What Is An Ophthalmic Nurse?
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An ophthalmic nurse is a nurse who specializes in the branch of medicine known as ophthalmology, which is concerned with the health of the eyes. An ophthalmic nurse assists in the evaluation, treatment, and care of patients suffering from a variety of eye disorders or injuries, including glaucoma, blindness, astigmatism, cataracts, macular degeneration, nearsightedness, farsightedness, damaged corneas, and eye trauma. Ophthalmic nurses collaborate directly with ophthalmologists to treat patients of all ages, although the elderly are disproportionately affected by eye illnesses.
How to Become an Ophthalmic Nurse
Aspiring ophthalmic nurses must first earn an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree in nursing and pass the NCLEX-RN exam. It is extremely beneficial for nursing students to take elective courses in the anatomy, physiology, and disorders of the eye during their nursing school. After obtaining an RN license, a nurse may begin working as an ophthalmic nurse. After working for at least 4,000 hours or two years as a nurse in an ophthalmic setting, nurses specialized in ophthalmology may also pursue receiving their Certification for Registered Nurses of Ophthalmology which they have to go through the National Certification Board for Ophthalmic Registered Nurses.
A typical job advertisement for an ophthalmic nurse would typically list the following credentials, in addition to those particular to the company type and location:
- ADN or BSN degree and a valid RN license
- Prior professional nursing experience is preferred, as is certification as Registered Nurse in Ophthalmology.
- Working experience in an ophthalmic setting, doing vision tests, aiding with eye exams, and giving drugs such as eye drops
- For work with patients and careers, strong interpersonal and communication skills are required.
What Education Do Ophthalmic Nurses Need?
ADN or BSN degrees in addition to a valid RN license are required for employment as an ophthalmic nurse. Anatomy, physiology, and eye diseases courses are especially important for nurses interested in ophthalmology. After two years of experience as a registered nurse in an ophthalmic setting, a nurse may sit for the National Certification Board for Ophthalmic Registered Nurses’ Ophthalmic Nurse Certification exam in order to successfully become a Certified Registered Nurse in Ophthalmology (CRNO).
Is it necessary to obtain any certifications or credentials?
While an RN can begin working as an ophthalmic nurse immediately after completing their nursing degree and obtaining their RN license, the National Certification Board for Ophthalmic Registered Nurses’ Ophthalmic Nurse Certification is highly sought out for career and salary advancement as an ophthalmic nurse. To sit for this exam, a nurse must have 4,000 hours of professional experience as an RN in an ophthalmic environment, or two years.
Where Do Ophthalmic Nursing Professionals Work?
Ophthalmic nurses are most frequently employed in the following settings:
- Ophthalmologist offices
- Clinics for eye care
What Is the Role of an Ophthalmic Nurse?
Ophthalmic nurses aid physicians in assessing, diagnosing, and treating patients suffering from a variety of eye disorders and accidents. They frequently assist with eye exams, document symptoms, and administer vision tests. Additionally, they take medical histories and do physical examinations to rule out any underlying health problems causing eye symptoms, such as diabetes. Additionally, ophthalmic nurses play a crucial role in patient education and treatment by administering medications such as eye drops and teaching patients how to care for their eye injuries and diseases at home. Additionally, the ophthalmic nurse assists with contact lens and eyeglass fittings to help patients improve their vision. When eye surgery is required, ophthalmic nurses help with surgical operations and provide post-operative care for the patient.
What Are the Duties and Responsibilities of an Ophthalmic Nurse?
- Assist with eye examinations, conduct vision tests, gather personal medical histories, and keep track of any symptoms and exam results
- Patients should be educated on how to properly care for their eye problems or accidents at home.
- Medications, such as eye drops, should be administered.
- Conduct contact lens and eyeglass fits.
- Assist surgeons with eye surgeries, prepare patients for surgery, and care for patients following recovery
Salary and Employment for Ophthalmic Nurses
The job prospects for ophthalmic nurses is predicted to improve as the general population of the United States ages, as eye disorders and ailments are more prevalent in the elderly. Salary ranges for ophthalmic nurses vary according to geography, company type, and years of experience. In May 2016, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the median annual wage for registered nurses was $68,450.