, you may get shot down, but you'll also have some interest and sign-up. Then, you can help mentor the new members.
    5. Make sure new members in your organization are recognized, not just with a mailer and certificate, but personally. Call and thank them. Shake their hand and thank them. Most importantly, invite them to board meetings; get them involved. It may start with them checking in attendees at CE hours or being a classroom monitor, but it can go so much farther with a little attention and help.

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    1. reduce membership fees to a desirable reasonable amount so people will want to participate.

    2. Contract with optical vendors a discount program on merchandise, goods,services,etc. For being a valued member.

    3. Buy an anunity with ongoing membership fees to create revenues for programs that will help the association and its members when additional funds are needed for emergency purposes.

  23. #23
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    Hi Guys:
    Here's a survey I did in Tennessee a few years ago. The format may be of assistance to you.
    The purpose of this survey is to collect suggestions as to how the TDOA can better serve its membership. Please take a few minutes and complete this questionnaire.


    1. Are you a member of the Tennessee Dispensing Opticians Association (TDOA)? YES [ ] NO [ ]



    2. If you answered NO to question 1, why are you not a member? Use the back of the form.



    PLEASE RATE THE FOLLOWING TDOA AREAS

    (1. Definitely satisfied, 2. Satisfied, 3. Neutral, 4. Not satisfied, 5. Definitely not satisfied).


    3. Continuing Education 4. Political Representation

    5. Newsletter 6. Local Chapter

    7. President 8. Vice-President

    9. Officers 10. Directors

    11. Support for Formal Education 12. Legislative Efforts

    13. Contact Lens Review Course 14. Spectacle Review Course

    15. Overall Member Services



    16. In your opinion, where should the TDOA headquarters be located? Choose one.

    Maryville [ ] Bristol [ ] Knoxville [ ] Chattanooga [ ] Nashville [ ] Memphis [ ]



    17. What two (2) things do you like best about the TDOA?



    1.



    2.



    18. What two (2) things do you like least about the TDOA?



    1.


    2.


    19. Please list two (2) changes you would like the TDOA to make.



    1.



    2.



    20. Please give the names of two opticians you would like to nominate to the TDOA Board of Directors.



    1.

    2.


    21. Who would you nominate for the Tennessee Board of Dispensing Opticians (Licensing Board)?







    22. What comments do you have regarding TDOA Continuing Education?
    Use the back of the form.


    23. What is your opinion regarding support the TDOA has provided formal education and the Roane State Community College Opticianry Program? Please indicate if you are a graduate of the RSCC program. Use the back of the form.



    24. Do you feel the TDOA represents your best interests? YES [ ] NO [ ] Please comment.



    Thank you for your efforts. I will compile and forward the results to the TDOA.

  24. #24
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    Hi Guys:
    Here's a survey I did in Tennessee a few years ago. The format may be of assistance to you.



    The purpose of this survey is to collect suggestions as to how the TDOA can better serve its membership. Please take a few minutes and complete this questionnaire.




    1. Are you a member of the Tennessee Dispensing Opticians Association (TDOA)? YES [ ] NO [ ]

    2. If you answered NO to question 1, why are you not a member? Use the back of the form.

    PLEASE RATE THE FOLLOWING TDOA AREAS

    (1. Definitely satisfied, 2. Satisfied, 3. Neutral, 4. Not satisfied, 5. Definitely not satisfied).

    3. Continuing Education 4. Political Representation
    5. Newsletter 6. Local Chapter
    7. President 8. Vice-President
    9. Officers 10. Directors
    11. Support for Formal Education 12. Legislative Efforts
    13. Contact Lens Review Course 14. Spectacle Review Course
    15. Overall Member Services

    16. In your opinion, where should the TDOA headquarters be located? Choose one.

    Maryville [ ] Bristol [ ] Knoxville [ ] Chattanooga [ ] Nashville [ ] Memphis [ ]

    17. What two (2) things do you like best about the TDOA?

    1.

    2.

    18. What two (2) things do you like least about the TDOA?
    1.

    2.

    19. Please list two (2) changes you would like the TDOA to make.
    1.

    2.

    20. Please give the names of two opticians you would like to nominate to the TDOA Board of Directors.
    1.

    2.

    21. Who would you nominate for the Tennessee Board of Dispensing Opticians (Licensing Board)?

    22. What comments do you have regarding TDOA Continuing Education?
    Use the back of the form.

    23. What is your opinion regarding support the TDOA has provided formal education and the Roane State Community College Opticianry Program? Please indicate if you are a graduate of the RSCC program. Use the back of the form.

    24. Do you feel the TDOA represents your best interests? YES [ ] NO [ ] Please comment.

    Thank you for your efforts. I will compile and forward the results to the TDOA.
    Last edited by Roy R. Ferguson; 11-02-2005 at 10:21 AM. Reason: Typos

  25. #25
    Master OptiBoarder Snitgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Judy Canty
    What three things can your state opticians association do to attract/retain your membership?

    No rants, please. I'm looking for solid, acheiveable actions.
    1st thing
    They can create a representative that can go from office to office letting Opticians know they exist! ←just like a frame rep does.

    2nd thing – they can attend CE’s and have their little table educating Opticians that they exist! ←just like the lab and manufactures do.


    3rd thing … I am off to work so I will have to post later…

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