View Poll Results: How do you feel about formal education?

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  • Formal Education would beneficial if it were optional.

    4 11.43%
  • Formal Education should be mandatory.

    30 85.71%
  • I don't believe Opticians need Formal Education.

    0 0%
  • I don't know.

    1 2.86%
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Thread: Formal Education

  1. #26
    Master OptiBoarder Joann Raytar's Avatar
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    Why do some of you folks feel these discussions are "fruitless and frustrating?" I understand that OptiBoard is a small sampling of Opticians but the results are showing that more members are pro formal education now then they were a couple of years ago. I think these types of discussions had a ton to do with that. The only way to bring a message home is by being persistant in delivering it.

    Judy,

    I agree with you. We do have to do more than just talk but educating and informing others about education is one way to get things rolling. These discussions create interest and even if one person looks into their local college programs or a distance learning degree then these posts have accomplished their goals.

  2. #27
    Master OptiBoarder MVEYES's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Jo

    You are so right! Discussion brings the issues to the forefront which leads to a creation of a blueprint for action.


    :D Jerry
    The mighty oak tree was once a little nut that held its ground

  3. #28
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    Well, at least you got me to register.

    I was told to register by a certain individual about a year ago. I never did although I wanted to. I somehow had the impression it cost money. My comments are in ( )
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by Alan W
    But, you know what really gripes me?

    (Please see below for what gripes me.)

    Lenscrafters, EyeMasters, WalMart, Cole, so on and so forth. They could say it, and don't . Because, they won't hire the good ones. Or, should I say, fire the good ones when they get over $12.00/hour. One foot on a rock....the other on a bannana peel or something.


    Maybe WE should transfer to the garden center and show them how its really done. Yeh, that's the ticket! I mean we get treated like "it", maybe we should sell "it"!

    (Okay, bad joke above SO I TOOK IT OUT, but this upsets me. You know what, I started life as somebody wanting to make something better of themselves. I've watched 4 threads going on where you do a superior dance and constantly rag on companies because they might have a garden department. So I guess I should be ashamed because I've tried to be a good optician in a department store and better face I can never measure up. Is that the point? Well maybe those are the people who gave me the chance to get a start in this business. And from what I know of you it's where you've been for years. Maybe that's okay, maybe if everyone wants to talk about perfecting opticians and the image to the public, the idea should be to embrace and mentor and assist ALL trying to do this job.)

    We need to sell optical cookies and do optical car washes and pay our own way.

    (Good, you the first to anti up the money to change things? You make some good points in all for sections your commenting in but you could sure do it without thinking you know every thing and deciding which catagories are worth nothing! (I hope you understand what I'm really saying here).
    [/QUOTE

    But at least you got me to register!
    Last edited by Ruthie; 02-12-2002 at 01:26 PM.

  4. #29
    Master OptiBoarder Alan W's Avatar
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    Thank you for your comments

    (That's the real reason you were fired from all 4 of these companies? Geez, the rumors were so much more interesting! )
    You seem to have a problem. I would ask the moderator to temper these comments. They border on some serious stuff.

    It would be nice for an employer to contribute, sponsor, help promote local and state societies. Smaller, more professionally dedicated companies do all the time all over the country. If some of these biggies do so, great. It would also be nice if people who excel by the standards of the professional community be allowed to continue growing with an employer, and learn how to increase their productivity to maintain longevity. But, all too many seem to find the usefullness of emloyees diminsh as they approach the limits of payroll budgets. Then, its only a matter of time before some element of discontent, on either parties part, leads to a shortening of the relationship. There is also a "hit order" that is not uncommon in almost all specialty and general retail, optical or other, when some people outlast the old management and don't fit the next generation.

    Several months ago I pushed for specialty certification which might give a good performer / accomplished optician a "leg up" in recognition and perhaps a better shot at advancement. It was so difficult to sell the idea that I stopped discussing it. That's one example of what some of us might mean by fruitless and frustrating, and that's over internal development of opticianry and setting the standards, as MV Eyes stated; not even in the 3 O community.

    I withdraw the bad humor. Not that it is not said behind closed doors. But, because it attracts needless and ethically compromised reaction. (But, then, who am I!) To those folks who work in those places, I encourage you to participate in the educational opportunities offered by BOTH colleagues outside your workplace AND by employers who have a wider window of opportunity to grow TECHNICALLY. There are Optiboard members who's workplace is a culture of technical opportunities that don't have as limited a repertoire of technical dialog as many of the mass merchandisers or mass specialty merchandisers. To give you a better idea of what I mean.....
    you might take some of the postings from the Ophthalmic Optics Forum and ask management and other coworkers at some of the mass merchandisers the same questions. See what you get for an answer. Be your own evaluator, rather than sling mud or fib.

  5. #30
    Master OptiBoarder MVEYES's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Alan

    True, the status quo of opticians out there just doing a job because the "WalMart's" hired them. I want to distinguish what a true optician is defined as in terms of experience, National certification, licensure and formal education. Those hired and permitted in their states to hand someone a pair of glasses and not know the first thing about the optical value in a good adjustment or any of the principles of optics relating to eyewear are not in my opinion an Optician. They exist as low payed budgetary employees that do more selling of the extras that give them the small bonuses then really understanding the needs of the patient they are dealing with.

    I reflect on my decision to become an Optician 28 years ago. I am glad I chose my path. The field is rewarding, creative and you can actually use your brain in the problem solving challenges day to day. You are a consultant with expertise that the other O's and general public should respect. The ideas here are to take us from a background that has no definition to one that has definition. Formal education will achieve part of that. Licensure in all 50 states will achieve part of that. Those of us with these convictions have to push for these changes no matter how long it takes.


    Jerry
    The mighty oak tree was once a little nut that held its ground

  6. #31
    Master OptiBoarder Joann Raytar's Avatar
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    Re: Thank you for your comments

    Originally posted by Alan W


    You seem to have a problem. I would ask the moderator to temper these comments. They border on some serious stuff.
    You know I love ya Alan and I would, but you brought the chains into this discussion and isolated them from the topic yourself so you gotta take your lumps. Besides, I believe that we need to work towards the security of all Opticians; lab, independent and chain. There are some good people in all of those why should we leave some behind when we talk about raising the bar? Or am I mis-reading your post?

    PS - I know one of those chains offers loans to employees who wish to persue formal education in their field as long as it is done through accredited colleges.

  7. #32
    Master OptiBoarder Alan W's Avatar
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    Really?

    False statements about ones work experience or implications of same is called slander, defamation of character. Statements made about companies is not.

    I also referred to exceptions and recognize that Cole and Lenscrafters have "job enrichment" opportunities. I also note that WalMart in some way recognizes.

    Is it practiced to the extent that it results in people exelling?
    If so, fine.
    Where the rubber meets the road, then is whereit dosnt happen.
    It doesnt happen where supervisors have the mandate of budgetary control over associate development.

    In this forum the positions we held have no relevence. However, I know the names of people who not only have excercised hit orders, but have also denied them to worthy people we can call rooky opticians. That culture exists and prevents many people who could be quality opticians from ever getting there or at least being exposed to the opportunity.

    I AM NOT REFERRING TO THE PEOPLE WITH THE PD STICKS!

    But, a person with a PD stick who believes that his employer is the only game in town and that the training received there is the upper limit, and then practices that way, is uninformed and as a result may be a potential threat to the profession, although not knowingly.

    We dont do enough to make those people aware.

    Yes, I opened myself up.
    I shed some "blood ".
    The person with the machety (sp!) goes free?
    That's what we are all about?
    OK, false statements permitted.
    We dont share the same value system.
    Later for that!

  8. #33
    Master OptiBoarder Joann Raytar's Avatar
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    But, a person with a PD stick who believes that his employer is the only game in town and that the training received there is the upper limit, and then practices that way, is uninformed and as a result may be a potential threat to the profession, although not knowingly.
    You are right on here. Many years ago, I was one of those company people. As friends left for greener pastures, I was in for an eye-opener. To this day I make sure to keep in touch with friends and aquiantances in all aspects of the business. You have to learn about and understand what happens on the other side of the fence.

    Don't get too upset with me. I agree with you on what you have said but for different reasons. We all own mentoring but we aren't all doing it, chain and independent alike. If mentor/apprentice programs aren't creating complete opticians then we must resort to other programs like formal education to make sure there are as few gaps in qualification levels as possible.

  9. #34
    sub specie aeternitatis Pete Hanlin's Avatar
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    False statements about ones work experience or implications of same is called slander, defamation of character. Statements made about companies are not.
    You are technically correct Alan. Slander is the unjust maligning of a person. Libel is the unjust maligning of a plantiff (or in this case, company).

    In either case, I fail to see anything that qualifies as slander in Ruthie's post. From what I read, you and she apparently have differing opinions over the quality of the work environment and employment practices of certain firms. You have made it quite clear both here and in other forums that you harbor a certain amount of disdain for WalMart and other chains. Whether this disdain is justified is up to the judgment of the reader. Equally subjective is Ruthie's logic in her defense of her workplace.

    My view? (No, no one asked for it, but I enjoy giving it, so I will.) Personally, I know a lot of fine people who work for WalMart- some like their work environment, some don't. In the end, patients decide with their feet, and WalMart continues to do pretty good business locally, so I guess that says something, doesn't it?
    Pete Hanlin, ABOM
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    Essilor of America

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  10. #35
    Master OptiBoarder MVEYES's Avatar
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    Thumbs up All

    You know, an optician can be the best at his or her job no matter what roof they practice under. What they do to fulfill their professional obligation will be reflected by the public's response to the service they receive. I feel there are a lot of good opticians out there who find opportunities to expand their careers under a corporate umbrella. Any of us who practices our profession needs to remember the ethics and responsibilities we have to our patients. I know that an optician that has knowledge of these criteria performs their duty skillfully and will have patients coming back and asking for them by name. It doesn't matter if it is at WalMart or at Exclusive Optical. The Public demands quality. That is why price is not always the answer to success. Quality in knowledge is what I strive for and I see overwhelmingly I am not alone.



    Jerry
    The mighty oak tree was once a little nut that held its ground

  11. #36
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    Re: Thank you for your comments

    Originally posted by Alan W


    You seem to have a problem. I would ask the moderator to temper these comments. They border on some serious stuff.

    Be your own evaluator, rather than sling mud or fib.
    No I don't have a problem. I can temper my own comments, so I have, without anyone asking me to. I regret that I sunk to a level as low as some others. But I am curious, if you really think I slandered you why you didn't contact me directly to tell me so and say WHAT you think was slander? Besides, i said it was a joke. I have nothing to be concerned about other than maybe behaving like what I complained about in you.

    At any rate, it had the desired effect, although still (in my opinion) highly biased, at least your following comments were not as diragatory to us who don't have the opportunity to achieve the lofty German training you CLAIM to have. And maybe we want just as bad to take good care of our customers and want opportunities to learn too.

    So maybe you should be your own evaluator and not sling mud. Ask yourself if it's reasonable to expect that you are unbiased in your accessment of chains and those who work in them. And when you say I'm a fibber, where do you say how many chains you've worked for. Because it looks to me like you pretend you didn't.

    But I am sorry I upset you, but, slander, naw, get an attorney, he won't agree. You upset me too.

  12. #37
    Forever Liz's Dad Steve Machol's Avatar
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    Before this escalates any further I'm going to ask everyone to get back on topic - namely Formal Education. Please take all future personal discussions to email or private messages. Thanks! :)


    OptiBoard Administrator
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    OptiBoard has been proudly serving the Eyecare Community since 1995.

  13. #38
    Cape Codger OptiBoard Gold Supporter hcjilson's Avatar
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    Universal "Formal" education is not realistic!

    Speaking as an Optician trained through a formal apprenticeship and holding a degree at the same time BBA (management)........my opinion follows.

    Given the history of our profession, and the advancement of Optometry through formal education, I would state that our training through formal education is a worthy goal but somewhat unrealistic.In licensed states, statutes governing the licensing of Opticians usually provide for credentialling through a two year "formal" education program (associates degree) OR an apprenticeship program of not less than 3 years or 6000 hours.Rhode Island is a noteable exeption, eliminating apprenticeship a couple of years ago.

    The problem becomes one of legislating out something which was once permissable in your own state,and will continue to be permissable in other compareable states.You have to be VERY crafty to get that by a legislature.I would LOVE to know how Rhody pulled it off without a court challenge!In any event it takes a lot more to move a state legislature than noise.

    Given that most of us have come up through apprenticeship, who are we to say that education is the only way? On the contrary, we are in a better position to judge where the best opticians come from....and I daresay academia will come in second.I have heard a lot about recognition in this and other similar threads, as if formal education is the basis for this recognition or "respect" as some say.

    If you know what you are doing, and are the best you can be....and are willing to continue to learn and improve yourself....you will have all the recognition you need, as well as the respect of your peers and other practitioners of the 3 O's.The proof is in the pudding, not the recipe.

    best to all hj

    PS I defy anyone to prove to me that the level of optical service provided by a qualified optician is any less because that optician is employed by a national chain operation.Its time to BURY that myth along with the bitterness and rancor borne of insecurity.
    Last edited by hcjilson; 02-12-2002 at 09:16 PM.
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  14. #39
    Master OptiBoarder Joann Raytar's Avatar
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    OK, but ...

    Harry,

    If other skilled and somewhat unskilled trades can do it (hairdressers, nail beauticians, paralegals, certain levels of electricians etc.) why can't we?

    I understand that the main obstacle in getting something official passed in all of the states is first getting all of the state legislatures to agree that we are a necessary profession. This is the main argument most states use to try and deregulate opticianry. There are so few consumer complaints that we must not be necessary. They don't think that perhaps because enough of us are our doing our jobs well is the reason that there are so few complaints and if you deregulate you can just flush those low numbers down the tubes.

    Isn't there something our Associations and ourselves can do to set our own bar and forget about state legislatures? Or is that where those lawsuits you speak of come into play?

  15. #40
    Cape Codger OptiBoard Gold Supporter hcjilson's Avatar
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    There IS something we can do......

    Before I start, I want to clear up last nights post if it is cloudy to anyone.I favor a formalized degree program for Opticians.I would also favor an additional year spent as a practicum in order to obtain that degree.Its just that it is not realistic to eliminate apprenticeship programs for reasons stated above.

    There is something that can be done, and it can be done quickly. My thought would be to create the differentiation between the words "Registered" and "Certified".Certification being ONLY obtainable by degree.Right now theres no differentiation between the two, and the ABO will "Certify" anyone who passes their examination.I would love to see them change that to a "registration" and proceed with a "Board Certified" program, similar to that of the other professions.We are trying to change things from the bottom.When will we collectively realize That cannot be done! The body will follow where the head leads it!Hashing it out here accomplishes nothing other than a continuing frustration.
    off to my second cuppa- hj
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  16. #41
    Master OptiBoarder MVEYES's Avatar
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    Question Harry

    I disagree:
    Hashing it out here accomplishes nothing other than a continuing frustration.
    This forum brings together individuals interested in their optical profession but frustrated with 'good ole boys politics'. We can make a difference if we create a plan. "Build it and they will come".


    Jerry
    The mighty oak tree was once a little nut that held its ground

  17. #42
    Cape Codger OptiBoard Gold Supporter hcjilson's Avatar
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    Would that it could be that simple...

    Hello MV!

    The point I was trying to make is that nothing can be done from here.While Optiboard has become an important forum for us, the fact remains that at a membership of 1400 or so we are still very small in terms of numbers, and it is my guess that in those numbers there are yet a smaller amount that even BELONG to the organizations which effect change, and of that smaller number, there is an even smaller of our members who are in the leadership positions that can get the ball rolling.

    Those who ARE in the leadership positions should be making a concerted effort to involve the officers in these associations in Optiboard, and bring about some effective dialog.Until that happens,you can disagree till the cows come home, but NOTHING will happen from here.

    MV, that was a Blueprint ....not a put down.Congratulations again on being featured member this month, and your dialog is ALWAYS welcome.
    hj
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  18. #43
    Master OptiBoarder MVEYES's Avatar
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    Thumbs up hj

    I agree that small numbers do not make sweeping changes but small numbers in our state got a licensing law passed. They were passionate and held on to their convictions through out the political mudslinging. I for one plan on encouraging a participation in this Optical forum at our next convention and State Association board meeting.
    Dialogue creates ideas and apathy lets ideas die. I hope to keep on with the dialogue and meet with my friends here and let my association know that we are not isolated. Shouldn't that be the goal of our National leaders to bring all of us together. If it is a failure in that arena, I hope our discussions will bring the ideas to the table so that we in unity can act on them.

    PS Thanks for the honor. I'm not sure sometimes if I'm obsessed or just 'windy'

    :D :bbg: :D Jerry
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  19. #44
    Bad address email on file optigoddess's Avatar
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    Harry,

    I like the concept of "registered" and "certified"! Great point!

    Karen

  20. #45
    Master OptiBoarder Joann Raytar's Avatar
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    Re: Would that it could be that simple...

    Originally posted by hcjilson
    Those who ARE in the leadership positions should be making a concerted effort to involve the officers in these associations in Optiboard, and bring about some effective dialog.
    Harry,

    I agree with you 100% on this point. We are the Opticians that organizations are supposed to represent. Not only would their involvement in OptiBoard give everyone a great way to touch base it would also act as a mini membership drive because of the exposure they would get.

  21. #46
    Master OptiBoarder MVEYES's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Jo

    Good points! The more members we bring in here the more people won't feel on the outside their Associations. We also have a unique advantage to talk internationally and across professional boundaries.


    :D Jerry
    The mighty oak tree was once a little nut that held its ground

  22. #47
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    Long lost Optiboarder

    What Opticianry really needs is 50 state MANDATORY education, NOT necessarily 50 state licensure. If we had that we might be looked at differently. Currently no Health Insurance Company will enter into an agreement with a TRADE ( this is the way that the federal govenment classifies Opticianry) . What we really need is a national organization to pick up the EDUCATION ball and run with it. TN has been threatened with deregulation and so have many other states. If we had MANDATORY education ( whichthe public already thinks we do) we would probably be able to go for 50 state licensure. I do not know the name of the actual study but the GENERAL PUBLIC thinks that we need a BA in order to perform our job!

    Any and all comments are welcome!! Send them to josephblack@mindspring.com.

    Joe Black
    President Professional Opticians of Florida

  23. #48
    Optical Educator
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    Hi Long Lost Optiboarder,

    and FABULOUS POF President,


    The study was conducted by Tom Woods in NYC Tech, and Roger Hill from Naval Ophthalmic Support and Training (NOSTRA) and was conducted by William and Mary college statistics dept. and was funded by Essilor. I posted the study here a while back, maybe I can dig it out and post it again.

    You are correct in that the study found that the general public already assumes that we are formally educated.

    : )

    Laurie
    (Tampa, remember??)

  24. #49
    Master OptiBoarder MVEYES's Avatar
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    Thumbs up eyejoe

    You posted:

    What Opticianry really needs is 50 state MANDATORY education, NOT necessarily 50 state licensure. If we had that we might be looked at differently.
    We need to demand this action but also need to support the National Organization behind the movement. A strategic plan must be drawn up and agreed upon by the states and then we need to focus on one or two states at a time.

    Laurie,
    Have you found the study Joe was talking about. I would like to see it . This could be a great marketing tool as well as a great beginning piece to present to the state legislatures.


    :cheers: Jerry
    The mighty oak tree was once a little nut that held its ground

  25. #50
    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Gold Supporter Judy Canty's Avatar
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    You can download the study from the NFOS webpage, www.nfos.org.

    Go to downloads and locate "Public Attitude Towards Opticianry Education as Human Capital".

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