View Poll Results: Should Opticians Refract

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  • Yes (unequivocally, with no supervision or restrictions)- with formal training

    104 37.14%
  • Yes (with no supervision, but with restrictions as to whom can be seen)

    56 20.00%
  • Yes (with supervision)

    54 19.29%
  • No (because there is no need for Opticians to refract)

    54 19.29%
  • No (Opticians are not capable of refracting)

    12 4.29%
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Thread: Should Opticians Refract - The Poll

  1. #101
    sub specie aeternitatis Pete Hanlin's Avatar
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    BTW, Do you know if American opticianry qualifications like ABOM, NCLE are recognized outside of North America? I know of British optical qualification FBDO (CL) is immediately granted recognition world-wide.
    I do not believe the ABOC, NCLC, or ABOM is recognized outside of the United States. I had the occasion to investigate the requirements Opticians in the U.K. are subjected to and was favorably impressed.

    Without casting dispersions, I believe Dannyboy may have a point regarding the relative "uniqueness" of the US eye care market. On the other hand, I believe Optom's point is very valid- the level of education usually corresponds pretty well to the level of care. In that case, Optometrists have it all over Opticianry in the US. If the profession of Opticianry wants to do something about that, the answer is as close as the nearest college with an Opticianry program (in my case, Hillsborough Community College- right across town).

    I think it is generally accepted that Florida has one of the more stringent licensing laws here in the United States. Unfortunately, until the apprenticeship loophole is closed and only formal eduction is allowed (and I publically recognize the hypocrisy of this statement- since I qualified for the boards based on experience in the field and didn't even formally apprentice), I think even here we are destined to being delegated to "second-class" status in the healthcare community.

  2. #102
    Master OptiBoarder
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    Excellent Comment, Pete

    You recognize to need to move forward educationally. While you did not study Opticianry formally, you are certainly educated. You studied and learned and applied the knowledge. That worked in years past, but not any longer. We need for the profession to move forward as a whole, not one by one, and a degree is the answer. Education is the key to our survival. It is the only way for us to get anywhere in today's environment, and I sense more and more people finally realize it. The system has outgrown apprenticeship, and it's time is long past as most professions have recognized.

    Warren

  3. #103
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    Big Smile SOME OPTICIANS ARE COMPULSIVELY OBSESSED WITH OD's

    Dannyboy,
    Honestly,you lack knowledge of profession of optometry inside and outside of USA. I don't like to keep arguing over and over the same issue because people might not notice the difference
    However, FYFI:
    1)My colleagues from Tanzania with local diploma of optometry have graduated from Newenco with OD degree, spending just under 2 years at Boston.
    2)I have a fellow optometrist friend from South Africa practising optometry in Ontario,Canada with his South African qualification Dip.Optom.,FOA(SA).He has no OD degree.
    3)European opticians and optometrist now have freedom of movement under EEA,and their syllabuses is almost same.There is also single European diploma of optometry examinations held in France and England.For further information refer to ECOO.
    Concerning myself:
    1) I am optometrist for 20 years now.
    2)I have been resident of USA and Canada and do often visit there for optometric congresses and sit on public health & regulatory commitees.
    I trust over a time,you will gain knowledge of optometry profession within US and internationally.
    Regards,
    Optom

  4. #104
    OptiBoard Professional Dannyboy's Avatar
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    Newenco and University of Houston have programs for international students but it is a lenghthy process. Your friend must have an undergraduate degree in order to qualify for the OD degree. It is a total of 8 years. Anyway you sliced and diced. Visit the website on a foreign tained OD and you may understand what are the prerequisites for an OD degree here in the United States.

    http://www.medical-colleges.net/optometric.htm

    Maybe then you will understand the paths to validate your education here in the United States.

    Sincerely,

    Dannyboy:
    :)

  5. #105
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    Gee: Danny

    I can remember when you could get an O.D. degree at Cougar high with a high-school diploma and a year at Cougar.

    Chip

  6. #106
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    hehe:D :D
    dog n cat battle till day of judgement!!!

  7. #107
    Manuf. Lens Surface Treatments
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    Doctors Dregree ...............................

    chip anderson said:
    Gee: Danny

    I can remember when you could get an O.D. degree at Cougar high with a high-school diploma and a year at Cougar.

    Chip


    I can remember when the College of Optometry of Philadelphia sold Doctor of Optometry titles to anybody outside the USA who had some degree in the optical trade as far back as 1962. They used to advertise in European trade magazines. Cost was if I remember right, somewhere around $ 1500.00

    Optometrists in Quebec went to the college of optometriy which was run by 5 or 6 optometrists as private school and after 3 years passed the exams and had the title Optometrist, but as it was a private school they could not get the doctorate.

    All the old Optometrists in the province of Quebec had the framed title of doctor from the College of Optometry of Philadelphia hanging in their offices.
    Last edited by Chris Ryser; 08-29-2003 at 07:26 AM.
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  8. #108
    Master OptiBoarder Joann Raytar's Avatar
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    Chis,

    Year back someone told me that even to become an Optician in Canada required formal education and a $700 license. Is the true or still the case?

  9. #109
    Master OptiBoarder Shwing's Avatar
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    Jo, yes, sort of.


    You must complete a training program through an accredited school {there are four: NAIT(distance delivery), Douglas College (Vancouver), Gerogian and Seneca Colleges (Ontario)}.

    These range in price and length of time, based on individual provincial regulations. That is, in Ontario, one must have training in, and hold licensure for both eyeglasses and contact lenses. The rest of the country does not require dual licensure. The NAIT program (by example, as it is the only nation-wide school, training Canada's opticians in 9 of the 10 provinces) is a two year course of study for your Eyeglasses certificate and another two years for contacts. Georgian is 2 years. One major difference is that through Georgian (and Douglas) you are a full-time/ day student whereas thru NAIT, you are actually working while taking your studies, so while it may take a bit longer thru NAIT (for both certificates, if you wish to obtain both), you are actually in the industry the whole time, both learning the profession first hand as well as earning a living.

    As for licensure, the NACOR exam is the recognized standard across the country. It is run one to two times per year in each province and is mandatory to obtain your license (which you must have to practice anywhere in Canada). Price is about $700; then add your initial fees and annual fees to the regulatory body.

    Here are a couple of pertinant web sites:

    www.nait.ca/optical
    www.naco.ca
    Shwing

  10. #110
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    Shwing,

    This is a bit off topic, but I have a question. My understanding is that one can choose to study the eyeglass component alone, or study eyeglasses and contact lens fitting. Is it possible to study the contact lens component alone as well?

  11. #111
    Master OptiBoarder Jedi's Avatar
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    Mlm,
    A prerequisite for the contact lens program is the student must be a licensed optician. This also applies to students wanting to take the refracting course as well. Students wishing to take both courses at the same time are unable to do so. Ian can probably clarify this for me, but I do believe a student is able to take the contact lens portion as well as the refracting portion at the same time.
    "It's not impossible. I used to bull's-eye womp rats in my T-16 back home."


  12. #112
    Cape Codger OptiBoard Gold Supporter hcjilson's Avatar
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    Ian's away....

    but I emailed him a link to this thread. He'll see it when he returns and I am sure will make a post.
    hj
    "Always laugh when you can. It is a cheap medicine"
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  13. #113
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    didn't see anything about TPA studies. (theraputics)

  14. #114
    OptiBoard Apprentice
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    The primary issue with optician's refracting is the impact on public health. Two questions:
    1. Are there no available locations for a patient to obtain a refraction without allowing opticians to independently refract. Answer No, in almost no part of the country is this true.
    2. Since the majority of people get their refraction in conjunction with an eye health evaluation (which on its own would likely bring in significantly less patients) can opticians perform eye health evaluations? Answer No, they are not trained to do so. So the net effect of independent opticians refracting from a public health standpoint would be: less people getting eye health evaluations. The irony: this board points out the breadth of information that a good optician knows and the value of a good optician. These are things that optometrists and certainly ophthalmologists do not know. The primary issue is not can an optician refract, because technically they probably can, the primary issue is why do people with an extensive valuable knowledge base like a good optician has get paid little enough to drive the desire to refract.

  15. #115
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    I,personally, don't need the extra agrivation. Opticians shoould stick with what they do best. Same goes for ODs and MDs.ODs refract and MDs cut.

  16. #116
    Manuf. Lens Surface Treatments
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    2 answers in one shot.............................

    Quote Originally Posted by Jo
    Chis,

    Year back someone told me that even to become an Optician in Canada required formal education and a $700 license. Is the true or still the case?
    Old post I never answered.

    Each Province in Canada has its own licensing rules and I am not too familiar with it. I am sure that some of the active Canadian Optiboarders are more qualified to answer this question.
    \----------------

    However in Europe most opticians will do refractions if they have a masters degree. Which takes a few years of courses.

    I doubt that in the USA which has some many states were opticianry is a free for all profession it could work. You would need a secert police force to enforce the profession as probably every Dick and Henri would start testing eyes.
    Chris Ryser
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  17. #117
    Master OptiBoarder
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    Degree

    Opticians in Europe have various requirements, but a Master's degree is not one of them. In fact, in Germany training is accomplished by a rigorous apprenticeship, and Opticians do refract. Optometry is just now making their way to Germany. In other parts of Europe, education and training vary, but typically our system of education does not apply there. For example, they have no Associate Degree, which is indigenous to the US alone. In many parts of the world Optometry is still a 2-3 year program (for example India), but one thing I can clearly say is that Optometry is moving ahead educationally, while Opticians continue to argue among themselves about the value of education and whay anyone would even want to do more that "sell eyewear". Imagine the lunacy of anyone seeking to learn and do more! How silly.

    As to the the extra aggravation, refraction will not be for everyone, It will require extra education and training, and a higher level of responsibility. If someone does not want to provide those services, OK, but please consider supporting those who seek to move ahead.

  18. #118
    Manuf. Lens Surface Treatments
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    Respectfully disagree...........................

    Quote Originally Posted by wmcdonald

    Opticians in Europe have various requirements, but a Master's degree is not one of them.
    Above statement is incorrect, I am originally from there and have personally gone through the mill all the way.
    Chris Ryser
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  19. #119
    Master OptiBoarder
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    Research indicates different information

    My recent research into the training requirements in Germany are the basis for my statement. Doing a google search for Opticians training requirements indicate the following link:
    http://64.233.179.104/search?q=cache...+Germany&hl=en

    I hope this is clear, and did not want to debate the subject, but I could not find eveidence of a degree program, and in fact found a long-standing apprentice-type program. I hope this clarifies my point.

  20. #120
    OptiBoard Professional Dannyboy's Avatar
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    Education

    Opticianry is starting to fade mainly because independent opticians are closing their doors. It hard to start a business in which every independent prescriber is now a dispenser. The prospect of employment for opticians that attend school is "going to work for the chains" and hopefully move into management. Maybe the schools would get a hint and move the education level to a bachelor degree in management with a minor in Opticianry...It would put opticians at the desired pay scale to afford more influential national associations.

    Unless, independent opticians and chains start to change the way they practice our days are counted. It should be routine for patients to go to opticians who provide full spectrum opticianry. Full spectrum opticianry includes opticians who do the fitting of eyeglasses, contact lenses (real fitting not insertion and removal) and low vision aids.
    Refracting seems like a logical step for opticians to follow.

    We have an advantage that the 2 other O's do not have. Opticians work cheap. No other profession gives away more professional services than we do. We adjust and repair frames the majority of the time for free. Why not put into legislation that we also refract for free? Just imagine the reaction optometry would get...Ill bet legislators would find it hard to deny our next logical step...Anyway, the money is not there( in refraction) and optometry knows thats (when was the last time you saw an optometrists without a dispensary?) Our leaders (I know for a fact that they do read optiboard) should take note.

    Optometry protects refraction because it is the gatekeeper to opticianry....and if we get it. it would put the 3 O's at the same playing level. In states that require no license to dispense, refracting should not require a license. Ill bet then Optometry would endorse Opticianry bills.


    Dannyboy

  21. #121
    Master OptiBoarder Shwing's Avatar
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    Uh huh.

    Dannyboy, interesting point. Unfortunately, the OD's are a nefarious group out to do one of two things: promote their own interests; or keep the rest down (or both if possible).

    Proof:

    The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) has an Optical Sciences program that is the standard for Canada and is acclaimed internationally (sidebar- maybe it should be offered in the US?)

    About 4 years ago, NAIT and Athabasca University inked a linkage agreement regarding the opticianry programs. Specifically, Athabasca U (a primarily distance education university, much like U of Phoenix) offered to award 45 credits towards the 90 necessary to receive a B. of Business Administration, if and when the optician completed both the Eyeglasses and Contact Lens programs at NAIT.

    Cool! An optician with a degree! I was on that path. Then about 3 years ago, Optometry confronted Athabasca with nothing more than NAIT's calendar of courses, and pointed out (think: strong armed) that the NAIT program was this and that and not worthy of university degree credits (I won't bore you with the details).

    So, what happened? The University recinded the agreement, oops, sorry.

    Why did Optometry do this? Good question.

    For no other reason than spite. This didn't affect scope of practice nor any other usual political bull****. Optometry did this soley because they could; to kick us in the nuts again; 'cuz God knows what the world would come to if opticians were able to gain more education and be looked upon as a partner in the industry...

    A$$holes.

    Sincerely and respectfully,
    Shwing

  22. #122
    Master OptiBoarder Shwing's Avatar
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    Grrr

    Grrr. Now I'm mad again..

    I think I will try and get a copy of the letter from the OD's to the University and post it here. I was remeinded by Dr. Ferguson's post on a different thread that we can use this board for more than just chitchat. We can use this board for the purpose Steve probably didn't intend: Advancement in the communications between opticians that we may all further our profession and thereby the public well-being.

    Not to air dirty laundry, but I think we should start a new forum; one where all the bullsh^t the OD's try and fling could be posited, along with the appropriate response.

    That way we will all know who is doing what why.

    Thoughts?

    Steve, would you be willing to open a new forum?
    Shwing

  23. #123
    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    This is the granddaddy of all posts. Old and long-in-the-tooth.

    Some thoughts as an optician-friendly OD, who really knows what he's talking about when it comes to vision care:

    1.) There are certainly no absolute reasons as to why opticians shouldn't "refract" (such as: it is the divine right of ODs), or shouldn't increase their education.

    2.) "Refraction" is a tremendously misunderstood term. It's a bad term, really. Opticians that want to "refract" really mean that they want to provide "vision care". There is a huge difference, and I don't feel the need to go into great detail there, but think about it. A reasonable scope of practice for Opticianry has not been spelled out by anyone here, and the truth is I don't think anyone here has the experience to do it. I've heard silly comments from smart opticians.

    3.) From a state legislature's (USA) perspective (those of us who are elected by us to protect us), why should Opticianry's scope be expanded? Is the population underserved in the vision care arena? And if so, why shouldn't the existing vision care professions increase their number? Why should a "new" or "expanded" profession be formed? Are vision-care costs out of control, and will a reduced service level provide relief?


    Those are the salient arguments. The state legislatures are not motivated to just "allow competition", or "make things fair". They need a real reason to go out on a limb.

    I am not a hypocrite. Optometry was successful answering all those questions in order to expand it's scope.

  24. #124
    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Gold Supporter Judy Canty's Avatar
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    What is so frightening about an educated and regulated Optician?

  25. #125
    Pomposity! Spexvet's Avatar
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    I will go on record: I do not want to refract.


    I would like a level playing field, though. For example: Opticians should be able to hire ODs. ODs should be required to have a Licensed Optician on the premises at all times, the OD license should not cover the shop.

    The time of the independant optician, not associated with a doctor, is truly fading. And it's not all due to us. More wealthy factions are crowding us out: big chains, ODs, and MDs. They have the financial resources to do things that we cannot do. Licensing in every state would help. If big business, MDs, and ODs had to pay licensed wages to every employee, their labor costs would be approximately the same as an individual business owner's.
    ...Just ask me...

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