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Thread: What if there was no education?

  1. #1
    since 1964 Homer's Avatar
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    Question

    In times past, the major place one could get ABO CEC's was by attending a state society or an OAA convention. Now that things like the Expo, Labortories, Frame suppliers, Internet, Magazines and many other sources of CEC's exist, what will be the reason for supporting ones state society or national organization?

    I am not saying one should not support them, but if education is not their major reason to exist and education dries up as an income source, what do we see next as the major reasone for belonging and supporting and even existing?

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    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Gold Supporter Judy Canty's Avatar
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    Redhot Jumper

    If you check the mission statements of most of the state and national organizations, you'll probably find that their primary mission is legislative. The education piece is there, in my opinion, to help generate the funds these organizations need to simply exist. Most Opticians won't affiliate with an organization unless they see some tangible evidence of positive legislative activity, i.e. "What have you done for ME lately?". This becomes a vicious cycle, Opticians who won't pay dues unless they see activity that can't happen without the funds the dues provide. That being said, I also believe that state and national organizations provide the framework for networking within our profession. That kind of communication is not just beneficial on a social level, but provides invaluable professional knowledge and information sharing. OAA, the Guild, NAO and the Opticians Association of Virginia have all provided me with an outstanding network of friends and colleagues, whose advice I can call upon and trust.

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    Master OptiBoarder Joann Raytar's Avatar
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    Judy, or any other party, what kind of a push do you think it would take to have mandatory associates degrees as a requirement to practice? I know some will argue the financial side; however, if you want it bad enough and you have an accredited institution near by you can get financial aid.

    [This message has been edited by Jo (edited 03-14-2001).]

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    Cape Codger OptiBoard Gold Supporter hcjilson's Avatar
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    Dear All, I've followed the arguments for the associates degree for quite a while.There are many pros and cons, more of the former I think, and that will come particularly true as more time passes, in terms of recognition by other professions. It would be interesting to sample optiboarders to find out how the bulk of us entered this profession, either through education or apprenticeship.I became an optician through an apprenticeship but have a BBA.Having employed opticians who came in both ways I must honestly say one has no obvious advantage over the other.As far as CEC's are concerned, Judy hit it right on the head.They only serve Assn's and manufacturers,however I have always believed that any education is good education.Best from the Cape

  5. #5
    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Gold Supporter Judy Canty's Avatar
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    Redhot Jumper

    Opticians will get nowhere until we discover that there is strength in numbers. There are 65,000+ people who identify themselves as Opticians according the the Department of Labor. IF we could decide to support our national and state organizations with those kind of numbers, we would be a powerful force. Unfortunately for us, and of course fortunately for the other "O's", we allow personal agendas and stubborn independence to keep our forces divided.

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    Bad address email on file Jackie L's Avatar
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    Well said, Judy.

    Jackie O

    ------------------

    Still a Maina for now

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    Have you noticed how many state associations don't solicit the various factions of opticanry. Some for instances, some of which may be included or excluded in state groups. Independent optician, Physician employee opticians, optometric employee opticians, chain employee opticians, lab employees. No wonder we don't have strength, we know that if they are different from us they might have different interests and we couldn't get our agenda through. If we could agree on a common interest, pool our resources, etc. We would be a force. We might even get AMA ethical guidelines followed again and be wealthy independent opticians. Nah! Where would be the fun in not having excluded sub-groups to look down on.

    Chip

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    since 1964 Homer's Avatar
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    [QUOTE]Originally posted by Judy Canty:
    The education piece is there, in my opinion, to help generate the funds these organizations need to simply exist.
    ___________________________________________

    This is my point, Judy. What if education is not something that the State and National organizations can any longer depend on for an income source?

    Is there another way we can get opticians to get into the same "building" at the same time.

    I have been doing ABO Reviews for about 10 years. Now in my area there are at least two other alternatives, neither of which care to be associated with the State or National organizations.

    While it is important that we give up our personal agendas to belong to / support an organization, is it not also true that the organization (state or national) must come down from it's ivory tower and find out what the average person - who calls themselves an optician, our potential customer - wants their organization to be .... for them.

    It is the tendency of management to formulate ideas and goals that have nothing to do with what the workers want or need.

    I'm not getting on your case, Judy. I am just using this as a way to ask questions that I think need to be asked.

    Anybody else want to jump in here?

  9. #9
    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Gold Supporter Judy Canty's Avatar
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    Redhot Jumper

    I don't mean to sound flip, but this discussion is now being held on 2 forums and I just finished venting on the other one. That being said, perhaps the wants and needs of 90% of the Opticians in the US are ignored because, about 90% of the Opticians in the US are NOT members and have no voice anywhere. The only thing that seems to unite us at all is our willingness and ability to complain about the work being done by someone else.

  10. #10
    since 1964 Homer's Avatar
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    Hey, Judy, lighten up a bit.;-)
    Please indulge me. My intention was to talk about education as a funding source for state and national organizations. What if the education "tap" dries up. How will we meet the needs of potential members? What will their needs be?

    I am not upset with you. While both you and I get tired of the cry-babies and fit-throwers (I'm going to take may marbles home and not play)the roll of leadership, in my not-always-so-humble-opinion, is to be a little more pastoral and a little less dictatorial.
    Having been on boards in two states and president more than once. I see the changes. The bulk of the potential membership works for OD', MD's and Chains. A few years ago OAA "kicked out" the chains - - and a large group of opticians. My guess is that those people generally are not impressed with any of our political actions. Most hope that "somebody" will get a licensure bill through only so they can ask for more money! They have no desire to promote, improve and educate opticianry as a profession unless they can see that it will get them more take-home pay ...... soon.

    We can't go out and tell opticians that they are the problem because they don't join our group. How motivating is that? We have to "waltz" them into the bedroom where it can be good for both of us.

    Now, back to the question. If we loose the educational line of income, what will we do to survive and gain membership and pursue our political goals?

  11. #11
    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Gold Supporter Judy Canty's Avatar
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    I know you're not upset with me. Since I work alone, sometimes I just need to vent a little.
    I really don't know if any trade or professional organization can exist without providing education or some other tangible product to it's members. It may be nothing more than a nice dinner, a good speaker, some awards to hand out and the promise of your name and picture in the paper.

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    We opticians did real well when there was little or not education, and we did an apprentice ship of several years or more in the lab before we became dispensers, and before the physicians became spectacle merchants.

  13. #13
    since 1964 Homer's Avatar
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    So, Chip, ignorance is bliss?

    And knowing stuff without bragging about it and having letters after our name ... both keeps us out of trouble and allows life to be good!

    So the old days, really were good! I could go there in my mind .... If I could just remember where I filed all that stuff.

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    Homer: I didn't and don't think the apprentice trained dispenser was ignorant. I actually think that once you have made lenses in the lab and made contact lenses, etc. you have a much better understanding of what you are doing than any amount of class room training or CEC's can provide. When you grade on tests, you have courses that teach you to pass tests. When you grade on actual performance, you get performance.

    When your teachers are selling something, you learn about what they are selling, when you have exposure to all lines and products (as in the lab) you learn what is really good or shoddy.

    Chip

    I admit that the lab trained optician will probably be weak on marketing and math, but the former may be a good thing and the latter can be learned or found when needed.

    Note: After having said this you wouldn't believe the number of things spell check had to straighten me out on. Maybe I'm wrong.

  15. #15
    since 1964 Homer's Avatar
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    Hey Chip, I agree with you!

    I was saying that with a wink and my tongue in my cheek.

    Keep up the good work!

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    How will licensing help when every bill I have ever seen exempts employees of optometrists and ophthalmologists? Maybe it might help a few incompetents (it might also kick out some very competent math~weak lab trained ones like I described previously) which may or may not be employees of chains. It will not make us better (just as attending all those damn sales pitches we call continuing education doesn't make us better) and it won't mean that the doctor's office employee will be better. The competitor with the first edge on the market still won't solder or do any of the skut we have to provide or work long hours, they don't have to compete.

    Chip (dying for Judy's response) Anderson

  17. #17
    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Gold Supporter Judy Canty's Avatar
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    Chip, my response is in the General Discussion forum. I am weary of this endless bickering and am retiring from the fray. You don't see the need for education and licensure? Fine, go forth and prosper, secure in the knowledge that your barber, dental hygienist, auto mechanic, realtor, paralegal, police officer, firefighter and a host of other service professionals probably are formally educated and regulated.
    Perhaps I'll be more inclined to continue these discussions over scotch and cigars in Anaheim.

  18. #18
    since 1964 Homer's Avatar
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    Question

    Maybe what we need first is kind of union called the Eyewear Handlers of America. We then allow various specialties, such as Lab Techs (wholesale & retail), Design Techs, Adjustment / Fitting Techs ...............

    The point is that all people who might come near to calling themselves an optician would be included.

    What percent of eyewear is dispensed outside the MD, OD controlled environment? If you add national chains, what percentage is left to be dispensed by the "real" opticians? (You must understand I am not intending to be offensive here .... to anyone!)

    Until there is an organization that will represent all eyewear handlers, we will remain divided. If I were an MD,OD or Chain executive, I would just let opticianry self destruct. Just look at what happened on the "future of opticianry" thread

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    Just a thought but maybe we should include education plus apprenticeship. 28 years ago that's exactly what I had to do. My first employer said nice credentials with your state license but you have no experience in the real world. They would not allow any of there new people to deliver or order a new pair of glasses without it first being checked by some one who had at least 1 year of experience. And to tell you the truth I would not of had any other way. I have my degree and I was taught by some of those old pro's who knew optical inside and out. I do think education is valuable and without it optical will go nowhere because the other two O's will not recognize us without it.

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    Master OptiBoarder Alan W's Avatar
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    Change doesn't occur in the legislature.
    Change occurs in the marketplace.
    The public doesn't vote on using opticians.
    The public buys its services.
    Opticians are organizing to be recognized by politicians.
    Opticians should organize to market their image and service.
    Can't be done in the chambers.
    Has to be done on the channels.

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    Alan you are right on! The marketplace determines our value. If I may direct you all to a piece I wrote last year at http://www.opticourier.com/independe...2000/index.htm I'd love to hear your thoughts.
    Jim Magay

    [Note: I edited this just to add a direct link to the site Jim mentions - Steve]

    [This message has been edited by Steve Machol (edited 04-10-2001).]

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    Cape Codger OptiBoard Gold Supporter hcjilson's Avatar
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    Dear Jim-glad to see you contributing-
    Some interesting points in that article but isn't that what OAA was trying to do when it absorbed the guild to begin with?They just haven't carried it far enough because the voices of the independents are not loud enough and they lack cohesiveness.I was, however, somewhat troubled by your statement "We could conceivably do away with the need for state-by-state licensing with its energy wasting
    political corrosiveness" To what were you refering?
    Best Wishes from your friend,

    ------------------
    Harry J

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    Hi Harry,
    To put it simply, we need a "Super" license that would be accepted everywhere and would mean the same qualifications in every state. (Sort of a "Federal" license). We get easily picked off by politically sophisticated, well financed, anti licensing forces every time we use a small, weak, and innefectual state society to spearhead a licensing effort.This is getting us nowhere!

    Jim

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    Master OptiBoarder Joann Raytar's Avatar
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    Jim,

    A national license sounds like such an unreachable concept; however, the ABO and NCLE are national exams. How hard would it be to take those certification efforts one more step?

  25. #25
    since 1964 Homer's Avatar
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    In another forum I said:

    "I agree that we have been spending our time in legislative pursuits when we should have been building public consensus. There are not enough opticians in any state to really effect the outcome of an election but there are enough customers! Legislators are generally affected by polls and public opinion almost as much as they are by money.
    If we took our political funds and aimed them at the public it might have more effect - IF we could agree on the message.

    I fear, however, that the IF is so big that we might not get it done."

    And in this forum Alan clearly stated:

    "Change doesn't occur in the legislature.
    Change occurs in the marketplace.
    The public doesn't vote on using opticians.
    The public buys its services.
    Opticians are organizing to be recognized by politicians.
    Opticians should organize to market their image and service.
    Can't be done in the chambers.
    Has to be done on the channels."

    While licensure may make opticians feel better about themselves, our customers don't give a d... and our politicians are only worried about re-election and many buy their glasses at the grocery store.

    I must say that we may be barking up the wrong tree - thar ain't no coon up thar!

    I'm starting a new theread on "national licensing".


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