View Poll Results: Should Opticians Refract

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

    104 36.88%
  • Yes (with no supervision, but with restrictions as to whom can be seen)

    57 20.21%
  • Yes (with supervision)

    54 19.15%
  • No (because there is no need for Opticians to refract)

    55 19.50%
  • No (Opticians are not capable of refracting)

    12 4.26%
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Thread: Should Opticians Refract - The Poll

  1. #1
    sub specie aeternitatis Pete Hanlin's Avatar
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    Should Opticians Refract - The Poll

    Let's see if we can all just vote on this without getting into a debate on ethics or something- just to get an overall glimpse of where most of us are coming from... I've tried to include a choice meeting all the thus far described positions (at least as far as I understand them :) ).

    Pete

  2. #2
    Cape Codger OptiBoard Gold Supporter hcjilson's Avatar
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    Why not?

    Properly trained opticians get a yes vote from me.If problems arise, a properly trained optician will know where to go for help!
    best from Harry j
    "Always laugh when you can. It is a cheap medicine"
    Lord Byron

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  3. #3
    sub specie aeternitatis Pete Hanlin's Avatar
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    Harry makes a good point. By clicking "unequivocally yes," you are assuming that the Optician has gone through an established training regimen.

    Pete

  4. #4
    Bad address email on file John R's Avatar
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    Wave brits

    Well from our sides point of view its a big yes as thats what we call the guy or gal (optician) doing the eye tests.

    btw i have not voted as you yanks have a diffrent way of expressing job titles.

  5. #5
    Master OptiBoarder
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    As I understand it John, the way it would relate to here is getting rid of the OO, have a DO do the refraction, and a GP check the back of the eye etc etc. Our DOs are trained to refract already, but they don't actually do it. However, all the GPs would complain, becasue you voted for no NHS funding ever again (Labour), so it wouldn't work :)

  6. #6
    Bad address email on file Ney Rojas-Mejia's Avatar
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    I second Harry's opinion.

  7. #7
    Bad address email on file Ney Rojas-Mejia's Avatar
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    OK, Maria.

  8. #8
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    Post

    I vote big yes.I am trained to refract and recognise abnormal eye conditions in my dispensing opticians course.

    I second opinion of John R. I find american syllabus to be different in training from ours which is based on british system.

    Thanks,
    Sara

  9. #9
    Bad address email on file John R's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Maria
    Our DOs are trained to refract already, but they don't actually do it. However, all the GPs would complain, becasue you voted for no NHS funding ever again (Labour), so it wouldn't work :)
    Interesting i never knew that as a Dispensing optician you got trained to test eyes, as for going to the GP to have my eyes tested "no way" takes a week to get in when your dying so god knows how long just to test your eyes...

    as for who i voted for, does it matter as in the end they are all the same, all i care about is MY pocket.. but i think that the NHS should get rid of the faceless suits and give the power to treat who, where and when back to the white coat's and sod the cost...

  10. #10
    Master OptiBoarder
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    I think we'll all have private heathcare eventually, there'll be no NHS.

  11. #11
    Bad address email on file OptiBoard Gold Supporter Sean's Avatar
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    Im w/harry on this one.

  12. #12
    OptiBoard Apprentice Bradmain's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Its Either Or

    Meaning no disrespect for any of the eye care professionals, I look at this as an "either / or" situation. 1. Opticians should be trained to refract while Optometrists and Ophthalmologists are trained to fabricate spectacles, or 2. ODs and MDs should get out of dispensing and Opticians won't refract.

    With #1, Opticians should also get access to 3rd party and stay competitive with MDs and ODs. This, unfortunately, will never happen because Opticians will never get that organized. In situation #2, we distinctly draw the line between the 3 O's roles and the public is better served (hopefully).

    In my dreams,

    Brad

  13. #13
    Master OptiBoarder mullo's Avatar
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    Thumbs up My vote....

    I'm with Harry and Sean on this one...Mullo

  14. #14
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    Big Smile

    I'm with Pete, opticians should be allowed to refract.

  15. #15
    Bad address email on file Jackie L's Avatar
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    I vote to refract with restrictions assuming the Refractionist has gone through formal education.

  16. #16
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    Opticians refracting

    This debate is nothing but a turf war, refraction is bending of light, nothing more , nothing less, lets face it, Opticians have always been responsible for consumer satisfaction of their specs, and refraction logically should be in our scope of practice, as we have to deal more intimately with these problems. I have worked with the other two O's and honestly eye disease is very rare and usually manifests itself rather obvious, there is more danger in fitting a contact lens improper, sure glaucoma can silently cause vision loss, but a yearly exam by an Optometrist or Ophthalmologist still cannot rule out glaucoma(low tension). As refracting Opticians working under M.D's we are considering visual field analysers and sending the results to an Ophtho, now that's pretty good care eh!

  17. #17
    Master OptiBoarder ziggy's Avatar
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    Crier questions, questions!!

    Someone correct me if I'm wrong,, and I know you will LOL!
    Untill, the early 1900's there was no such thing as an OD, In many ways (in my humble assesment), The job of an OD is a bit redundant(that is if LDO's could refract). If there is any major eye problems, they refer on to the MD's. As it stands now the only reason that we can't refract is the OD's dont want to share the money! In OK, from what I gather, OD's just won the right to do lasic, as that becomes the standerd natiion wide, we will be able to refract, they will be to busy getting $800.00-$1500.00 in the same time it took them to get $50.00- $75.00. Just my 2 cents. Paul

  18. #18
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    I think opticians should be able to refract after receiving appropriate training.

    Jackie L. was right on target! Lack of organization and co-operation has prevented opticians from progressing in the scheme of things.

  19. #19
    OptiBoard Professional Dannyboy's Avatar
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    I was just reading the CLSA mailing and find it interesting that the NCLC- AC certification exam provides a waiver for COT/COMT and graduates of opticianry programs of the prerequisites courses and other requirements prior to being able to sit for the advanced exam. Dont you folks think that another certifying agency is needed to accomodate the refracting optician. Maybe they could offer a grandfather clause to all those COT/COMTs and paraoptometrics that already do refraction. Then we would have a stronger voice.

    Dannyboy:)

  20. #20
    Bad address email on file Jackie L's Avatar
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    The OD's defined their own trade (at the time) and legislated (with grandfathering) to define thier title as Optometrists. Opticians began as jewlers. Optometrists as Occulists that peddled corrective eyewear. Yes, there could have been a time when Optometrists would have gone by the wayside. MD's to examine and LDO's dispensing. The big difference today (and history has shown) is that the OD's are extremely organized and we have not been.

    So, until Opticians, Lab Techs, Para-Optometrics, Frame stylists, COT'S, COA'S and others that have an interest in Optics unify and stop debating as to who is better, here we sit.

    Just my opinion.

  21. #21
    Rising Star
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    Thumbs up

    I'm with Phil and Dannyboy on this one. When I worked as a COA after 10 years as a LDO, I learned how to refract from an OD that was in the practice. She was an excellent teacher and I would refract for the MD's every day. MD's were skeptical at first, but everytime they would check my refractions, they were right on the money, no over-minusing either. My refractions became so accurate that MD's were telling me I was refracting better than some of their 3rd year Ophthalmology residents. This inspired them to teach me retinoscopy. I became good at that and started doing cycloplegic refractions. Then I woke up and said...
    what the H--- am I doing? I'm doing EVERYTHING an OD does except using the indirect and checking for eye diseases! Yes, I used the Slit-lamp too. I'm thinking, I should be getting OD salary. But, reality hits.....I didn't go to Optometry school after college.:hammer: So, now I am back to working as an LDO managing an Optical getting called a great "salesperson" almost everyday :o. The very 1st day the Optical opened, a regular patient walked in and when I told her I would not be assisting the Doc anymore, she said "Oh, so your doing SALES now." My response...:o .

    Now, what do you think refracting would do for LDO's?
    Last edited by pedseye; 06-16-2001 at 09:30 PM.

  22. #22
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    Big Smile

    Phil did you really mean when you said:

    "I have worked with the other two O's and honestly eye disease is very rare and usually manifests itself rather obvious, there is more danger in fitting a contact lens improper"

    Eye disease is rare! What about conjunctivitis, pink eye which is
    pneumococcal conjunctivitis this not rare but quite common. What about viral conjuctivitis or herpes simplex? Granted you may not
    see many but these are not rare. I was certified as a COA and state licensed in New York as an optician. I was going to take the COT but the MD preferred to have his regular staff certified instead of his licensed opticians. But we saw many cases of pink
    eye and herpes too. Again these are not rare and are part of an
    Md's normal practice. What would you do if you saw keratoconjunctivitis sicca or pterygium, pneumococcal ulcer or a myrid of other complications that could be seen in an office.
    Again out of all these maybe the ulcer might be considered rare,
    but to come out with a statement that eye disease is rare is
    misleading and erroneous. This is why the the other two O's
    don't take us seriously, because of statements like this. I believe ideally the situation that would benefit the optician would be to work hand in hand with the doctor. The optician doing all the work up including refraction and having the MD sigh off. Now we
    would have to be compensated for this with much higher wages
    and that's where the rub would be. :D

  23. #23
    Master OptiBoarder Joann Raytar's Avatar
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    rfish:

    I agree with you on all points except corneal ulcers being rare. In the past two months we have had three patients with ulcers come in. Of course this may just be limited to our area; we are part of the Boston/New York corridor and people seem to be in too much of a hurry to take care of their lenses and their eye health.

    This is one of the reasons I wouldn't want to refract right now. The liability issue. Also, any of the above cases would be considered medical; on to the insurance circus.

    pedseye:

    It is only "sales" if you see it that way. You say "Sales" I say "Fitting." In fitting, you offer the Px the techology they need to fit their lifestyle and Rx requirements. It is up to your own judgement to make sure that you fit according the the patient's needs and not a sales chart and you communicate what you are doing to the patient. If you come across like a car salesperson reading off a list of options that is how the Px will see you. If you offer the Px, let's say, an average of two recommendations backed up by product knowledge and a little bit of confidence then you will come across as fitting.

    Note: The preceeding was not directed only at pedseye. It was intended for anyone feeling they are "salespeople."

  24. #24
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    Big Smile

    Wow Jo three corneal ulcers that is amazing. I think I have seen maybe one or two. But that is my point, we cannot go an refract
    with out a medical license there or our butt will be on the line. I tellyou right now I worked to hard for my New york Optical license to loose it over the issue of general ophthalmology. I still say work along side the MD, then this way the medical issue is no issue. :bbg:

  25. #25
    Sawptician PAkev's Avatar
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    I'm going slightly against the grain on this one due to the publics perception of an opticians responsibility.

    Once our PROFESSIONALISM is recognized and understood by the consumer I would certainly be in favor of refracting.

    If I am spending my time to develop the most appropriate RX for a client, I would expect to get paid for my time, effort, investment in training, and experience. However, is this something many consumers are willing to part with a few extra sheckles for when they are already epecting you to replace their nosepads, screws, temple tips, etc. for free?

    I believe there is a niche place for refracting opticians and believe it will be a good opportunity to regain professionalism and confidence of consumers by separating an "optician" from a "screwdriver turner." However, I think we must first do a lot of work on the national and state levels to change the consumers perception of an optician.

    My Two Pennies
    Kevin

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