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Ophthalmic Nurse

Care for patients with vision problems.

What does an Ophthalmic Nurse do?

An Ophthalmic Nurse protects and promotes good eyesight by caring for patients who have vision problems, such as glaucoma, cataracts, nearsightedness or farsightedness, astigmatism, and blindness. While it’s often said, “What you don’t know can’t hurt you,” what you can’t see, unfortunately, can — and often does. For that reason, an Ophthalmic Nurse will tell you that good eyesight is not only nice but also necessary.

Indeed, many people consider vision to be the king of the five senses, playing a vital role in human navigation, identification, education, and communication, not to mention basic survival (try hunting your prey in the wild when you can’t see it!). In fact, studies have shown that as many as 75 percent of all people rank vision as their most important sense.

Because vision is so important, the job of an Ophthalmic Nurse is important, too. As an Ophthalmic Nurse, you’re like a regular Nurse in that you assist a Doctor — in this case an Ophthalmologist — by performing the basic functions of patient care. Common Nurse duties, for instance, include interviewing patients about their symptoms, keeping written records, checking vital signs, drawing blood, and dressing wounds. They also include giving diagnostic tests, administering medications, and instructing patients and their families about how to follow Doctors’ orders.

But that’s just the beginning. During eye surgeries, for example, you assist the Surgeon. During eye exams, meanwhile, you conduct many of the basic vision assessments and operate the vision screening machinery. And — especially in the case of pediatric patients, or patients who suffer from diseases that impact their vision, like diabetes — you offer education and emotional support that help patients understand their condition and maintain their care.