How Do You Become a Ophthalmic Nurse?

Ophthalmic nurses preserve the health of their patients’ eyes. In the same way that registered nurses may apply for additional training to become certified pain management nurses, they may also elect to acquire certification to become ophthalmic nurses.

As a licensed practitioner of ophthalmology, a nurse can prescribe medications and treatment plans aimed at strengthening, defending, and healing the eyes. The ophthalmic nurse can accurately assess and diagnose symptoms in the eyes that may be subtle warning sign of a more serious condition in development.

Preventative Care and Treatment

Ophthalmic nurses carry out both preventative care and treatment of ongoing conditions, providing a vital service to those of fair and poor eye health alike. The nature of the job entails a high level of hands-on physical examination of patients’ eyes; this is made more efficient with magnifying retinoscopes used to observe tissue irregularities that that patient would be unlikely to notice on their own.

Ongoing Observation and Vision Tracking

In addition to conducting thorough physical examinations and drawing conclusions about the underlying sources of eye diseases, ophthalmic nurses also request participation from the patient in eyesight assessment exercises.

Through closely tracking the improvement or degeneration of a patient’s eyesight over time, ophthalmic nurses are more capable of accurately gauging the efficacy of their treatment approaches and the progression of unmitigated eye diseases.

Surgical Intervention

In the event that a patient’s eye condition is severe enough to merit surgical intervention, an ophthalmic nurse’s duties might extend beyond examination and prescription. In particularly dire cases, an ophthalmic nurse might be called upon to assist in the necessary surgical procedure to correct the patient’s eyes.

Education Patients About Eye Health Management

Ophthalmic nurses not only directly address their patients’ eye conditions, but also offer advice for better eye health management overall. In the most ideal treatment plan outcome, a patient can not only benefit from clearer vision, but also walk away with well-informed eye health management habits to lessen the chance of remission. Ophthalmic nurses can help their patients avoid harming their eyes with ill-fitting corrective lenses by personally ensuring that they’re an acceptable fit.

Conditions Treated by Ophthalmic Nurses

The types of diseases that an ophthalmic nurse is licensed to address are diverse and can manifest in varying levels of severity. Patients in an ophthalmic nurses care may suffer from cataracts, glaucoma, astigmatism, blindness, and any number of other eyesight-hindering afflictions.

Depending on the source of a patient’s eye condition, ophthalmic nurses will elect to employ specially-targeted treatment methodologies. Patients whose eyes have been compromised due to the trauma of an injury will necessitate a different kind care than those whose eyesight has gradually faded due to natural or chemical causes.

Specialized Practice Divisions

While the majority of ophthalmic nurse patients are elderly, each age range of the population can be provided a uniquely-calibrated kind of eyesight care that takes their developmental stage into account.

An ophthalmic nurse may primarily offer their services to even more precisely-targeted fields, such as geriatric ophthalmology. Ophthalmic nurses may also occupy a role in which they primarily tend to the eyesight of children, teenagers, or middle-aged adults.

Related Resource: What is a Long-Term Care Nurse?

Certification Process

The National Certification Board for Ophthalmic Registered Nurses (NCBORN) grants qualifying registered nurses their Certification for Registered Nurses of Ophthalmology (CRNO). NCBORN considers aspiring ophthalmic nurses eligible to pursue their CRNO after they’ve accumulated either at least 4000 hours of registered nurse practice or two years of professional experience in an ophthalmology-focused environment.