Ophthalmic Nursing is a specialist field that focuses on comprehensive eye care for the promotion of eye health and the prevention of visual impairment and blindness. An Ophthalmic Nurse Specialist is a Professional Nurse who focuses on assessing and treating patients with various eye diseases and injuries.
Ophthalmic nurses play an important role in global eye health delivery, including eye health promotion; disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment; and low vision & rehabilitation services. In countries where there is a shortage of ophthalmologists, ophthalmic nurses often diagnose and treat patients, referring them where necessary and possible.
The importance of Ophthalmic Nurses
- Ophthalmic nurses can assess a patient’s visual potential and his or her capability to function independently.
- Ophthalmic nurses also help patients overcome psychological obstacles and provide necessary assistance to increase patient independence
- Ophthalmic nurses can educate patients on public resources and available services for the visually impaired
- It is therefore obvious that ophthalmic nurses play an important role as teachers and advisors to patients and healthcare providers through development, learning, and communication of multidisciplinary team impressions and ophthalmic knowledge.
- Ophthalmic nurses are ideal for this because of the intimate and close relationships they develop with patients, which allows nurses to better understand patient needs and demands. This helps patients gain independence and the ability to care for themselves.
- Responsibilities of ophthalmic nurses include evaluating, diagnosing, treating, and discharging patients with ocular conditions and diseases/disorders. They also manage patients referred from general practitioners and primary healthcare units, perform initial screening, monitor disease progression, and assist with early treatment of chronic ocular conditions (e.g., glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and dry eye). Regarding surgical care, ophthalmic nurses perform primary, follow-up, and discharge assessments of patients who have undergone surgery for cataract and other ocular diseases/disorders. Ophthalmic nurses also assist in managing children and adults with ocular conditions, functioning as both an educator and a practitioner.
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