That’s how Dee Pace, Executive Director of Professional Opticians of Florida (POF), provides continuing education for opticians through the challenges of COVID-19. In a recent conversation, Dee took me on their journey from the COVID-19 shutdown of POF’s live continuing education events through the innovations that brought them back with the priority of attendee safety.
In the February issue of 20/20 Magazine, Maryann Santos wrote a terrific Continuing Education course, “The State of Opticianry.” It shed light on the different avenues available to individuals from each state for licensure or certification and highlighted many organizations and state societies that need our voices and participation to help elevate the trajectory of the professional optician.
“Peeling back the onion” is an expression that describes the continued self-discovery of this optician. I stumbled into the field right out of high school in 2003, with no direction as to where my life was going. In retrospect, it was serendipitous. I didn’t realize the receptionist job I landed right out of school would end up being the beginning of my career in opticianry.
Lifelong learning, what does that mean? It can mean a variety of things, depending on the professional. Continuing education is a requirement for many of us, but it also allows us as professionals to expand our knowledge and contribute to the growth of opticianry. As an educator, it is important to encourage students to continue lifelong learning by attending quality continuing education. It can allow a professional to improve himself or herself by increasing knowledge. It can also help advance a career and stay ahead of the competition.
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