Certified Orthoptists Survey Results 2007 by hcj

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									1 Certified Orthoptists Survey Results 2007 Compiled by Rachael Jenkins, CO and Jorie Jackson, CO In April 2007, the AACO hired a third party to conduct a survey of all certified orthoptists. 342 surveys were sent out either electronically or by postal mail. 60 came back as undeliverable. Of the 282 left, 151 responded to the survey (53%). Some answers could be compared to the survey of 1993 and 1997. A comparison is shown if available. 94% respondents are AACO members.

How were you introduced to Orthoptics?

40% 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% Friend Career Info As a Patient Employer Tech College Website

In comparison to 1993: Friend/Family member As a patient Career info Technician

2007 35.6% 16% 26% 7%

1993 44% 30% 19% 1.7%

Still, the most common way to hear about Orthoptics is through family, friends or as a patient. However, career books, videos etc are becoming more common. The internet is not the way students are finding out about Orthoptics but maybe it should be. Were you employed in another field of eye care? 76% did not work in any field of eye care before entering Orthoptics, 8.7% worked in an optometry office and 15.3% worked in an ophthalmology office.

2 Are you JCAHPO certified? 39% are not JCAHPO certified. 55.8% of those JCAHPO certified were in a program of dual certification. 10.5 % were JCAHPO certified before entering Orthoptics. 28% became JCAHPO certified after becoming an Orthoptist. 36% are COMT, 16% are COT and 1% are COA. Who do we work for? pediatric ophthalmologists neuro general oculoplastics other

2007 88% 18% 16% 4% 5%

1997 72% 13% 19% 4% 3%

1993 58% 4% 26% 4% 4%

There is an increase in orthoptists that work with pediatric and neuro ophthalmologists compared to 1993 and 1997. Less of us work now for general ophthalmologists. Length of time that sponsor has been in practice

40% 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% 0-10 Years 10-20 years 20-30 years 30-40 years > 40 years

3 Job Duties 80% work primarily as an Orthoptist, 16.5% work primarily as a tech. The graph below shows the breakdown of job duties.
100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0%

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Job duties for respondents working primarily as an Orthoptist: Start pts for MD's 63% Examine and follow pts that are referred to them 27% Teaching 12% Admin work 14% Research 8% Respondents that do not work primarily as an Orthoptist: Their choice 36% Only position available 26% Other reason 38% i.e. Clinic evolved to force the Orthoptist to work as a tech

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4 Outside referrals 70% (1993 -79%) of respondents take referrals from outside ophthalmologists, the main reason for referral was diplopia at 68% (1993-72%). The second most popular reason for referral was convergence insufficiency at 40% (1993-73%). Other reasons were pre op exam, amblyopia, post op exam, X(T), and adult strabismus. 58% have Orthoptic clinics at least one half day a week. Most of them are pediatric FU (48%). 26% see some adults some kids and 21% see mostly adults. How often do you perform the following?
Routinely Patient Instruction Prescribe and/or monitor amblyopia treatment Prescribe and monitor orthoptic therapy for diplopia Refractometry Prescribe and monitor orthoptic therapy for convergence insufficiency Prescribe and monitor orthoptic therapy for accommodative ET Prescribe and monitor orthoptic therapy for high AC/A ET Tonometry Prescribe and monitor orthoptic therapy for divergence excess Forced preferential looking tests Screening non-strabismic adult patients Visual Fields Binocular (diplopia) fields Prescribe and monitor orthoptic therapy for suppression Amblyoscope External ophthalmic photography Contact lens fitting Surgical Assisting Fundus photography Ultrasonography Eye movement recordings Electrophysiology 81% 78% 61% 52% 52% 51% 46% 45% 14% 25% 26% 23% 9% 12% 9% 11% 6% 7% 7% 9% 7% 4% Occasionally 17% 16% 28% 27% 41% 25% 28% 31% 42% 30% 28% 29% 42% 29% 31% 27% 20% 18% 16% 10% 5% 4% Never 3% 7% 11% 21% 7% 24% 26% 24% 44% 46% 46% 48% 49% 58% 59% 62% 74% 76% 76% 81% 88% 93%

5 Employment demographics 58% fulltime, 37% part time. 5% were not working (retired, in between jobs, no longer in Orthoptics). East region 32% Midwest region 24% South 23% West 17% Not employed in US 4% Salary 87 out of 151 respondents answered questions on full time salaries. The average full time (working at least 37.5 hours a week) salary range is $60-65,000. The range was from $35-39,999 to $95-99,999.

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Number of Respondents

20 15 10 5 0

9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 9, 4, 9, 4, 9, 4, 9, 4, 9, 4, 9, 4, 9, -3 -4 -4 -5 -5 -6 -6 -7 -7 -8 -8 -9 -9 35 40 45 50 55 60 65 70 75 80 85 90 95
Salary

The average salary range for an Orthoptist working 0-5 years (newly certified Orthoptists) for the different regions were: East: $55-64,999 Midwest: $55-59,000 South: $55-64,999 West: $60-69,999 Part time 26 respondents work part time(<37.5 hours per week) The average hourly rate is $32.20., range $20- 80.

6 Change in salary? 85% respondents have had an increase in their salaries over the past 5 years with the majority having between 6-11% increase in pay. Work setting University - 46% (15% of these had faculty position) Solo/group - 26% Multispeciality ophthalmology group - 22.5% These percentages are not significantly different from 1993. Benefits

100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0%

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Attending Professional Meetings Regular AACO National 57% AACO Regional 43% AAPOS 32%

Occasionally 33% 41% 36%

Never 10% 16% 33%

40% of respondents are reimbursed in full for meetings, 23% have partial reimbursement, 24% are given an annual meeting budget (average $1500) and 87% have some financial support. The annual budget ranged from $700 to $4000.

7 56% do not have to take vacation for meetings, 32% are budgeted a specific amount of days, 12% have to take vacation, 0.7% are only allowed to go if clinic is closed.

AACO Administration 52% (1993 - 34%) are active in the administration of the AACO and if they are not active the reasons are: 2007 Don't have time 41% No interest 30% Difficult to get elected or appointed 16% Don't feel qualified 11% Help is not needed 2% No one has approached me ? 1993 69% 2% 10%

13%

Lack of interest in being involved seems to have increased over the years.

Business meetings 60% make time during the meeting to attend the AACO business meeting. More say they would attend the meeting if we: Shorten the meeting (62%) Spend less time reviewing reports (34%) Serve refreshments (28%) Have more time for open discussion (15%)

8 AACO Issues The following statements had a 'agree', 'disagree' or 'no opinion' answer. Agree Disagree No opinion
The AACO should upgrade the quality of the National meeting even if it means the increased cost must be born by the members AACO dues should be kept as low as possible even if it means cutting back on services and member benefits The AACO should discontinue regional meetings but hold one Spring meeting each year at locations that rotate Establishing a Home office for the AACO is very important even if it means that dues must be increased Pediatric ophthalmologists have too much control over our profession JCAHPO has too much influence over our profession 29% 35% 36%

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53%

31%

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37%

29%

34%

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34%

15%

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Website One question rated the importance of several sources of information on AACO activities. The order from most important to least: The Prism, Straight Scoop, pre and post academy reports, national business meeting, regional business meeting, website and lastly, word of mouth. The first question asked "how were you introduced to Orthoptics?" Only 1.3% (2 respondents) replied AACO/AOC website.

Professional affiliations AACO AAPOS AAP 94% 40% (1993, 31%) 10.8%

As 88% of us are employed by pediatric ophthalmologists, the membership of AAPOS and AAP should be much higher to increase exposure to our main employer.

9 Main obstacles/concerns Greatest obstacle to you personally in your career as an Orthoptist (4 top answers) Lack of advancement opportunities 18.8% Poor salary 18% Inconvenient location of available jobs 17.2% Lack of time due to other obligations 11.7% Greatest obstacle to the profession of Orthoptics (lowest number = higher rank of importance) Lack of recognition as a profession by those outside the ophthalmic community inadequate knowledge or poor image of Orthoptists within the ophthalmic community Lack of MD support for the profession Shortage of pedi or neuro ophthalmologists Competition from optometrists Competition from ophthalmic technicians

266 413 457 514 549 602


								
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