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28.07.2017 At Risk Patients: Refracting Case Study You are a refracting optician and a patient walks into your practice asking for an “eye test” and that they are seeking a pair of new eyeglasses. What do you do?
28.02.2017 Dropping Your License You are the only optician and contact lens fitter who works at Star Optical, an optical dispensary. The dispensary recently decided to stop selling contact lenses and offering contact lens fitting services. Due to this, you are wondering whether or not it would be practical to drop your license with the College of Opticians (“College”) to save some money each year.
28.12.2016 The Culture of Failure We interviewed an optician who went through the complaints process for breaching regulation. The optician was conducting services they weren’t certified to do such as sight testing and was misleading patients that they were receiving eye exams. We asked for feedback about what the optician learnt from going through the complaints process.
01.02.2018 Meet Jim - He's excited about the new continuing competency program Jim gathered his continuing education credits together in late December. A couple weeks later Jim received a confirmation email from the College, congratulating him on successfully completing his MCE cycle. He noticed that the email mentioned he would be starting the new continuing competency program in April 2018. Jim missed all the previous workshops that the College held on the new program, so he is unsure of where to get information and he’s unsure how the program will work.
22.12.2017 7 COBC 2017 Highlights What have we been up to at the COBC in 2017? find out by reading our article that features our 2017 highlights, including completing grant projects, collaborating with other provinces and protecting the right to title in B.C 
01.12.2017 What we learned about Continuing Competency Thanks to everyone who came out to our Continuing Competency Workshops in Kelowna, Richmond, Prince George, Victoria and Nanaimo.  The workshops were meant to help introduce the new program to registrants and teach them about the process. During the workshops, we learned a lot about the needs of our registrants as well.
28.10.2016 Electronic Record Keeping Barry Allen, a licensed optician, recently switched from paper patient records to storing all his patient records electronically. He is unsure about what he needs to consider when managing patient records all electronically and how often he should back up his patient records. Barry is aware that the dispensary's computer is password protected, but the computer is getting old and Barry does not want to lose all his patient records due to a system crash. He also works with a couple other opticians. What should Barry consider?
01.05.2018 Thank you for an amazing 10 years I still remember when I started working at the College and trying to learn the ropes of professional regulation. I was looking for experience in nonprofit and law and the College was a perfect fit. I thought I wanted to go to law school but within a year of working in professional regulation I realized that I didn’t want to specialize in one area. Instead I was much more fulfilled being a generalist and having the opportunity to work on many different projects in different capacities such as board governance, relationship building, program development and evaluation, policy development, and people development. This same diversity exists in opticianry (health, business and fashion), which has made it even more enjoyable to work with all of you.
16.02.2016 Dispensing off Boxtops Case study: You are a contact lens fitter with a busy practice. Maria visited your dispensary for the first time to order a refill of her soft contact lenses. She presented you with the box top of contact lenses that she has been using for the past year. She said she liked the brand and did not have any problem using the contact lenses. She also said that she had her last eye exam 8months ago.
16.06.2016 Transferring Records Case study: You are a contact lens fitter who owns a successful practice within a small sub-urban community. There is an optometrist, Dr. Dee, who provides eye exams at your practice. You have very good professional relations with the optometrist. The optometrist bills patients for the services she provides from your practice.
31.03.2015 How do you want to show up? “Why should I renew? What is the College doing for me?” The College is not here to protect opticians. Instead, the College’s mandate is to protect the public by regulating opticians in BC. What I would encourage opticians to ask instead is: “How can I be a good health care professional? How can I utilize licensure as an optician?”
16.01.2016 Let's Talk: the COBC wants to support your mental health On January 27, 2016 Bell Canada held its annual Let’s Talk day which aims to educate the public on mental health and raise funds for mental health support organizations and programs. Let’s Talk, built on four pillars: Anti-stigma, Care& Access, WorkplaceHealth and Research, has motivated all of us at the COBC to talk more about the mental health and well-being of our registrants.
16.02.2016 How do we use your registration fees? How does the College use your registration fees?
28.06.2017 Forgot to renew? It Happened to You! You are a dispensing optician and contact lens fitter. You’ve just returned from an emergency trip. Your sister decided to elope and wanted you with her to witness her new marriage. In the midst of the excitement you forgot to check your emails, and the thought of renewing your licence slipped your mind. You realize it’s past the cutoff date, and your licence was suspended. What do you do?
28.12.2016 Why Educate Ray Palmer is a newer optician that was recently hired at Star Optical. His store manager, Barbara Gordon, has been impressed with how fast Ray picks up new knowledge and skills at the job. At the end of each year, Barbara meets with all of her employees to ensure that they are completing their mandatory continuing education requirements. Barbara is committed to supporting the continuous learning of all the opticians she employs.
16.11.2016 Challenging Traditional Workplace Structure Cait Snow was adjusting a pair of eyeglasses for one of her patients when she overheard Mr. Wells, her boss, asking one of the non-licensed staff to conduct an automated refraction on another patient while he took his lunch break. Mr. Wells proceeds to go to a café a few blocks away and Cait witnesses her coworker conduct an automated refraction. What should Cait do?
16.02.2017 Register as Non-Practicing Why register as non-practicing? Changing your status to non-practicing is an easy and cost-efficient way to maintain your license. While you might betaking time off work, registering as non-practicing means that you aren’t taking time away from your profession.
16.01.2016 Out of Country Prescription - Can you fill it? Case study: You are a contact lens fitter and an automated refracting optician. Mike, a 39-year-old patient, came to your dispensary. He is visiting Vancouver for two months. He said that he needs disposable contact lenses as he did not have time to replenish his supply before he left for Vancouver. He produced a one-year-old prescription issued by an Icelandic optometrist.
22.07.2016 What happened with the Dental Surgeons? Recently, the College of Dental Surgeons of British Columbia (CDSBC) promoted a new regulation that aimed to ensure professional boundaries were being met for the safety of patients and registrants. The CDSBC created a policy that made it so registrants could not treat a partner or spouse. Registrants of the CDSBC quickly became frustrated with the College, as lots of them had been treating their spouses for quite some time.
01.05.2018 Case Study: What if I don't want a contact lens fitting? You are a Licensed Optician and Contact Lens Fitter and you’ve been passionately fitting contact lenses and helping people access vision care for 30 years! A patient enters your practice and asks if they can get a contact lens refill, and they present you with a picture of their prescription on their phone. You search your records for their file, but cannot find any information.
16.04.2016 Assessment Records Case study: You are an automated refracting optician. You provide sight-testing services for free as long as patients purchase their eyewear from your dispensary.
28.11.2016 Interview with Rick Molcan: Director of Professional Development Rick Molcan is an optician in British Columbia. He has worked as an optician in many other provinces including Manitoba and Alberta. He got his start in optics in Ontario. Currently, he works as the Director of Professional Development for IRIS. We reached out to Rick to ask him his thoughts on the new continuing competency program, where he sees the future of education, and how the new changes will affect opticians
01.02.2018 Get ready for the new continuing competency program Did you complete your Continuing Education cycle in 2017? Congratulations! Maintaining your skills and competence is an extremely important part of being a licensed optician, and completing your cycle requirements is a huge accomplishment!
16.01.2017 Releasing records to a patient who refuses safe care Lucy Lain, a 23-year-old patient enters Kara Zorelle's Optical store. Lucy requests the release of her prescription and contact lens record despite the fact that she hasn't had her eyes checked since 2013. Kara is hesitant to release the record because she is worried that she might be liable considering Lucy plans to buy her contact lenses online without getting another eye exam.
29.09.2016 Discover our New Continuing Competency Program We've been working over the past few years on developing a new continuing competency program (CCP) to provide you the tools to plan and focus your professional growth and learning goals.
05.04.2018 I'm Retiring! What do I do with my patient records? Congratulations! You are an optician that has passionately served many patients in your community over the course of your career and getting ready to retire this year. As you think about retiring from practice, you are wondering what to do with your patient records. You are aware that the College’s Standards of Practice require patient records to be kept for a minimum of 3 years, and it is recommended to keep them for 10 years as other health care professionals do. You realize that you can’t simply shred patient records because patients may need access to their records after your retire. What should you do?
01.06.2018 A Warm Welcome to Lisa Bannerman - Registrar I would like to take this opportunity to say hello to all BC opticians and let you know how excited I am to be working for the College as the new Registrar.
15.07.2016 What's the problem with conflict? So we need to talk about the elephants in the room; conflicts of interest. They can be difficult to spot and overcome.
01.03.2018 CCP - what to expect in March What can you expect in March 2018?
29.09.2016 Assessing Competencies Case: Cisco, a contact lens fitter, received a call from a colleague, Mike, that he saw one of Cisco's patients earlier that afternoon with contact lens-associated infiltrative keratitis. Mike told Cisco that this was the third incident this year that one of Cisco's patients had contact lens related problems and wanted to figure out how to prevent these issues in the future. Were these patients not following through on safe contact lens care or was something else the issue?
05.04.2018 Our Sincere Apologies We, The College of Opticians of British Columbia, apologize for an image published of a man holding a cigarette in our January newsletter case study. This was a publishing oversight that happened when choosing a stock photo to use with one of our articles. We realize that this photo could negatively affect the public image of the regulation of the profession, as it portrays an image of a health risk. We recognize that the photo also contradicts out College’s mandate to protect the public, and we are deeply sorry. We want to ensure that we are fostering a good relationship with registrants and stakeholders to protect the public interest.
28.10.2016 How was the new Continuing Competency Program Developed? Our new continuing competency program will help each of our registrants create a professional development roadmap to focus learning which will include
16.01.2019 Why You Should Renew Your Valued License As we start the new calendar year, our focus in the office shifts towards preparing for renewal. This is a great time to remind you why you renew your licence each year, and what can happen if you choose not to.
10.10.2018 Continuing Education Deadline - December 31, 2018 Your Registrar writes about continuing education; a reminder about why it is important, and how missing the deadlines will impact your ability to renew your license.
10.12.2018 COBC or OAC: Who Does What? (Part 1) In September, 2018, we surveyed opticians in BC about the differences between our organization, the College of Opticians of BC (COBC), and the Opticians Association of Canada (OAC). These are the results from part 1.
07.02.2019 COBC or OAC: Who Does What? (Part 2) In September, 2018, we surveyed opticians in BC about the differences between our organization, the College of Opticians of BC (COBC), and the Opticians Association of Canada (OAC). These are the results from part 2.