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Thread: Today’s opticians

  1. #1
    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Silver Supporter lensmanmd's Avatar
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    Redhot Jumper Today’s opticians

    PSA…Rant coming.

    ABOC doesn’t know that a lenticular RD seg is a bifocal, and that it’s not available in HIP. That was yesterday.

    Today, same ABOC. Orders 3BD and 5 BD. I request info and clarification. 1. What’s BD^? 2. OD signed off on it. Not a split second of…..ya, that’s odd. “Lab” remake coming in 1 week due to prism issues. 🤡🤡🤡

    How TF do these people get hired, and continue to keep their jobs?

    Rant over.
    I bend light. That is what I do.

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    OptiBoardaholic
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    Just remember the best definition of an expert is someone who has experienced everything that can go wrong.
    My favorite hands on interview involved a simple question. The following items were provided a piece of paper a pencil a mm scale a caliper and a microscope. Which items can you use to find the optical center on a lens and demonstrate the procedure. If memory holds about 25% were able to to do it. They were real opticians.

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    Compulsive Truthteller OptiBoard Gold Supporter Uncle Fester's Avatar
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    Concerning ABO/NCLE

    Post #11 by Dr. McDonald

    "Mr. Baker,

    You are correct, but we actually have no significant organizations equipped to fight for us. We have the ABO/NCLE with all the money and power. They do certifications for the profession. They were formally under the OAA's auspices, but were removed many years ago and the funds went with them. Huge mistake, because the profession does not set the certification standards, it is the certifying body. It is virtually the tail wagging the dog. They do support the new National Opticians Conference, which is designed to lose money for the first few years. I hope it can continue, but only OAA is taking their national meeting to this conference. Where is the NAO and others? The ABO/NCLE board is frugal with our money. Their board meetings are in exotic places such as Bermuda (last year), and Mexico (year before last). The truth is, they have millions in the bank, but......no support here for legislation, it is not their role. Next we have the NAO. They provide "education". Meaning they do CE, and the Career Progression Program. They do not fully support formal education in any way. No support for legislation there, it is not their role, but they are on solid financial ground. Next is the CLSA.....they do their own thing, and approximately 50% of their members do not consider themselves Opticians. No support there. Lastly, we come to OAA. The national leadership conference this year drew a bit less than 100 people.....a tremendous crowd, don't you think? They have been broke, until recently, and are just getting back on their feet. I pray they can get it together, but the constant turmoil and disagreements in this group are significant. They have no real strategic plan, and each new president brings his or her own ideas that change OAA's course each year. Now we come to the state organizations, and they are a disorganized mess as well in most states, if they exist at all."

    The rest:


    https://www.optiboard.com/forums/sho...+Board+members

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    OptiBoard Professional OptiBoard Silver Supporter Optical Roy's Avatar
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    I wish I knew the answer, I have been seeing a lot of unsplit prism here lately. Had 1 that was a 8 BO OD and they put all 8 in that OD lens, I felt lopsided just looking at it, called the optical they got the lens from and asked for them to redo, as they had them a week, and split the PRISM. "Can't that's not how the RX came from the OD." I just don't understand today's optical.
    Roy W. Jackson, Sr. ABOC

  5. #5
    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    Well, not to be "that guy" but there could be a rationale to put the prism in one eye in an esotropic case. Possibly it's amblyopic and the patient didn't like the view with the good eye through half of the prism?

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    OptiWizard
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    Quote Originally Posted by drk View Post
    Well, not to be "that guy" but there could be a rationale to put the prism in one eye in an esotropic case. Possibly it's amblyopic and the patient didn't like the view with the good eye through half of the prism?
    It's interesting to know that there may be a clinical reason to not split the prism.

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    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Silver Supporter lensmanmd's Avatar
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    I understand the need for not splitting prisms. We have specialists that work with traumatic brain injuries, and yoked prisms are a constant.
    My rant is about ABOCs that can’t understand, nor state why the prescribed prisms are valid.
    This case. 3 BD and 5 BD. Of course, I’ll question it. Why not just 2 BD in one eye? Why not notate yoking on the RX? Is this too much to ask?
    I bend light. That is what I do.

  8. #8
    OptiWizard
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    Quote Originally Posted by lensmanmd View Post
    I understand the need for not splitting prisms. We have specialists that work with traumatic brain injuries, and yoked prisms are a constant.
    My rant is about ABOCs that can’t understand, nor state why the prescribed prisms are valid.
    This case. 3 BD and 5 BD. Of course, I’ll question it. Why not just 2 BD in one eye? Why not notate yoking on the RX? Is this too much to ask?
    +1

    Something like, "prism split unequally per Dr" would be a good note to include.

  9. #9
    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Silver Supporter Barry Santini's Avatar
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    All levels of ABO certification, as well as ANY of the licensure requirements of the 19 states that do so, can only…on their best day… certify the candidate passing has met requirements considered *adequate*.

    if you want competent or seeking excellent, these are not the droids you’re seeking.

    The problem in opticianry is that the cirricullae badly needs a fresh approach.

    But the leaders, past and present, are still thinking in the past.

    B

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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Fester View Post
    Concerning ABO/NCLE

    Post #11 by Dr. McDonald

    "Mr. Baker,

    You are correct, but we actually have no significant organizations equipped to fight for us. We have the ABO/NCLE with all the money and power. They do certifications for the profession. They were formally under the OAA's auspices, but were removed many years ago and the funds went with them. Huge mistake, because the profession does not set the certification standards, it is the certifying body. It is virtually the tail wagging the dog. They do support the new National Opticians Conference, which is designed to lose money for the first few years. I hope it can continue, but only OAA is taking their national meeting to this conference. Where is the NAO and others? The ABO/NCLE board is frugal with our money. Their board meetings are in exotic places such as Bermuda (last year), and Mexico (year before last). The truth is, they have millions in the bank, but......no support here for legislation, it is not their role. Next we have the NAO. They provide "education". Meaning they do CE, and the Career Progression Program. They do not fully support formal education in any way. No support for legislation there, it is not their role, but they are on solid financial ground. Next is the CLSA.....they do their own thing, and approximately 50% of their members do not consider themselves Opticians. No support there. Lastly, we come to OAA. The national leadership conference this year drew a bit less than 100 people.....a tremendous crowd, don't you think? They have been broke, until recently, and are just getting back on their feet. I pray they can get it together, but the constant turmoil and disagreements in this group are significant. They have no real strategic plan, and each new president brings his or her own ideas that change OAA's course each year. Now we come to the state organizations, and they are a disorganized mess as well in most states, if they exist at all."

    The rest:


    https://www.optiboard.com/forums/sho...+Board+members

    If I may, since I am quoted here, respond a bit to this very old post.

    Two things.

    First ABO/NCLE has made great strides in the last decade, and have vastly improved their testing, their operations and do a great deal to support the profession in a variety of ways. I applaud their efforts, and the progressive leadership that currently exists is outstanding. I know they will read this, and some may be surprised, but I may not be active any longer, but I am still always out here watching. My dream, and my vision long ago was based in my love for Opticianry. When I came in, we were thriving, and the goal of every Optician (note Cap O) was to open their own office and make their way in the world. We did that at a very young age, like many of my peers! As the world changed, we lost the support of Ophthalmology. They had teamed with Optometry as they had advanced themselves through education to new heights and scope pf practice, while we continued down the same tired road we had always taken. As a field, we didn't think collectively about what could have been. We did not educate ourselves but remained in what we referred to an Apprenticeship training. As my studies on this subject confirmed many times over, there was little real training going on, it was just cheap labor! Man, we didn't want to train someone to our level, they would leave and become our competitor. Today, Sir Richar Branson had a post on Linked In on this very topic of education and training. I paraphrase here, but he generally said we need to train our people to provide the very best service to those we serve. Then we need to treat them well enough that they do not want to leave!

    The OAA has made great strides forward as well, and currently is again doing well I understand. The NAO is still a bit of a conundrum. They originally housed the COA, which was appropriate since they purport to be the "education" arm of Opticianry. Of late they have provided free CE online to a variety of states, and that is a positive thing. But they, again, make their living selling the Career Progression Program, books, and other related items. I encourage them to develop into the true support for education on the country. I could see them somehow working much more closely with the NFOS, and hope that could be a consideration one day.

    To this initial issue regarding a lack of basic knowledge by the original poster. I am not surprised that someone would lack any understanding of prism from any perspective. After 40 years lecturing in most states in this country and across the globe, I have encountered many who shout to the rooftops about their lofty professional status and could not use Prentice's Rule if their lives depended on it. We lack even a rudimentary knowledge of basic optics. After all, that's the labs job, right? I would consistently do a review of basic optics every session and I got the "deer in the headlights" look from many of those self-proclaimed "professionals"! Wow was it disheartening! But you know something, I still have a love for this field. I wanted to make a difference before I left this place, and as I approach my 7th decade, I realize that it still can be a great filed if we will just not stop!

    I promised myself I would no longer post on these things, because I have tired of the argument, but here I go again! The same argument for 40 years! This field has declined to a large degree because due to a lack of vision. No standard of what an Optician even is between states, and no standardized training and education requirements. Some here feel even an Associate Degree is far too heavy a burden to ask, but folks most "opticians (note the lower-case o)" out here do not have the basic knowledge, skills and ability to truly meet the needs of patients with any significant problem. There are truly great minds here. Barry Santini is a bright as they come! Wesley Scott is truly a leader for this field for the future, Professor Russo shows up now and then, and there is no one better! We have spectacular technical minds. Lemsman11, who I really do not know, provides great insights into the lab. I understand there is a move afoot to set hat national standard! I hope we can accomplish that at some point, but it must include some for of higher education if we are to succeed. Now, the boo bids will come out and shout to the rooftops of the lack of value in education. Please know that if you think education is expensive, try ignorance. We can shape our own education, and now that the federal government, and many states are pushing for further acceptance of apprenticeship for the "trades" we can do that, if we are to be tradesmen. But it we wish to ever regain the professional stature of those from previous decades we must have some formal education.

    We must develop a vision for what Opticianry should be. And if it is not too late, we should define ourselves. We must do as our Optometric colleagues who came from us did many decades ago. We must place a value on knowledge and education, and we must not wait any longer.

    We need new blood as well. Are you listening Wes, Mirasol, and others out there making a difference? We need a vision for tomorrow!

    I will not argue with anyone here. I am not posting to stir debate. I am highly capable of defending my positions, but that plane took off long ago! I love this field, and even some of you who have strongly disagreed with me, know I have valued your views. It is not my thing, it is our thing, and I have presented my vision. I remember the great depth of discussion my 7-part series in the old journal, The AMerican Optician bought to this board and others when that publication was active. I have never wanted anything except the betterment of Opticianry. Now I am done, and I wish each of you the very best.

    With my best wishes for a better future for Opticianry!

  11. #11
    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    When I came in, we were thriving, and the goal of every Optician (note Cap O) was to open their own office and make their way in the world.
    This is difficult for anyone, these days. But it's the absolute best model for excellence.


    As the world changed, we lost the support of Ophthalmology. They had teamed with Optometry as they had advanced themselves through education to new heights and scope pf practice, while we continued down the same tired road we had always taken.
    I have to disagree, here. The only way ophthalmology has teamed with optometry is from us sending them referrals, and them allowing co-management of surgery, glaucoma, retina. They don't send us jack squat in the way of optical care. (Frankly, I don't want it!)

    Opticianry absolutely, positively needs to work with ophthalmology AND optometry, either together or independently.

    Optometrists, except for the odd old fart like myself, don't know optical care at all. They need YOU, badly. (Case in point, me. I know a hell of a lot, but I'm always on here getting more from the excellent resources.) Actually, patients need opticianry.

  12. #12
    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    And I'm telling you: 1.) Guild 2.) apprentices. Do it outside the current structures.

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    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Silver Supporter lensmanmd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drk View Post
    And I'm telling you: 1.) Guild 2.) apprentices. Do it outside the current structures.
    +1
    I bend light. That is what I do.

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    Compulsive Truthteller OptiBoard Gold Supporter Uncle Fester's Avatar
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    The hijack is complete...

    Thanks Dr McDonald for the post and passionate clarification. I should have mentioned how old your post was.

    The Catch-22 we face is it takes money to organize but we cannot organize as none of us think we have enough money to merit the return.

    I promote unionization but watch as many will throw up their hands over the evils of unions. I see them as a way to require education of what is now a trade. We can call it a Guild if we want.

    An Apprentice is just that ($15-$25 hr.). To become a Journeyman ($25-$35 hr) you must know Prentice Rule etc.. A Master Optician ($40 hr. and up) is a minimum associate's degree or higher level of education.

    Money taken from the unionized higher paid Opticians paycheck funds the lobbyists required to pay politicians and unionize chains because that's where the game is played right now.

  15. #15
    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    The appeal of the Guild is that you do it yourselves. No red tape. No rules, just yours. No stupid history to circumvent. Reinvent the wheel. "Guild Optician" sounds better than "ABO" anyway.

    Get ten top opticians and pitch in $100 each and start a website and let it begin.

  16. #16
    OptiBoard Professional IIxIPariahIxII's Avatar
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    Sadly there's usually not proper optical training for the opticians coming into the field (this has long been one of my biggest gripes and have left a company before because they wouldn't take it seriously and kept shortening the training.....), I have had to teach so many opticians about all facets of prism. Once had a patient come in to pick up and as soon as I pulled his glasses out of the case, I could tell just by looking at them it didn't have any prism in them (he had very high prescribed diopters). Checked them and sure enough, no prism. When I asked the optician how he got notified they were in, they should never have passed inspection. They said it matched the lab ticket/invoice. I had to explain why you always refer to your order, not the lab invoice. And it was 100% not the lab's mistake either.


    Quote Originally Posted by drk View Post
    The appeal of the Guild is that you do it yourselves. No red tape. No rules, just yours. No stupid history to circumvent. Reinvent the wheel. "Guild Optician" sounds better than "ABO" anyway.

    Get ten top opticians and pitch in $100 each and start a website and let it begin.
    This is actually an excellent idea Drk! A lot of us have been sitting on the sidelines waiting for something to come to fruition, but the sad truth of it is we wait for others to do it. I think I may run with this idea. Or at the very least try lol.

  17. #17
    Master OptiBoarder optical24/7's Avatar
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    The OAA owns “Guild Opticians” if I’m not mistaken. You’ll need a new name.

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    Thank you DRK but the Guild of Prescriptions Opticians of America had very strict rules. An Optician could not be associated with a refractionist at all. It remained that way for many years, but the world changed. Today, many of the few independents remaining include an OD in their offices. All corporate entities include eye exam capabilities today, and because they were not owned by an Optician, they could not have been considered for Guild membership. A shop owned by an OD was ineligible. It was Optician controlled. The old Guild was a sign of the best of the best. That name exists today, and there is a Guild owned by OAA, but it is far from the old guild, and I see it as another way to collect dues. THE primary rule of the original Guild was a separation of dispensing from the prescriber. It was patterned after the physician and pharmacist. Prescribing and dispensing was separated.

    As to Ophthalmology referrals, when I came in this field most Ophthalmologists had absolutely nothing to do with Optometry. In NC when I graduated from Opticianry School in the early 1970s, Opticians had to have a year of what was referred to as "internship" prior to getting a license. I served my year at a large Ophthalmology practice. I had a neighbor who was an OD, and delightful man, now long gone. I had lunch with him one day at a drug store lunch counter when those things still existed! My Ophthalmologist came in and saw me with him, and I was chastised later that afternoon for consorting with that quack down the street! Now, my MD boss was an impatient ego maniac I found during my time there. I continued to see my OD neighbor, as we went to the same church, and he lived close to my childhood home. I never shared my bosses' comments for fear it would hurt his feelings, but that was not uncommon in those day. The OD MD rivalry is well known and remains a tenacious turf battleground to this day! California is but one recent example! But when co-management became the norm, the close relationship with MDs diminished completely from our side. Do they send you squat? Absolutely not. Do we need to work with both ODs and MDs? Of course, we do. You guys educated and legislated. You had leadership with a vision that brought MOST of you on board and it has paid dividends. Unfortunately, Opticianry has no common educational or training background and they vary widely across different regions of the country. We must somehow find that vision for the future, and decide for ourselves what the future looks like for us.

    Look, I am not here to argue. There was a time I wouldn't eat lunch with an OD, but today many of my closest friends are Optometrists. I support formal education and have for many years. It is the only way to advance, just as Optometry has done. I admire your profession a great deal, but I have testified against Optometry in state legislatures who sought to injure our licensure regularly back in the old days. I have also supported recent legislation for ODs in several states. We fought here in NC over Contact Lenses. Today that relationship is better. I am pleased it is, but I always heard one specific point of weakness for us during those legislative battles, we lacked education. I found it in Georgia, Virginia, New Jersey, New York, Arizona and others. The biggest issue we faced when going against your team was always the fact that we had no education beyond on the job training. The fact is, I learned through various studies, that in most cases apprenticeship in Opticianry was no more than cheap labor with little education or training going on. Eventually through self-study, certification could be achieved, and in the 201 states or so that require a license, that too. If we are to have a true apprenticeship, then so be it. But it needs significant structure and will cost. The Department of Labor has a well-developed apprenticeship approach, but it also does require some didactic study. Opticianry has various organizations like the NAO, who have a Career Progression Program accepted as the didactic portion of apprenticeship in several states, for example both the Carolinas.

    Opticians can and should determine their direction. There are several kinds of folks in the world. There are those who make things happen, those who let things happen, and those who wonder what happened. Unfortunately, Opticianry is a bit of the last two.

    DRK you suggest setting up a website and getting each to through in a hundred bucks! Each of these would want to be in charge, and you would find little agreement. We've tried that approach countless times! You also prefer Guild. Every TRADE has a guild. Opticians prefer to see themselves as professionals, and this is something we must do ourselves.

    Now, I knew better this morning than to venture into this, but I did it anyway. Opticianry is where my professional journey began, and it will always hold a special place in my heart. I hope at some point I have given something back to make it better. I have lectured in most states and across the globe. I offer my views here freely. But as Einstein said years ago the definition on insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. It's about what I expected, but I just had to jump in. Call me insane if you wish, but my message is consistent, and I fervently believe what I am telling you. Opticians can be more!

    I wish each of you the very best! I will now retire from the discussion.

  19. #19
    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by optical24/7 View Post
    The OAA owns “Guild Opticians” if I’m not mistaken. You’ll need a new name.
    "Master Optician Guild"

  20. #20
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    Thank you Warren for your years of unwavering advocacy of Opticianry advancement. And thank you for all the wise council you’ve provided me, and countless others…

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    OptiBoardaholic KrystleClear's Avatar
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    My doctors will purposefully write the scripts with how they want the prism split. I need to ask them if I want to deviate from that before ordering the lenses. That may not be the case in this scenario though.

    I've said it before and I will say it again... Many of us get hired with no prior experience and the barest bones of training and just get thrown into it. My first day in eyecare I was given a print out explaining the parts of a prescription and a few other essential terms and that was about it. Then when I moved to selling glasses, they told me to measure PALS at the pupil, flattops at the bottom lid, etc.. There was no mention of what prescribed prism is or WHY it's used, or any optical formulas or anything. Now, if you have your ABO certification, that means you can retain information for a period of time and then pass a test. Doesn't mean you actually know what you are doing. Especially if you're working for a corporate/chain optical. They want to know you can be a salesperson and take measurements for pds and seg heights. A lot of places really don't offer opticians any real incentive to improve upon that. Is it worth the hours spent studying to potentially not even earn a better wage? I'm studying for mine but I am not holding my breath for a pay raise. I hope the knowledge will make my work life easier and I know that certificate will be a confidence boost.

    Employers need to pay better if they want to keep skilled knowledgeable employees and provide more thorough training. But they simply don't want to. My office has people who have worked here for years but don't know what most of the procedures our surgeon does are. They don't want to learn on their own and no one cares to teach them. It's depressing. Just my thoughts.
    Krystle

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    In Pennsylvania and most states, the arduous requirement to use the title Optician is a pulse! That is what is called "apprenticeship" in the US! There are those who take it seriously and have the knowledge and skill to effectively train someone to do the tasks opticians typically perform. They include a PD, Fitting heights. But to truly learn we must gain an education of some sort. If it is to be a real Apprenticeship, then it must include a didactic component. It is a shame that someone with the real interest in this field has such little support. There are some here who can and will help if you wish.
    Last edited by wmcdonald; 09-24-2022 at 11:24 AM.

  23. #23
    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Silver Supporter lensmanmd's Avatar
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    Well, we support Virginia. It’s a licensed state. Just know that we have less issues with Maryland opticians, and MD is not a licensed state.

    I really believe that minimum ABO should be at least 80%, not 70%. Seriously, B is better than C, right?

    My entry into optical was in California. Though it was a non-licensed state, I had the opportunity to learn from master opticians.

    Our industry really needs to reevaluate apprenticeships.
    I bend light. That is what I do.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by lensmanmd View Post
    Well, we support Virginia. It’s a licensed state. Just know that we have less issues with Maryland opticians, and MD is not a licensed state.

    I really believe that minimum ABO should be at least 80%, not 70%. Seriously, B is better than C, right?

    My entry into optical was in California. Though it was a non-licensed state, I had the opportunity to learn from master opticians.

    Our industry really needs to reevaluate apprenticeships.

    I do not disagree at this point, so long as it is a real apprenticeship and not just cheap labor. An associate degree seems to be too extensive a requirement for opticians (note little o). There is always a response like this from someone. You, lensmanmd have obviously gone well above the average and have a solid base of knowledge and experience. California had some good folks, as did every state. But as a whole Opticians are left lacking due to no mandated education and training requirements. It is proven every day by numerous other allied health "profession." ODs made tremendous strides and came from within our ranks. Three kinds of people, those who make things happen, those who let things happen, and those who wonder what happened. We remain in the latter. I have long ago provided a plan, based on extensive research and well published. If we can establish a solid apprenticeship, I am for it!

    I just can't help myself for continuing taking the bait. Same story, different day any years later, and we still can't find a shared vision.

    I want the best for this field that has meant so much to me, and every individual in it.

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    Please explain how an apprenticeship can work when environment that is supplying the apprenticeship is unregulated and not formally educated. I am licensed in NY one if the states that used have high standards. Many people in the field did not meet those standards nor were there any repercussions other than not to happy patients on occasion. Todays world with people buying glasses online and doing self refraction online what will be the job description of an optician.
    when the largest employers in the field have no interest or need in raising employee standards pay or requirements to be an optician it will not happen.
    the most powerful union in the country is the AMA they could stop the rise of HMO medicine when big business decided it was better for them.

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