physics undergraduate considering career in ophthalmology

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    An aging population will still need to keep their most useful sense: eyesight, in the best condition possible. With a solid theoretical understanding of optics, and a broad (albeit shallow) knowledge of anatomy, this career could be most rewarding for me.

    I became interested in ophthalmology while considering further voluntary work at the end of my english teaching contract in Thailand. I'd heard of http://www.ywam.org/ (Youth with a Mission) through my church and saw the project http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHlI6xw2OPk
    which delivers medicals supplies to Papua New Guinea. Realizing that about 80% of new information is taken in visually according to my recent studies in education, this is when I decided ophthalmology was worth researching into further.

    So, despite holding only a dipHE in physics with astrophysics, could I learn enough about ophthalmology on this 5-month voluntary placement to warrant a place in specialty training? I suspect not... I could complete my physics degree, but I think the course content would qualify me better to build and service ophthalmological instruments rather than use them in practice. The proposed voluntary placement with YWAM would end in the 2nd week of September 2012, just in time to
    undertake a more relevant degree during which I could learn more about ophthalmology in practice, for example nursing, but I'd appreciate any suggestions.

    Thanks for reading, and if you are ophthalmic nurse, please share some of your best / worst experiences and what attracted you to this field?
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    I am not an ophthalmic RN (I will say ORN for this post) but worked as a certified ophthalmic assistant (COA) and LASIK technician for 12 years prior to getting my RN-BSN. There are two associations related to ophthalmology that you can check into. JCAHPO (Joint Commision of Allied Health Professionals in Ophthalmolgy) and ASORN which is the society of Ophthalmic Registered Nurses. The first association deals with those who work in a clinic setting or in research, and Ophthalmic RNs deal mainly in surgery (I think). I have worked bedside nursing for 3 1/2 years now. Just today a was thinking about maybe pursuing Ophthalmology again and trying to figure out how to do this. The eye is an amazing organ and I truly enjoyed working in Ophthalmology over the years. By looking into the eye, or doing an eye exam we had patients that were diagnosed with DM, HTN, CVA, HIV/AIDS, shaken baby syndrome(unfortunately) , eye tumors, brain tumors before they were diagnosed by their general physicians. I always thought that was amazing.I went to nursing school to become an ORN, but once I started school I figured it would be good to do general nursing for a few years. I work in telemetry. It's been a few years now. I am pursuing a possible job right now (in cardiology) that will take me out of bedside nursing, if it doesn't work out I will start visiting some ophthalmology surgery centers and do some networking.


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