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Ophthalmic Nurse

Vision health is far too often overlooked, though the eyes are used every day from the moment one wakes up to the moment one falls asleep. Ophthalmic nurses work with patients who are suffering from disorders and diseases of the eyes, such as cataracts, partial or full blindness, or glaucoma. They operate under the supervision and guidance of an ophthalmologist. They conduct tests to analyze other aspects of the patient’s health as well because vision problems are often connected to conditions such as diabetes or hypertension. Ophthalmic nurses are also responsible for preparing patients who are about to undergo eye surgery, which includes educating them on the procedure and aftercare procedures.

Nurses who are looking to enter into the ophthalmology field must first become registered nurses (RNs). Though one can become an RN with the completion of a nursing diploma program or associate degree program, most employers prefer RNs who have at least a bachelor’s degree in nursing. RNs must also successfully pass the NCLEX-RN examination to gain licensure to practice in the state. During their college career, nursing students should focus their studies on ocular anatomy and disease so that they are familiarized with the eye and its surrounding muscles. Upon graduation from the program, new RNs need to seek certification from the American Society of Ophthalmic Registered Nurses (ASORN) before they can work.

The eyes and sight are great indicators of health. Eyes can give clues into a person’s health and health issues, and therefore the health of the eyes and vision must remain a top priority. Employment opportunities for ophthalmic nurses should see a positive increase as a large portion of the population reach their elderly years. With aging, eye conditions and disorders are more likely to occur, therefore more eye conditions are likely to have to be treated in the near future. This will increase demand for both ophthalmologists and ophthalmic nurses. In addition, there is great personal reward in helping patients and their families in coping with vision and eye problems.