An optician is not allowed to engage in any sexual act with a patient, and may not make comments of a sexual nature or behave in a sexual way toward a patient.
Opticians are responsible for preventing sexual abuse and maintaining proper professional boundaries at all times. Please review the information below, as well as the Sexual Abuse Prevention Guidelines developed by the College for registrants.
“Sexual abuse” has a different meaning for health professionals than it does in the criminal context. Under the legislation sexual abuse of a patient occurs whenever a health professional:
The definition of “patient” is not exhaustive, but includes at a minimum anyone, including a spouse or intimate partner, that the regulated health professional has a direct interaction with and where any of the following conditions are met:
Despite the foregoing, however, an individual will not be considered a patient where all of the following conditions are satisfied:
Under the legislation, a person remains a “patient” for one year after the optician/patient relationship is terminated. As a result, an optician is not allowed to engage in any sexual interactions with someone who was his or her patient until a full year has passed since that professional relationship ended.
Opticians have a legal obligation to report the sexual abuse of a patient by another optician or any other regulated health professional. For more information about the mandatory reporting of sexual abuse click here.