Master in Ophthalmic Nursing

Ophthalmic nursing continues to magnify and progress in response to the increasing demand and expectations for quality eye care services worldwide. Ophthalmic Nurses are expected to provide effective care integration and management of patient flow, enhanced knowledge, exceptional skills and innovative minds for the provision of safe and quality patient care. Ophthalmic nurses have the ability to apply medical and nursing intervention that fulfil visual care requirements with a primary role that lies in developing and maintain the highest standards of care, and helping patient adapt to new life style altering conditions.

Palestinian hospitals rely heavily on non-certified trained nurses to provide eye care practices. More than ten Palestinian hospitals with eye services lack the provision of eye services through advanced ophthalmic nurse practitioners. Several hospitals in the West Bank, including the Arab Hospitals inside the Green Zone have been approached, who acknowledged the deficiency of this specialty, and also appreciated having a master degree program to prepare professionals that would substantially improve the quality of eye care services in Palestine.

LEARNING OUTCOME

  1. Demonstrate a command of knowledge on the eye anatomy, physiology, and visual system pathological processes that lead to systemic effect on the body. 
  2. Critically appraise, evaluate and integrate theories and perspectives of the visual system and ocular health in the practice and management of ocular abnormalities using evidence based practice.
  3. Demonstrate competence and skills required for critical assessment, the triage, diagnosis, application and co-management of contemporary refractive and ocular diseases using imaging technologies.
  4. Undertake an integral specialist role in the pre and post-surgical care for minor and major ophthalmic surgery procedures.
  5. Demonstrate analytical and problem-solving skills in a variety of theoretical and practical situations with particular emphasis on prescribing issues.
  6. Manage and coordinate nurse-led clinics including referrals to other specialties.
  7. Act as a resource, teacher, educator, researcher and mentor to promote ocular health.
  8. Promote and support the well-being of under-privileged populations including the pediatric, geriatric and visually impaired populations.
  9. Exhibit personal behaviors, attitudes and values that express awareness of legal and ethical issues in ophthalmic nursing.
  10. Conduct clinical research and data analysis to enrich and improve patient eye care services.

 

Careers of graduates:

The field of ophthalmic Nursing is growing rapidly as a part of the development and improvement of healthcare delivery globally. A master’s in ophthalmic nursing is currently the highest degree obtainable in this discipline.

Graduates of this program can have several career paths including:

  • Ophthalmic Nursing services Director – Manages patient flow in ophthalmic departments in hospitals and other large healthcare organizations. Ophthalmic Nursing director can also train and direct staff, monitors budgets, and ensures all systems are in compliance with regulatory standards.
  • Director of ophthalmic surgical services – Coordinates surgical services preoperatively, monitors quality of surgical services, and educate staff on up to date practices.
  • Advance ophthalmic Nurse practitioner - Responsible for medical eye interventions under the supervision of ophthalmologists in hospital and clinical settings.
  • Primary eye care practitioner- Coordinate school and community eye screenings in collaboration with Palestinian Ministry of Health. Furthermore, ophthalmic nurses can function as school health care practitioners.
  • Academic – responsibilities would include field work, research, teaching and training of future ophthalmic nursing professionals.

There are a wide variety of job aspects that would be available for those graduating from the masters of ophthalmic nursing program at AAUJ. The five main health providers of health services in Palestine are MoH, UNRWA, NGOs, Palestinian Military Medical Services (PMMS) and Private for profit. The Palestinian MoH is the main employer of the health sector, with 41.0% of all employees of the health sector being recruited by MoH health institutions. This is followed with the Private and NGOs health sectors that are in charge of 27.0% and 26.0% of all the employees of the health sector. UNRWA comes last with only 6.0% of health sector’s employees. Currently, Ophthalmic Nurses in Palestine practice either in hospital settings or private/NGO ophthalmology clinics. The job aspects for eye care providers are listed in details below, and table 1 indicates a list of the top institutions of eye care provision in the country.

Individual Private Practice

  • Mode of Practice: Primary, secondary or tertiary eye care
  • Salary: self-pay based on volume of patients and profits generates

Group Practice

  • Mode of Practice: Primary eye care or secondary or tertiary eye care
  • May include two or more partners with various specialties
  • Salary Source: self-pay based on volume of patients and profits generates

Ministry of Health Primary Care Clinics

  • Mode of Practice: Primary eye care or secondary or tertiary eye care
  • Number of clinics: 404 primary health care centers
  • Salary source:  Ministry of Health  

NGOs

  • Mode of Practice: Primary eye care or secondary or tertiary eye care
  • Number of clinics: 140 primary health care centers.
  • Salary source: Foreign funding

UNRWA

  • Mode of Practice: Primary eye care or emergency care
  • Location of services: Refugee camps around the West Bank
  • Number of clinics: 38 clinics located in the West Bank
    • Only one clinic in Hebron has an eye care provider. 
  • Salary source: The UN 

PMMS

  • Mode of Practice: Primary eye care & emergency care
  • Location of services: City Centers
  • Number of clinics: 16 primary health care centers.
    • No primary eye care provision available
    • Vision screening for driver’s license is the only eye care provided
  • Salary source: Palestinian Government