A licensed ophthalmic dispenser (optician) is an eye care professional who analyzes and interprets prescriptions written by either an ophthalmologist or an optometrist in order to design eyeglasses or contact lenses.
The ophthalmic dispenser (optician) obtains specific patient history and selects and fits spectacles and/or contact lenses that provide patients with comfortable and effective vision correction. This process includes an in-depth analysis of available lens and frame products, design materials and treatments to enhance the patient's comfort and lifestyle. The eye care practitioner may carry out administrative duties such as office management, tracking inventory, sales, eyewear fabrication, patient record keeping and insurance billing.
The Department of Vision Care Technology is the only nationally accredited opticianry program within The City University of New York. The department is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and is the largest opticianry program in the nation. The associate degree in ophthalmic dispensing prepares a student for national certification and state licensure. The graduate of the associate degree program is eligible to take national examinations administered by the ABO (American Board of Opticianry) and NCLE (National Contact Lens Examination). In addition, only an associate degree in ophthalmic dispensing from a program accredited by the Commission on Opticianry Accreditation will qualify graduates to take other state board licensing examinations. Many of our graduates enroll in the CUNY BA/BS program and major in areas such as business or science. A number of graduates enroll in the City Tech BS program in Health Services Administration.
Ophthalmic dispensers practice their profession in a variety of professional settings, including retail optical stores, private ophthalmology and optometry offices, hospital clinics and wholesale optical companies.
Ophthalmic Dispensers (Optician) are in great demand. Recent U.S. government statistics indicate that as baby boomers reach middle age and the percentage of middle-aged and elderly people increases, so will the need of these individuals for corrective eyewear.