Nominate exceptional staff for paraoptometric awards

Celebrate staff during Paraoptometric Recognition Week

Paraoptometrics are the essential backbone of any successful eye care delivery team, which is why an upcoming observance acknowledges their critical dedication not only to patients but also optometry.

"Optometrists who recognize their paraoptometric staff for their dedication, knowledge and professionalism are rewarded with satisfied patients and practice growth."

Now in its fifteenth year, Paraoptometric Recognition Week, Sept. 17-23, is the only formal observance in the nation to honor optometric practice staff, and represents an opportunity to encourage professional development and instill pride in the proficient work paraoptometrics routinely deliver.

"Paraoptometrics are an essential part of the eye care team," says Linda Rodriguez, CPO, AOA Paraoptometric Resource Center (PRC) chair. "The potential of a well-trained optometric staff is of utmost importance and the formula to achieve a successful optometric practice. Optometrists who recognize their paraoptometric staff for their dedication, knowledge and professionalism are rewarded with satisfied patients and practice growth."

Paraoptometric staff are the first-and last-link between patients and the optometric practice, meaning skilled and knowledgeable staff are worth their weight in gold. By paraoptometrics seeking education, acquiring new skills and becoming certified, the high standards of the profession will challenge other support personnel to do the same.

This Paraoptometric Recognition Week, consider four ways doctors can recognize their staff and encourage professional development.

  1. Access PRC resources online. Did you know doctors can access Paraoptometric Recognition Week materials, including a downloadable poster, press release and other tips, on the PRC webpage? Use these ideas, or be creative in planning recognition of staff.

  2. Enroll paraoptometrics as AOA associate members at no cost. Staff may become AOA associate members and gain access to all current PRC member benefits and services-at no membership cost to the paraoptometric and no added membership cost to the AOA-member doctor. Click here to learn more.

  3. Encourage certification. Certification assures staff attain a level of knowledge commensurate with their job functions. There are four levels of certification for optometric staff, including Certified Paraoptometric, Certified Paraoptometric Assistant, Certified Paraoptometric Technician-all accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies-and the Certified Paraoptometric Coder.

  4. Emphasize professional development. The Paraoptometric Career Ladder is a free member benefit designed for paraoptometrics. Whether new to the profession or to a particular job area, the career ladder helps staff gain the knowledge they need to excel in their professional growth and to become a more valuable member of the eye care delivery team. This resource helps develop staff across six job responsibilities, including contact lens technician, insurance processing, optical, front desk, office administration and technician.


Nominate staff for awards


Have paraoptometrics that consistently go above and beyond? Consider nominating staff for any one of several professional awards during Paraoptometric Recognition Week. These awards include:

  • Paraoptometric of the Year Award. Awarded annually to a nominated optometric assistant or technician who has made outstanding and worthwhile contributions to the profession of optometry and the general public. Recipient is recognized at Optometry's Meeting®, June 20-24, 2018, in Denver, Colorado.

  • Paraoptometric Community Service Award. Awarded to an AOA associate member who has generously donated his or her time and talents to the profession, and evaluated based on performance among three categories. Click here for the nomination form.

  • CPC Lifetime Achievement Award. Awarded to a retired certified paraoptometric who has served the profession of optometry by continually giving themselves in areas of patient care, office management, mentoring colleagues and in service to the paraoptometric profession. Click here for the nomination form.


Click here
to view the 2017 award recipients.

To learn more about paraoptometric staff and the benefits of certification, click here or call 800.365.2219, ext. 4108.

September 8, 2017

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