2023 Para Spring Schedule

April 28-29, 2023

The following Paraoptometric Education is available at the 2023 AROA Spring Convention April 28-29, 2023.  The Convention will be held in the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock, Arkansas.

The following classes indicate what credential they are qualified for - ABO, Arkansas ABO (pending) or CPC.  There are 6 hours available on Friday for ABO and CPC.


Friday April 28, 2023

7:00am-12:00pm  Registration

9:00am – 10:00am: Time Management ‐ How to Prioritize Your Day by  Mary Schmidt (ABO, CPC) 

This time-management course will help you prioritize duties and have a positive impact   on your work environment at the same time. Juggling schedules, duties, and responsibilities with organizational ease will help you be able to accomplish the necessary tasks each and every day.

10:00am– 12:00pm: I Object ‐ Overcoming Patient Objections by Mary Schmidt  (ABO, CPC) 

It’s hard to argue with frugality. However, quality should win out over price. Proper eye care should fall in the “quality” category. This course will prepare you teach patients to make educated decisions based on a greater understanding of what they are getting for what they are paying. Learn to respond effectively when a patient objects about the price of products or services. Learn these skills, educate your patient, and grow the business.

12:00pm – 1:00pm: Lunch on your own

1:00pm – 3:00pm: Optics ‐ The Fundamentals‐ How We See What We See by  Mary Schmidt  (ABO, CPC) 

This course is design to give new and experienced staff members a greater appreciation and knowledge of the human eye and how best to explain its function to patients in easy-to-understand language. Emphasis is placed on improving the ability to communicate the visual disorders of a patient’s eye and how to improve it through lenses.

3:00pm – 4:00pm: Customer Service ‐ Top 10 Absolutes by Mary Schmidt (ABO, CPC) 

This course is designed to set a baseline for performance expectation for new paraoptometrics. It will create a sense of responsibility and responsiveness to the needs of patients and the practice. Each attendee will learn how to exceed the expectation of patients and how to prevent problem situations. The goal of this workshop is to improve patient relations and increase professionalism and pride in staff members.

4:00pm – 6:00pm: Exhibit Hall


Saturday April 29, 2023

There are 2 tracks for Saturday.  Each attendee may choose up to a total of 3 hours of education needed for Saturday.  

8:00am‐9:00am: Optician Jurisprudence by Jerry Himes (Room: Drew)

8:00am – 9:00am: Leadership – Top 10 Traits of a Great Leader  by Mary Schmidt (Room: Yell) (ABO, CPC) 

What makes a great leader? It may mean different things to different people; sometimes it’s difficult to define. But most of us have encountered that boss, teacher, or mentor that changed our lives. This program will give you the ability to create a style of leadership that will change people’s lives.

9:00am – 10:00am: Assisting Pediatric Eye Exams by Angela Howell, O.D.  (Room: Drew) (CPC) 

9:00am – 10:00am: 23 Life Skills Every Staff Member Must Know by Mary Schmidt (Room: Yell)  (ABO, CPC) 

Some things just shouldn’t be assumed and too often, that’s what occurs in day-to-day life. This course is designed to set a minimum standard of performance. It can be used as a guideline for new employees or a training tool for leaders. The purpose of the program is to establish a dialog between staff members and leadership. The workshop content will establish a performance expectation and allow for discussion and clarification.

10:00am ‐ 11:00am: Providing Visual care to Patients on the Autism Spectrum by Angela Howell, O.D. (Room: Drew) (CPC)

10:00am – 11:00am: 10 Ways to Lose a Patient & Not Even Know It  by Mary Schmidt (Room: Yell)  (ABO, CPC) 

In today’s market, patients can be very demanding. If you are lucky, they tell you when you don’t measure up. But if you’re unlucky, they just walk away, without giving you the chance to succeed and they tell others. This course will allow you to assess your standard practices to ensure you are managing all the basics.