Opthalmic Nursing

  1. 0
    I currently work (from when I qualifed as an RN in March 04) in an Opthalmic Unit (eyes). It is very specialised but I love it. It's really interesting and you experience many aspect of eye care/injuries, etc. I am, however, partly worried that as I don't really have much experience, except for nursing school, in any other area this may impede my chances somewhat of a job in the U.S. Are there many Eye Units/hospitals in the U.S.? Should I try to gain experience in other areas. Of course this will all depend on if I ever pass the NCLEX, but just trying to collate as much info as possible now, so I don't have too many scary surprises late on.

    Thanks for your help in advance.
  2. Get our hottest nursing topics delivered to your inbox.

  3. 1,987 Visits
    Find Similar Topics
  4. 7 Comments so far...

  5. 0
    There are very few specific eye units in the US. Most of the patients are placed on regular surgical units, if they do need to remain in the hospital.

    What is your patient population like and what types of patients do you actually care for?
  6. 0
    Quote from suzanne4
    There are very few specific eye units in the US. Most of the patients are placed on regular surgical units, if they do need to remain in the hospital.

    What is your patient population like and what types of patients do you actually care for?
    I have to admit, as the unit is so specialised (ie - we only ever take patients with specific eye problems) it's not busy like a general medical/surgical ward. The most in-patients we have at any one time is 18, but Mon-Fri there are also day surgeries anything between 12-20 on average per day which are mostly cataracts. Although 18 doesnt sound much, i.e., it works out about 4 pts per nurse these patients can be on 1/2hrly treatment if they are medical, ie., corneal ulcers, infections, glaucoma (with pressure issues), etc., also the surgical like the retinal detachments, DCR (Dachrocystorhinostomy), Trabeculectomies (op for glaucoma pts/pts with unexplained consistent high pressure, where there eye drop treatment is no longer sufficient to keep the pressure down). We have also had a gunshot wound, penetrating eye injuries, a pt. had a glass bottle smashed over his face and it broke. We also have enucleations/orbital implants. In fact my very good friend is a nurse inthe unit and she has an orbital implant so she has a vast understanding of the emotional side. Basically if you can think of it (and I've seen things you can't think of) we get it. It's mentally taxing more than the physical as you have to be up on the conditions the anatomy & physiology of the eye and what other medical conditions/drugs affect the eye, for example, diabetes has a major impact on eyesight. Many pt's suffer from the blood vessels being damaged inside eye (diabetic retinopathy) and require vitrectomies (removal of some of the vitreous and tiny floaters/blood clots). I could go on and on, but better not for fear of making you sleep. Most of these patients are also well able to care for themselves in every other aspect of their ADL's, but not all.

    I do enjoy this job, however, as it is so interesting. You are constantly learning. However, its not a great 1st job and I hate to leave because I love it so much and just now I get the hours (night duty) I need with having such young kiddos in childcare (which is expensive also hence the nightwork). I'm kinda in between a rock and hard place. I need a lot more surgical/medical experience but unsure of what to do. I was told by the Charge Nurse of an ITU that if I could do bank work (with them only to gain experience) then I would be up for the next job which came up in the unit (I was also a student with them so they sort of knew me), but again its the childcare that's killing me I have to pay whether they need to go or not as they need numbers and I have to commit to a certain amount of time. However, I had no choice about when I had my kids (not best timing) - a long story - so you have to make sacrifices as it doesn't "just" happen for everyone.

    Anyway, bet you wished you'd never asked!!
  7. 0
    Quote from Jaggy Thistle
    I currently work (from when I qualifed as an RN in March 04) in an Opthalmic Unit (eyes). It is very specialised but I love it. It's really interesting and you experience many aspect of eye care/injuries, etc. I am, however, partly worried that as I don't really have much experience, except for nursing school, in any other area this may impede my chances somewhat of a job in the U.S. Are there many Eye Units/hospitals in the U.S.? Should I try to gain experience in other areas. Of course this will all depend on if I ever pass the NCLEX, but just trying to collate as much info as possible now, so I don't have too many scary surprises late on.

    Thanks for your help in advance.

    another thing to think of is that your nurse training may not cover all aspect which is required by the US. UK training at present tends to be specialised whereas in the US it is more generic. You will need to have done theory and practical in midwifery, children and mental health as well as adult general
  8. 0
    My University already verified my clinical hours experience with the board I am to take the NCLEX under and they were happy with this. Is this what you mean, or do you mean in terms of getting a job?, so the actual employer would be looking for additional hours in midwifery/etc.

    Thanks in advance.
  9. 0
    Quote from Jaggy Thistle
    My University already verified my clinical hours experience with the board I am to take the NCLEX under and they were happy with this. Is this what you mean, or do you mean in terms of getting a job?, so the actual employer would be looking for additional hours in midwifery/etc.

    Thanks in advance.

    you just need verification from the the boards to take NCLEX. Alot training in the UK don't meet clinical hours in all aspects midwifery, paeds and mental health as well as general adult. As long os you are OK to sit NCLEX you shouldn't have a problem finding a job A lot go through CGFNS and don't meet criteria
  10. 0
    PHEW! :uhoh21: you had me a bit worried there. I was starting to think i've laid out all this money so far and maybe it means I won't be able to get a job, so what's the point of the NCLEX, but thanks for giving me a heads up. I'm really feeling a move coming on from my current employer (but I hate the idea of leaving). I need more experience and need to get into a medical/surgical ward or into Gynae or something like that, as ultimately I would love to work in Obs&Gynae or eyes.

    Thanks for your advice.

    Lynne
  11. 0
    Having had two cornea transplants myself, I know more about extensive eye surgery than perhaps anyone would want to know. Well here goes: There are some hospitals in the US that would probably love to have someone as experienced as you. Here goes: 1) NY Eye and Ear Infirmary in Manhattan, NY (It is now affiliated with Lenox Hill Hospital). 2) Wills Eye Hospital in Phila Pa-This is considerd absolutely top-notch 3) Bascom-Palmer in Florida 4)Massachusetts Eye and Ear in Boston. These are only a few-and these indeed have inpt. units. Feel free to e mail me (PM).


Top