What good isthe ABO credential?
Doctors and majorchain opticals love it, as it gives the illusion that they have competent staffin their dispensing operations. ABO is a very basic optical test, and someonewho voluntarily achieves this basic credential does exhibit a degree of initiativethat is certainly commendable... but as a learning starting point only.
Passing theABO does not qualify you as a fully- trained and competent Optician. And thegood but basic Laramy-K Optical videos should ideally trigger a realizationthat there is much more to learn before you can successfully troubleshoot anyoptical problem that comes through the front door. You are beginning to ‘know whatyou don’t know’.
The problemis of course that anyone with only a little on-the-job training can learn to takea PD and seg height, help choose lenses and then adjust a frame. And the ABOcredential does require the budding optician to learn some optical terminologyand simple optical formulas, and sit the ABO test. In most cases this standard dispensingsituation is satisfactorily completed.
But whathappens in the 5-10% of situations when the client presents with a very highprescription, or anisometropia, or vertical prismatic imbalance, or?? A competent ‘Optician’ need to increase their bodyof optical knowledge by taking formal training through on-line or formal classroomlearning, where they have access to qualified instructors that can explain the ‘why’of certain difficult fitting requirements, and see the entire ‘whole’ ratherthan only individual parts of opticianry.
The ABObasic test is being presented as all that is necessary to qualify as a competent‘Optician’. This is a disservice to theoptical industry and needs to be addressed if opticianry is to succeed as aprofession.