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. #151
    Just An Optician jediron1's Avatar
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    drk you hit the nail on the head! I have no idea where WCD is coming from. For
    years he was ranting and raving that we need education so that it can further
    the gains toward a Union wide (USA all states) license, then he comes out with this riduculous statement. makes you wonder what is in the drinking water in N.C.

  2. #152
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    Sell is the key

    Only 22 states require licensure, which by the way I STRONGLY support. So over half the states have exactly 0 requirements to be an Optician. It is the "sell glasses" I was attempting to rebut. Opticians need to be able to much more than 'sell glasses". Rx interpretation, etc. is important. While I readily admit to ranting about eduication, I have never even discussed a national license. Anyone who understands licensure at all knows it is a state that issues a license. I have been active in attempting to define what Opticians are and can do nationwide through commonality of training, which means an education. We will never find common ground until all Opticians have similar backgrounds.

    If you read my comments on this thread, I have actually said something similar to DRK. I do not think he understand what many of the larger operations look for in an Optician. The one who "sells" the most is the best Optician. They may not understand the optics involved in the case, but they were able to sell up with AR and high index material. He indicated we might do some terrible harm if we do refraction, and if he means as we currently exist, I agree. If you read my posts, I stated we need to EDUCATE prior to attempting anything.

    I do not belittle what Opticians do every day if they know what they are doing, but often those of us tasked with Rx analysis can't even find the power of a lens in a meridian. Sadly there is such confusion over what our role is from jurisdiction to jurisdiction that most independents are long gone. An add in my local paper last week was for an Optician/Optometric Assistant. No training required; will provide on-the-job training. That is becoming the norm, not the exception. We allowed ourselves to go the way of the independent pharmacist, and we did it becauswe we wanted to remain status quo. We did not push the envelope to new ares of service, but were content. As the world evolved and the chain stores that dominate today came into being, we continued to lose many of the skills we used to use daily. Contact lenses in the 70s were largely done by Opticians. Today that is not the case. Even lab work is being eliminated by many larger chains for the remote systems that eliminate the need to someone skilled in surfacing and/or edging. All I am saying is that we can do more with education. The semantics of refraction-only services can be completely eliminated with the right education and training. After all, look at Optometry. 50 years ago they went through the same thing; still are in some regards.

    I said I would not comment further, but I did anyway. I appreciate everyones comments, because open debate is good. But how can anyone deny us an education? How can anyone debate the need for one? Just like our OD colleagues, we have the right to learn and expand. As they move into a medical model, there is room for us to expand and we should.

  3. #153
    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    The future of independent Opticianry lies in three possible directions:
    1.) Status quo
    2.) Become a third type of eye doctor (drop this refraction stuff and go whole hog)
    3.) Partner with doctors.

    I think status quo is not good. I agree that non-licensed states are a problem. Uniform licensure requirements would bolster the profession without a doubt. I know that this is met with resistance from chains and OD's. That's a sad state of affairs, and I would wholeheartedly support licensure in any state.

    Becoming a third type of eye Dr. is a ridiculous point, but that's what "refracting opticians" should actually be pushing for, if they were to make any sense whatsoever. I discount this out-of-hand.

    Partnering with Dr.s is the key, IMO. One giant reason there are fewer and fewer independent opticians and independent CL fitting opticans is that it's inconvenient to need to go two places. I repeat, the weakening of the opticianry profession is it's "independence", when it should be focusing on "interdependence" .

    I see another scenario:
    I think opticians should be allowed in all states to go into partnership with ODs and MDs. Right now, at least in my state, and OD can be employed by an MD, but not be in partnership. An OD cannot be a partner with an optician. Why? I guess to "protect" the MDs and ODs from soiling themselves with such associations. I think it's poppycock. Those laws need reversed everwhere they exist.

    What could be more fruitful and rewarding than a group of professionals, each with their areas of expertise (which, in this context, could include CL fitting and refraction by a duly-licensed optician)? Not just an employment situation (unless that were the preference) but an equity situation.

    Optometry is certainly moving into the medical direction and vacating vision care. The opportunity for everyone to win-win is huge.

  4. #154
    Master OptiBoarder
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    Now we are on the right path....

    If you read my posts on this thread, I suggested a mid-level practice role. This is what I intended. A partnership with other Os. All I ever wanted is an opportunity for my people to do more; to make themselves more useful. Opticians have much to offer, and I deeply appreciate your response. If we all sit down to discuss issues, good things can happen.

  5. #155
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    Quote Originally Posted by drk
    Partnering with Dr.s is the key, IMO. One giant reason there are fewer and fewer independent opticians and independent CL fitting opticans is that it's inconvenient to need to go two places. I repeat, the weakening of the opticianry profession is it's "independence", when it should be focusing on "interdependence" .
    ...

    Quote Originally Posted by drk
    I see another scenario:
    I think opticians should be allowed in all states to go into partnership with ODs and MDs. Right now, at least in my state, and OD can be employed by an MD, but not be in partnership. An OD cannot be a partner with an optician. Why? I guess to "protect" the MDs and ODs from soiling themselves with such associations. I think it's poppycock. Those laws need reversed everwhere they exist.
    I agree 100%. Those laws are generally the same in my state. My impression was that they are in place to "protect" independent optometry, but I think it's making it worse for us (and the independent opticians!).

  6. #156
    Master OptiBoarder ziggy's Avatar
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    1968 & drk are not the norm within the OD world(this is of course MHO). It would be nice to think that Opticians, OD's, and MD's would do what they were trained to do. But we humans are an envious lot, most of us want what someone else has(or does). It should (IMO) be unlawful for OD/ MD's to manufacture or sell eyeware or own an intrest in a shop that does. This would solve the issue.
    Paul:cheers:

  7. #157
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    Last edited by Joe Stella; 03-28-2005 at 06:23 PM.

  8. #158
    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ziggy
    1968 & drk are not the norm within the OD world(this is of course MHO). It would be nice to think that Opticians, OD's, and MD's would do what they were trained to do. But we humans are an envious lot, most of us want what someone else has(or does). It should (IMO) be unlawful for OD/ MD's to manufacture or sell eyeware or own an intrest in a shop that does. This would solve the issue.
    Ouch, Paul, with friends like you, who needs an enemy?! :)

    Diagnosing a problem and then providing a treatment is not unethical.

    Look at it this way:

    Ophthalmologist:
    Problem: vision
    Treatment: glasses, contacts ($)

    Problem: infection
    Treatment: medicine (no $, unless you are a hospital, then big $!)

    Problem: glaucoma
    Treatment: surgery ($)

    Problem: undetermined
    "Treatment": more testing ($)

    What is unethical about providing treatment? Yes, there is abuse, but isn't your suggestion akin to using a sledgehammer to kill a fly?

    Do you feel it would be better for your wife's OB to refer her to another OB when he determines she needs a C-section? When she needs amniocentesis? Where does all that stop?

    Let's depend upon the professional's ethics. ISN'T THAT WHAT BEING A PROFESSIONAL IS ALL ABOUT; DOING WHAT'S RIGHT, REGARDLESS OF FINANCIAL IMPACT?

    I guess you don't trust us OD's and those MD's to do the right thing.

    BTW, notice that my solution to the problem appeals to everone's best professional ethics, and eliminates a cynical law that presupposes malfeasance with certain business arrangements.

    Paul, I love you, man, but you are asking for it both ways!

  9. #159
    Pomposity! Spexvet's Avatar
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    I posted this before (#125), but you may have missed it:

    Quote Originally Posted by Spexvet
    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.
    I think this is a win/win solution.
    ...Just ask me...

  10. #160
    Master OptiBoarder ziggy's Avatar
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    sorry for the sledge-hammer

    I didnt mean to emply that it is wrong for you to sell eyeware. But that would go along way to answering the question that this post raises. Should LDO's refract, only if OD / MD sell glasses. If I dont try to refract, then OD"S dont try to do,lets say,Lasick, and MD's dont refract or sell eyeware we should all be happy,,,right? My post was more "tounge in cheek" than anything else. But we all tend to want what we dont have.

    BTW drk, I love ya too!!:D :D :D
    Paul:cheers:

  11. #161
    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spexvet
    I posted this before (#125), but you may have missed it:



    I think this is a win/win solution.
    As Phil Hartman as Ed MacMahon would say: "You are correct, sir!"

  12. #162
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    Last edited by Joe Stella; 03-28-2005 at 05:46 PM.

  13. #163
    Just An Optician jediron1's Avatar
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    WMC said:If you read my comments on this thread, I have actually said something similar to DRK. I do not think he understand what many of the larger operations look for in an Optician. The one who "sells" the most is the best Optician. They may not understand the optics involved in the case, but they were able to sell up with AR and high index material. He indicated we might do some terrible harm if we do refraction, and if he means as we currently exist, I agree. If you read my posts, I stated we need to EDUCATE prior to attempting anything.


    If you would have said that in your previous post you would not have gotten all the flack that you did. And I agree, in larger chains the best optician is considered the best SELLER and in some instances vise versa, sad to say. What the large chains are looking at is the bottom line and nothing else. There is nothing wrong with looking at the bottom line just so it doesn't impinge upon your work as an a real OPTICIAN as opposed to the MICKEY MOUSE SELLERS!

  14. #164
    Manuf. Lens Surface Treatments
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    Quote Originally Posted by jediron1

    What the large chains are looking at is the bottom line and nothing else. There is nothing wrong with looking at the bottom line just so it doesn't impinge upon your work as an a real OPTICIAN as opposed to the MICKEY MOUSE SELLERS!
    Good point...............that is wht you will need education AND regulation (more than 1/2 the states are un-regulated)
    Chris Ryser
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    http://optochemicals.com............................. http://arcoatings.com

  15. #165
    Just An Optician jediron1's Avatar
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    Chris I understand that point and have always stood by that. But when WMC said you don't "need a license to sell" he left the statement should I say half full,
    another words like the statement we use when we say the glass is half full. He never explained himself until the last couple of posts. He said "if you would have read the thread you would have noticed that I had said those same things" the problem is the thread was started on 06-08-2001 I went back through a few but I must not have gone back far enough to see WMC's remarks that he broached on the subject!
    Last edited by jediron1; 03-04-2005 at 07:41 AM.

  16. #166
    Just An Optician jediron1's Avatar
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    Joe Stella said:I have been following this thread with great interest and as a consumer I have the following observations:

    1) I think any laws that prevent partnership between OD's and opticians are silly. They don't benefit either the consumer or either O. You people should lobby against these laws. If you can find the time to explain them to your customers, they might be willing to sign a petition for you.

    2) Opticians may need to be a little tolerant when they see an OD who appears to be trying to "set up on their own", especially if said OD is young and just starting out. Young ODs probably have student loans to pay as well as other financial obligations to meet, and they likely don't have much of a customer base with which to meet them. When (and if) their customer base increases, they will probably look to hire opticians to take some of the increasing workload off.


    1. Why would we want to lobby for laws that would hinder the growth of Opticianry? Explain! You left the statement out in mid air and never gave any valid reasons why you think we should be any less than nurses or any other health care profession.

    2. Again explain. Your making no sense! Or maybe I don't see it but I still feel your making no head way! :hammer:

  17. #167
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    Last edited by Joe Stella; 03-28-2005 at 05:47 PM.

  18. #168
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    Communication

    That is the problem with posting. Often people make comments that they assume are understood. I still stand by my comments; they were perfectly clear to me; I just need to do a better job of making everyone else aware.

    Glad to finally get my point across. Education is the only answer for us.
    Last edited by wmcdonald; 03-04-2005 at 11:24 AM.

  19. #169
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    If there were a law out there prohibiting O.D.'s from selling eyewear, I'd be out of a job. Give me a break...that is obsurd.

  20. #170
    Master OptiBoarder ziggy's Avatar
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    Tounge-N-cheek

    Joe and shellrob, I was the one who made the commit about "making it unlawful for OD's to sell eyeware". As I said in a later post the commit it was mostly in jest. As for you being out of a job shellrob, you could always work for an optician:idea: . The bottom line, as I see it, is untill we ALL organize and educate our selves nothing will ever change. We (opticians) will have to accept the "scraps" that the OD's and MD's are willing to toss our way. BTW what I mean by organize, join your state's optician organization, and dont forget the national one eather(OAA).
    Paul:cheers:

  21. #171
    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Stella
    OK let me explain where I'm coming from here.

    I know nothing at all about the eyecare profession except what I have read here in Optiboard over the past few weeks. So anything I say could easily be dead wrong.

    As for (1), I got the impression that both opticians and OD's thought that the laws were silly too. You are saying that allowing OD and opticians to enter into business partnerships will hinder the growth of opticianry? I don't understand how that can be so, but if it is, then of course you would want to leave the laws as they stand now.

    As for (2), I got the idea that opticians are really unhappy when they see an OD selling eyeglasses. Someone even mentioned passing a law against this. I was just tryng to say that if OD's are prohibited from selling eyewear, this might only serve to make it harder for young OD's to get started. Their business is not large enough yet where they can afford to hire someone else. If it's harder for young OD's to get started, then you could end up with less OD's and therefore less job opportunities for opticians in the long run.

    Like I said above, maybe I'm full of it. There's no way for me to know for sure.
    You're not full of it. You're dead on.

  22. #172
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    Yea, I could also work for a chain like I used to and hated it, but I choose to work where I do and that's for an O.D. I love it 10 times more than I did when I worked for the chain. The patients trust me and know that I'm not out to just sell them something. They know that the doctor I work for owns the business and I have never heard a negative comment once. If anyhting, I think they trust us as a team. See, you have to build a relationship with your customers/patients and they will know that you're not out just to make a buck. Be that an Optician or and Optometrist.

  23. #173
    Just An Optician jediron1's Avatar
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    Nice shot WCM.
    Last edited by jediron1; 03-04-2005 at 06:41 PM.

  24. #174
    Just An Optician jediron1's Avatar
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    Joe Stella said:As for (1), I got the impression that both opticians and OD's thought that the laws were silly too. You are saying that allowing OD and opticians to enter into business partnerships will hinder the growth of opticianry? I don't understand how that can be so, but if it is, then of course you would want to leave the laws as they stand now.

    Maybe I did not go back far enough but I saw no indication that Opticians or OD's thought the laws were silly. As to entering into business patnerships, I know some and the arrangement has worked quite well. Now if your talking about getting into bed with an MD then that is a different breed of cat. They walk and talk quite differently. MD's for the most part think they walk on water, if you get my drift.

    Now too your number 2.

    As for (2), I got the idea that opticians are really unhappy when they see an OD selling eyeglasses. Someone even mentioned passing a law against this. I was just tryng to say that if OD's are prohibited from selling eyewear, this might only serve to make it harder for young OD's to get started. Their business is not large enough yet where they can afford to hire someone else. If it's harder for young OD's to get started, then you could end up with less OD's and therefore less job opportunities for opticians in the long run.

    I have never heard that Opticians were unhappy that OD's would set up there establishments to sell glasses, because usually they hire Opticians to sell and adjust glasses while they take care of the medical side, especially if they are TPA certified. This way they are allowed to write Rx's to treat ocular problems
    such as Conjunctivitis.
    Just my 2 cents
    Last edited by jediron1; 03-04-2005 at 06:41 PM.

  25. #175
    Just An Optician jediron1's Avatar
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    drk said:You're not full of it. You're dead on.

    What is in the drinking water in Ohio? Are you kidding? Come on!:hammer:
    Last edited by jediron1; 03-05-2005 at 07:31 AM.

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