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In honour of International Nurses’ Day (May 12), here is a shout out to all our nurses in the eye care sector. All nurses can work in eye care, but those nurses specially trained to work in the ophthalmology sector are called ophthalmic nurses. These nurses provide essential care in the eye care field.

How do they become Ophthalmic nurses?

Most ophthalmic nurses start as regular nurses. To be an ophthalmic nurse in Nigeria, one needs to get a nursing degree or diploma from a reputable school of nursing. They also need to get their licence from and be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria. Then they have to go for their post basic ophthalmic nursing training, which lasts a year.

The role of ophthalmic nurses

Here are some things you can find ophthalmic nurses doing when you come to the eye clinic:

  • They can provide first aid treatment in cases of eye injuries and emergencies.
  • They can perform preliminary physical examinations, such as a blood test, to detect possible underlying illness that could contribute to an eye problem (for example, hypertension).
  • They can perform initial screenings on patients.
  • They can collect medical histories.
  • They can assist in eye examinations.
  • They can offer tips and advice to help patients manage eye pain and other symptoms.
  • They can show patients how to administer medication.
  • They can educate patients on the treatment of ocular conditions.
  • They prepare patients for surgery and assist during operations.
  • They can provide after-surgery care for patients.
  • They can carry out some eye tests and procedures.

These nurses are the supporters and partners of our optometrists and ophthalmologists, and we appreciate them this month as they work tirelessly to achieve the Vision 2020 goals.