By: Lisa Bannerman, RO, RCLP

This article appeared in issue 102 of the Eighth Line Newsletter, and has been edited for easier viewing on the web. Some of the information in this article may be out of date. Refer to our current static website pages for correct information.

In the winter and spring 2017 newsletters, I wrote the first two parts of an article on privacy.  This was in response to a question received at the office that involved a patient file and a possible privacy breach.  Privacy regulation is an area that is fairly new to most of us, and somewhat intimidating.  Opticians don’t want to jeopardize an individual’s right to privacy, and we also need to be able to do our jobs as health care providers.  In order to improve my own understanding, I decided to do a little research, and share this information with all members through this series of articles.

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By: Lisa Bannerman, RO, RCLP

This article appeared in issue 103 of the Eighth Line Newsletter, and has been edited for easier viewing on the web. Some of the information in this article may be out of date. Refer to our current static website pages for correct information.

You asked, and we answered! For the first time in years, the ACAO finally hosted an event specifically for contact lenses. On February 25th and 26th of 2017, members joined us for the Contact Lens Symposium at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Centre in Calgary. This event featured two full days of contact lens content, and included seminars, product information sessions, and two hands-on learning stations.

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By: Julie Therou, RO, RCLP & Lisa Bannerman, RO, RCLP

This article appeared in issue 103 of the Eighth Line Newsletter, and has been edited for easier viewing on the web. Some of the information in this article may be out of date. Refer to our current static website pages for correct information.

We are probably all in agreement that staying relevant and up to date in our profession is important, but because continuing education is a mandated requirement, there seems to be a natural tendency to fight it to a certain degree. Every three years, as the continuing education cycle comes to an end on June 30th, we get lots of calls in the office asking questions about con-ed, how members can get credits, why credits are needed at all and, of course, why some con-ed opportunities cost so much while others are free. We are happy to field individual questions as they come, but thought we would take this opportunity to address some of the most asked questions and hopefully help our members look at con- ed as an opportunity rather than a requirement.

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By: Lisa Bannerman, RO, RCLP

This article appeared in issue 103 of the Eighth Line Newsletter, and has been edited for easier viewing on the web. Some of the information in this article may be out of date. Refer to our current static website pages for correct information.

In issue 102 (winter 2017) of the Eighth Line, I wrote part one of a piece on privacy.  This was in response to a question received at the office that involved a patient file and a possible privacy breach.  Privacy regulation is an area that is fairly new to most of us, and somewhat intimidating.  Opticians don’t want to jeopardize an individual’s right to privacy, and we also need to be able to do our jobs as health care providers.  In order to improve my own understanding, I decided to do a little research, and share this information with all members through this series of articles.

As regulated healthcare practitioners in Alberta, opticians are bound by the statutes, regulations and standards of practice in place.  The ACAO puts together information such as this article, sessions like the Code of Conduct and programs like Practice Review to help our members learn about issues like privacy so that they understand and are prepared for the provision of health services to the public.

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By: Padmaja Genesh, BSc, MBBS, BA (Gerontology)

This article appeared in issue 102 of the Eighth Line Newsletter, and has been edited for easier viewing on the web. Some of the information in this article may be out of date. Refer to our current static website pages for correct information.

Have you been encountering an increasing number of clients exhibiting symptoms of dementia, such as forgetfulness, confusion, difficulty to understand and follow instructions, and so on? Additionally, did you know that dementia could present with visual symptoms?

If you have not yet seen an increase in the number of clients exhibiting forgetfulness, communication challenges etc. it is very likely to happen in the coming days.

Dementia could also present with visual symptoms that may be difficult to comprehend.

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By: Lisa Bannerman, RO, RCLP

This article appeared in issue 102 of the Eighth Line Newsletter, and has been edited for easier viewing on the web. Some of the information in this article may be out of date. Refer to our current static website pages for correct information.

In August, I took a call at the College office from a fellow optician asking me how she would be required to handle a situation in her office that involved a patient file and a possible privacy breach. The story is interesting and worth sharing with all of our members, but before we explain this particular situation in detail, I feel it would be worthwhile to revisit privacy regulations in general. 

After visiting our members during practice reviews, it became clear that  a solid understanding of privacy regulations seems to be an area that most opticians are lacking in, and honestly this applies to me too.  In order to improve my own understanding, I have done some research and plan to address privacy regulations over the course of the next three newsletters to try and unravel at least some of their mystery.

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This article appeared in issue 100 of the Eighth Line Newsletter, and has been edited for easier viewing on the web. Some of the information in this article may be out of date. Refer to our current static website pages for correct information.

In 2015 the American Standards National Institute (ANSI) came out with a new updated publication, the last being from 2010.  Although there have not been any earth shattering news concerning changes there are a number of modifications that certainly represent keeping up with industry and technology advancements. As Opticians, all of us have in recent years noted some very exciting lens designs and superb coatings that have given consumers the opportunity to purchase products that greatly enhance visual acuity and comfort.

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By: Maureen Hussey, RO, RCLP

This article appeared in issue 99 of the Eighth Line Newsletter, and has been edited for easier viewing on the web. Some of the information in this article may be out of date. Refer to our current static website pages for correct information.

Most of you know NACOR as the organization that runs the national examinations, but who are they?   NACOR is an organization that is comprised of all the regulatory boards in Canada (with the exception of Quebec).  The College of Opticians of Alberta is a member of NACOR.  As a regulatory board we are responsible for ensuring that every optician we give a license to is properly trained and meets an accepted national standard.  If each regulatory board had to develop the necessary tools for this it would be very expensive and time consuming.   Therefore, NACOR develops one set of tools that is used by every regulatory board and this keeps everyone’s cost down and ensures consistency across the country.

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By: Mary Field, RO

This article appeared in issue 99 of the Eighth Line Newsletter, and has been edited for easier viewing on the web. Some of the information in this article may be out of date. Refer to our current static website pages for correct information.

When did fashion overtake fit and function as priorities for consumers and the optical world in general?  The answer to that question is really an ad-mixture of historical events having to do with world politics, world economy and technological innovation.  And ultimately it comes down to a question of whether or not opticians can be or want to be effective referees in this cage match.

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By: June Smith-Jeffries, COT, NCLE, FCLSA

This article appeared in issue 98 of the Eighth Line Newsletter, and has been edited for easier viewing on the web. Some of the information in this article may be out of date. Refer to our current static website pages for correct information.

Being a professional is a process that begins by understanding what it means to be a professional, creating a personal vision of professionalism and aligning our values in accordance with our particular image. Professionalism is one of those words that is not easily defined. People tend to have different points of view on what characteristics constitute professionalism. 

Professionalism is defined by the Merriam Webster collegiate dictionary as “the conduct, aims, or qualities that characterize or mark a profession or a professional person”. The word profession is defined as “a calling requiring specialized knowledge and often long and intensive academic preparation”.

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