CONTINUING EDUCATION, 1 CE Credit – $9.99, 1 Hour, General Knowledge, Level 1, Release date: October 2007, Expiration date: October 31, 2012

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MOBILE OPTICIAN

“Who Are You? 
Who Who Who Who
I really wanna know”

When thinking outside the womb it's obvious that defining who we are starts at birth. My pink I.D. tag from the hospital nursery where I was born is part of my define collection. The tag let my parents know which bundle of joy they would be taking home. It was an announcement for hospital spectators to know, 'It's A Girl'. My name, weight, length and the time I arrived on earth set me apart from other noisy newborns in the room.

Next I was defined by nine numbers aka a social security number. At age 15, I passed all of the requirements needed to have a driver's permit. By law I needed a licensed driver to accompany me in the passenger's seat during certain hours. Thank goodness for long driveways and empty parking lots. They helped in defining me as a licensed driver by age 16.

You know it's really scary that the DMV doesn't require all licensed drivers to take CE courses every year. We have all witnessed careless, dangerous drivers and wonder how in the world they are allowed to be on the road. We ask ourselves the famous question: Where are the police when you need them?

That's what I'm talking about.

I think the optical industry should have police officers. They could be in charge of patrolling optical areas, protecting the innocent staff, investigating crimes and enforcing optical laws.

Sir, I need you to step out of the dispensary and put your hands on the counter. Are you aware that it is illegal for you to be dispensing eyewear alone? The sign on your building reads Real Opticians. You're under arrest for false advertising and impersonating a licensed Optician and it's going to cost you a hefty fine. Now get Real!

Mr. Dud, are you aware that online bait and switch transactions are required to have self measured bathroom mirror PDs?

Sir, is this your business card? Who ordered these? Do you realize that you just started working here yesterday and by law you can't represent yourself with this title? Where's the owner? Does he know how to perform all of the duties represented with this title? I'll need to call for backup because the owner of Fake Eyes Optical is going down to the station in handcuffs with you.

I understand what you are saying Ms. Iris but if you are not willing to tell me in person what you know about this optical crime then you need to call the Opti-Stoppers phone number. As a narc you are not required to reveal your identity and if the crime is solved you will receive, well, I am not allowed to say.

Oh wait, before the police are called in, the entire industry needs a define intervention. 

FYI, here are 31 Discipline Guidelines taken directly from www.abo-ncle.org

The following acts relating to the practice of opticianry and contact lens technicianry shall be grounds for disciplinary action.

1. Procuring or attempting to procure ABO or NCLE certification or state licensure by misrepresentation, bribery, fraud or deception. 
2. Theft or attempted theft of any ABO or NCLE exam. 
3. Tampering with any ABO or NCLE exam. 
4. Any false representation of ABO or NCLE certification. 
5. Practicing with a revoked, suspended or inactive license in those states where a license is required. 
6. In states where licensing is required, permitting any person under your supervision who is not licensed or participating in a state recognized student or apprenticeship program, to fit or dispense contact lenses, spectacles, or other optical devices which are part of the practice of opticianry or contact lens technicianry. 
7. Failure to adequately supervise auxiliary staff, students or apprentice dispensing opticians within your supervision, to the extent that the patient's/customer's health, welfare or safety is at risk. 
8. Having been convicted in any state or federal court for any crime related to the practice of opticianry. A plea of guilty, non vult, nolo contendere or a similar disposition shall be deemed a conviction. 
9. Having been disciplined for improper practice or misconduct as an optician by a duly authorized professional disciplinary agency of a state. 
10. Failure to comply with any order or consent agreement relating to opticianry practice issued by or entered into with a state or federal court, licensing body, regulatory body, governmental agency, ABO or NCLE. 
11. Failure to report to ABO/NCLE, within 50 days, the revocation, suspension or surrender of a license to practice opticianry. 
12. Failure to cooperate reasonably with an ABO/NCLE or state regulatory body's investigation of a disciplinary matter. 
13. Advertising goods or services in a manner which is fraudulent, false, deceptive or misleading in form or content. 
14. Attempting directly or indirectly, by way of intimidation, coercion, or deception to obtain or retain a patient/customer, or to discourage a patient/customer from obtaining a second opinion. 
15. Abandonment of a patient/customer to terminating imminently needed care of a patient/customer without adequate notice. 
16. Paying or offering to pay a rebate, commission, compensation, or any other thing of value to a licensed physician, licensed optometrist, or any other person, in a manner which is unlawful, or which is for the mere act of referring a patient/customer to the dispensing opticianry, rather than as reasonable compensation for services rendered. 
17. Engaging in fraud, deception, misrepresentation, false promise or pretense in the practice of opticianry. 
18. Engaging in substantial and/or repeated acts of negligent or incompetent professional conduct. 
19. Failing to keep written prescription files as required by law. 
20. The unauthorized material disclosure of confidential patient/customer information. 
21. Deceptively altering patient/customer records. 
22. Practicing opticianry or contact lens technicianry if the person is impaired by physical condition in such a manner that the services cannot be provided competently to patient/customers. 
23. Exploitation or abuses of a patient/customer. 
24. Assault and battery of a patient/customer. 
25. Practicing in a manner involving contact with patients/customers while knowingly suffering from a contagious or infectious disease if such contact exposes a patient/customer to a serious and material health risk as defined by the Centers for Disease Control. 
26. Engaging in discrimination in the provision of services based on a patient's/customer's age, sex, race, creed, color, national origin, disability or other basis proscribed by law. 
27. Fitting, dispensing, selling or otherwise providing prescription lenses including contact lenses to any individual without having a valid prescription for that individual. 
28. Duplicating an eyeglass or contact lens, if prohibited by state law. 
29. Failing to make fee or price information available upon presentation of a written prescription or sufficient information on which to base an estimation. 
30. Engaging in other conduct which is determined by ABO/NCLE to be unethical or unprofessional as being inconsistent with generally recognized professional standards. 
31. Engaging in other conduct which is determined by ABO/NCLE to be unethical or unprofessional as being inconsistent with generally recognized professional standards. 

What an optical nightmare we are currently living. Professional respect, colleague relationships, long term friendships in this business are falling apart over constant disrespect and the misrepresentation of who we are. Guidelines, “gray” areas, requirements, rules, laws? What's the answer? Who am I to say what it is, but I really wanna know.

Ginny Johnson
LDO, ABOC

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