Welcome to the Wonderful World of Ophthalmology

by NF_eyenurse Guide | 3,527 Views | 9 Comments

I looked into the microscope eye piece and saw the most beautiful colors, a rainbow of blues and greens with hints of yellow and amber. It was like a beautiful tapestry, small threads woven together like cloth. Living cloth that expanded and contracted, it was an awesome sight. I was looking at a human eye.

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    Welcome to the Wonderful World of Ophthalmology

    I will never forget the first time I saw an eye under a microscope. I could have stayed there looking at the iris, the color of the eye, for hours. I was intrigued and amazed that such a small organ of the body, yes the eye is an organ, could be so amazing and intricate.

    I was fortunate to be introduced to the world of ophthalmology while working in a medical records department of a medical clinic twenty years ago. I began working with a doctor, we will call him Doctor Kay, who loved to teach. I was learning how to be a medical assistant for ophthalmologists. He did not want me to learn only how to do tasks, such as working up patients in a clinic, he wanted me to know why I was doing these tasks. This is how my education began.

    I was hungry to learn everything I could. I was like a toddler who asked a parent "why" or "how come....." And fortunately Doctor Kay new the answers to all of my questions and he had the gift of teaching simply, using everyday objects (such as cars or cameras) as examples to teach eye anatomy and physiology.

    It amazes me that such a small organ is so complex. By looking into an eye I have seen doctors diagnose diabetes, hypertension, CVA, hyperlipidemia, HIV, cancer, connective tissue disorders, auto-immune diseases, giant cell arteritis, herpes zoster, amoeba, parasites, and unfortunately shaken baby syndrome just to name a few. These were all undiagnosed previously in these patients. How could an organ measuring approximately one inch long show so much?

    Not only are there many diagnoses made by looking into the eye. There are different types of ophthalmologists making these diagnoses: General ophthalmologists, Retina specialists, Cornea Specialists, Glaucoma specialists, refractive surgeons, Pediatric opthalmologists, neuro-ophthalmologists, plastic surgery specialists, there are even veterinarian ophthalmologists.

    Nurses also work in the field of ophthalmology. Most nurses in this field work in an operating room/surgery center, eye clinic or university setting. One very good resource to find out more about ophthalmic nursing is the American Society of Ophthalmic Nurses or ASORN.
    http://www.asorn.org/

    A nurse can be certified as an ophthalmic RN, also known as a CRNO.
    To be eligible to take the written CRNO test an RN must work in the field of ophthalmology for 2 years (or 4000 hours). More information on certification can be found here:
    http://www.asorn.org/certification/

    Not all nurses like working with eyes. I think I am a rarity. Some nurses I know have said, "Eyes? Yuck! No thank you, give me a trach any day over eyes!"

    It has been said that the eye is the window to the soul. I have learned the eye is also the window to one's health. I will always be fascinated by this. Every day that I see a patient that has improved vision after eye surgery, who has an immediate increase in the quality of life by the surgery they received, I know this is where I am supposed to be.
    Last edit by Joe V on Jan 22 : Reason: repaced photo
    dinobun, poppycat, Blanca R, and 12 others like this.
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    About NF_eyenurse

    Nursefrances works as an ophthalmic RN in an ambulatory surgery center with twelve eye surgeons. She plans to take the CRNO test in the fall 2014.

    NF_eyenurse has '5' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'Ambulatory Surgery, Ophthalmology, Tele'. From 'USA'; 42 Years Old; Joined Dec '08; Posts: 3,624; Likes: 5,521.

    Read more articles from NF_eyenurse

    9 Comments so far...

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    I forgot to mention Nurse Practitioners also work in the field of ophthalmology. I discovered this a few days ago. I still need to research this more in depth.
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    Excellent article, Nursefrances. I never really stopped to think how much of our health is reflected in our vision and eyes. Thanks for opening my eyes (pun intended) to a very interesting nursing role.
    poppycat, Jdoyle, SoldierNurse22, and 1 other like this.
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    i love this! not only am i nursing school enthusiaist, i actually work in the Ophomology field, i alwaus wondered since im a lover of anything eyes how would i use my nursing in the feild! thank you!!
    NF_eyenurse likes this.
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    http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/818774
    I just learned that retinal imaging can help to identify schizophrenia. Apparently, according to this article new on Medscape, "those diagnosed with schizophrenia had significantly wider retinal venules, reflecting insufficient brain oxygen supply, compared with patients suffering from depression or with healthy control participants." Fascinating. We might be able to use this for early identification and intervention (shown to help those with schizophrenia to have a better chance of a productive life.)
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    Quote from hey_suz
    http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/818774
    I just learned that retinal imaging can help to identify schizophrenia. Apparently, according to this article new on Medscape, "those diagnosed with schizophrenia had significantly wider retinal venules, reflecting insufficient brain oxygen supply, compared with patients suffering from depression or with healthy control participants." Fascinating. We might be able to use this for early identification and intervention (shown to help those with schizophrenia to have a better chance of a productive life.)
    That is so interesting. Thanks for sharing. I will have to check out that article. Will also mention it to one of the retina specialists at work.
    SHGR likes this.
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    Frances, it is wonderful you found your place in ophthalmology as an RN. Having worked in this field myself for close to 25 years shows how much I enjoy ophthalmology. Now that I am an RN because of you, I hope to also find a place in it in another scope.
    Here is hoping
    NF_eyenurse likes this.
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    I am new to this area as well. I work in a department where the nurse does the entire role of preop, intraop, and postop. It is so cool.
    NF_eyenurse likes this.
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    Quote from SENSUALBLISSINFL
    Frances, it is wonderful you found your place in ophthalmology as an RN. Having worked in this field myself for close to 25 years shows how much I enjoy ophthalmology. Now that I am an RN because of you, I hope to also find a place in it in another scope.
    Here is hoping
    Fingers crossed for you.
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    Quote from runningcrazy
    I am new to this area as well. I work in a department where the nurse does the entire role of preop, intraop, and postop. It is so cool.
    Awesome!
    Last edit by NF_eyenurse on Mar 23


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