RCN: The nature, scope and value of ophthalmic nursing

5 September 2018
Source: RCN

The prevailing theme in the previous Nature, scope and value of ophthalmic nursing RoyalCollege of Nursing Logo publications (1990, 2000, 2009) is that modern ophthalmic nursing is dynamic.
Ophthalmic nursing continues to expand and develop. In order to meet the needs of patients, policy makers and public perceptions, ophthalmic nursing care has had to change to incorporate the challenges of evolving health care demands. The profession is faced with expectations to maximise capacity, embrace new technology and treatments and utilise ophthalmic specialist skills, whilst also providing value for money.

Expectations from all stakeholders continue to rise as their knowledge and understanding of health care needs grow. Furthermore, the Five Year Forward View (NHS England, 2014) outlines the need for better integration of services, more effective care provision and improved patient flow. These expectations and developments have allowed ophthalmic nurses to broaden their skills, expanding their practice into innovative areas and embracing new and enterprising ideas to improve care for patients. However, our profession should recognise that providing ophthalmic nursing care is the responsibility of a broad spectrum of health care providers and that the people providing that care are likely to be from a range of professional and educational backgrounds. Ophthalmic nurses provide support and education, and share their skills in an expanding range of health care settings, such as nursing care homes or GP practices.

Previous Nature, scope and value of ophthalmic nursing publications were created with two specific aims; firstly, as a strategic vision and secondly, as a summary of fundamental clinical standards expected in order for ophthalmic nurses to provide elementary care to patients with eye-related and visual issues. The publication reflected an ideal, and provided a platform for informing and driving excellence. This document has now been revised to reflect this same ethos, whilst at the same time acknowledging the current climate of clinical ophthalmic nursing care delivery. The document also recognises that the provision of ophthalmic nursing services should be parallel to modern health requirements within diverse clinical settings and in the wider socio-political health care community.

Maintaining the previous publication’s aims, this latest version also attempts to reflect upon the elements which comprise the very essence of ophthalmic nursing, rather than focusing on standards. These elements have been collated under the banner of specific domains.
The domains represent the sphere of ophthalmic nursing and have been established by concentrating on the overarching concept of ophthalmic care provision, hopefully allowing them to be less literal and more adaptable in their interpretation.

It is intended that this publication will provide a baseline for evidence-based care and the impetus for continuing to develop ophthalmic care whilst also striving for excellence in patient care.

RCN Ophthalmic Nursing Forum The Working Group

The full report is attached below also attached is Eyes Right! Helping non-ophthalmic health care professionals deliver quality care safely


RCN Ophthalmic Nurses PUB-005816
RCN Ophthalmic Nurses PUB-005816
Download pdf 2.8 MB
Eyes Right! Helping Non-ophthalmic Health Care Professionals Deliver Quality Care Safely PUB-006509
Eyes Right! Helping Non-ophthalmic Health Care Professionals Deliver Quality Care Safely PUB-006509
Download pdf 2.6 MB

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