The Ophthalmic Dispenser (also known as the Optician) is an eye care professional who fills prescriptions for corrective eyewear, in accordance with an ophthalmologist’s or optometrist’s determination.
The Ophthalmic Dispensing program combines an in-depth study of optics and medical anatomy with dispensing knowledge and finishing skills so that graduates have the ability to provide patients with suitable, well-fitted eyeglasses or contact lenses. The program prepares the student for national certifying examinations given by the American Board of Optician and The National Contact Lens Examiners.
Certification and graduation establish eligibility for entrance to the New York State Professional Licensing Examination for Ophthalmic Dispensing. On-campus laboratories and dispensaries resemble those encountered in the optical industry. An on-site clinical internship provides patient contact and dispensing experience.
Students train on state-of-the-art instrumentation and machinery, gaining competence in all aspects of optician, from fabrication to the dispensing of the finished product.
The program emphasizes medical ethics and professionalism. As an Optician, career opportunities include:
- Owning an optical business
- Managing an optical store
- Fitting and dispensing contact lenses
- Representing lens and frame companies
The following statistics relate to TCI’s incoming class for Ophthalmic Dispensing in the fall of 2008, as defined by the Commission on Opticianry Accreditation:
- Number of ophthalmic students in incoming cohort: 26
- Number of graduates: 18
- Retention for the group: 69%
Of the graduates:
- 17 sat for the NOCE examination, by the American Board of Opticianry, 16 passed; overall pass rate 94%
- 6 sat for the CLRE examination, by the National Contact Lens Examiners, 3 passed; overall pass rate 50%
- 13 sat for New York State’s licensing examination in Ophthalmic Dispensing, 13 passed; overall pass rate 100%
- 14 graduates were employed in the opticianry profession or were matriculated at a senior college; overall placement rate 78%