Opticians are highly-skilled eye care professionals who design and dispense eyeglasses, contact lenses, low vision aids and prosthetic ocular devices for customers. They must pass specific certification and educational criteria that demonstrates that they are qualified to become an optician. As with other health professions, opticians have undergone rigorous and extensive training to fulfill education and practice skills.
The education requirements for becoming an optician are based on determined learning outcomes as established by the College of Opticians in each individual province. In areas where optometrists and opticians provide the same services to the public, opticians have more in-depth and extensive education and training.
Here’s more of what you should know about your friendly neighbourhood optician.
Code of Ethics
You can and should expect your optician to follow the Code of Ethics as outlined by the College of Opticians in your province. This Code of Ethics relates to you in the following ways:
- Your optician will be honest and impartial in serving you
- He will use his knowledge and skill to improve your visual health and well-being
- She will protect the privacy of your records and will only release them to another health professional with your consent
- He will provide you with quality ophthalmic services
Look for the Registration Certificate
Make sure that you are receiving service from a Registered Optician. A current Registration Certificate should be displayed in a prominent location. If it isn’t, ask to be shown this important document and make sure that it’s valid for the current year.
Don’t confuse style with expert lens advice. While you will choose the style of the eyeglass frames, the optician’s recommendations about the type of lenses you should have will determine how satisfied you will ultimately be with your eyewear.
Precise measurements of your face and eyes need to be taken to ensure that you see well and easily. The results of these measurements must then be accurately transferred to the eyewear. A mistake as little as one millimetre may mean that you’re unable to use your new glasses.
Choosing Lens Type
There are hundreds of modern lens types for different visual needs and many optional lens coatings that will enhance vision, so be sure to ask your optician about what’s best for your needs. Your registered optician is highly trained to provide you with choices from the simplest feature of corrective lenses to the most complicated.
Some lenses are specific to age. Some are made that allow for a person’s posture and even eye and head movement.
Dealing with Complaints
If you ever have a complaint about your experience with or service from an optician, you can notify the College of Opticians in your province. Under certain circumstances, they will investigate the situation on your behalf.