Carissa Dunphy
By Linda Conlin, Pro to Pro Managing Editor

Not long after Carissa Dunphy started at the front desk in a busy optometric practice, her superiors told her, “You can do more.” She agreed to train as a tech, and “got hooked” on the field. Carissa is now an ABO certified optician and founder of Optician Now, a web resource for opticians and those seeking certification or licensure. Her goal is to have one central place to find all kinds of information relating to the optician profession.

With formal education in Computer Applications, Bioethics, Justice, Economics, Communications, and Digital Marketing, Carissa knew she could put that knowledge to good use. Before working in the healthcare industry, she spent several years working for an internet startup as well as a web hosting and live-streaming company where she provisioned servers and built websites for other small businesses. But she also has an entrepreneurial spirit that she credits getting from her parents and grandparents. Her father was a second-generation stone mason, and her mother kept the books for the small business they ran from home. Carissa learned the elements of running a business early on, as well as a strong work ethic. Her parents instilled in her that you just keep on going, there is always work to do.

Carissa is educated in opticianry from on-the-job training and benefitted from the knowledge and history of the ODs whom she learned under, citing their work overseas where they encountered unusual cases. Still, Carissa had to supplement her training for certification by searching for resources on her own and finding what worked best for her learning style. While browsing optician groups online, she noticed many of the same questions being asked over and over. This told Carissa that others needed help as she did, and that creating a single, comprehensive resource would benefit the industry. She felt that her previous knowledge of small business, helping people, and love for opticianry and technology would be a great combination, and Optician Now was created.

Optician Now includes resources for business, education, and the industry, keeping them interesting and relatable. Carissa recognized that there are different types of learners, so her resources include books, podcasts, videos, and apps as well as courses. As just one example, you can find all of them, some free and some paid, in the ABO Exam Study Material section of the website. What’s more, Optician Now places its own “recommended” seal on key resources. Optician Now even answers questions from consumers on topics ranging from frames to recycling glasses and contact lenses.

Whether you’re just starting out in the field, training a colleague, in need of continuing education for yourself, or looking for news and ideas, Optician Now is the place to go. It’s a virtual treasure chest of what you want to know and more. Visit and see for yourself!