We have all heard that titanium is tough, lightweight, and hypoallergenic, and we know to convey these features to our patients. But there can be much more to the story when it comes to titanium that we can overlook when presenting these fabulous products. Here are a few tips to help when giving your patient the low-down on why to choose one frame over another.
It was the top of the 4th, one out and no one on base in the May 11 ball game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Yankees. The Rays were leading 2-0 when Yankee Brett Gardner hit a fly ball into left field. Rays outfielder Tommy Pham raced for the catch just as he lost his left contact lens. Without breaking stride, however, the ball landed neatly in Pham’s glove for the second out. Pham searched the ground for a moment, then reached into his back pocket, pulled out a compact mirror and spare contact lens to reinsert the lens on the field. Pham made it seem like no big deal.
Bob Reynolds, OAA President, reports that there is a surge in attempts to deregulate or consolidate licensed professions by doing away with or combining state licensing boards. Attempts at deregulation have been made recently in Ohio, Arizona, Virginia and Florida, with more states certain to follow. You may recall that the OAA was instrumental in assisting opticians in Virginia, where a bill to deregulate opticians died in committee.
Contact Lens Theory can be a challenging subject to teach and to absorb because most students are more familiar with spectacle lenses as they are initially introduced to refractive errors, how light bends through different mediums, and how spectacle lenses correct vision. It may be easier to understand the concept of visual correction when one can actually hold the lens in hand, see the shape of the lens either thick in the center or at the edges, and diagram the light rays entering and converging or diverging through the material.
One of my favorite sayings goes, “you live and you learn.” It doesn’t sound like anything profound or straight out of a literature book, but it gets me through mistakes I’ve made. If I could go back in time, I would have pursued a job in the field before I started school. I didn’t understand the importance of obtaining real life experience in an optical, versus putting in hours at my school’s optical clinic until applying for my apprenticeship. My classmates and I were able to guide each other frequently for group projects. Therefore, I always had support and comfort with what I was doing. It’s possible if I had started working in an optical setting sooner, I would have been much more relaxed for anything involving practical and physical tasks. I have noticed a drastic improvement in my skills and knowledge since becoming an apprentice. So, I try to convince students to get a job sooner than later because applying your knowledge in this field is immensely important on the road to becoming a successful optician.
Our columns today offer the perspectives of a teacher and of a student. For those of you who are mentors, it’s important to connect with your novices with a way to help them understand what we do and why, and to make it relevant to the daily experience. Hands-on experience combined with theoretical knowledge provides the best learning opportunity in our field.