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Bristol Ophthalmic Nursing Course

Who is it for?

This curriculum is designed for registered nurses, theatre practitioners and other registered professionals who work in the dedicated field of eye care, and are pursuing academic and technical competence in their elected field of specialism. The object of the course is to equip ophthalmic professionals with outstanding clinical knowledge, skills, interventions and attitudes that are indispensable in the assessment, examination and treatment of patients with eye problems. This course will fortify and evidence-base their clinical practice for their role in direct patient/client care. The learning outcomes below are in congruence with the current RCN National Competence Framework for Ophthalmic Nursing.

This course is particularly relevant for trained health professionals in South West England and South Wales, who envision their medium- or long-term future within ophthalmology. It is a 15-week short course that aims to help prepare an eye specialist, patient-focused workforce that will expedite the update and transformation of health and social care provision, whether in the outpatient, ward, theatre, A&E or community settings.

The organisers of the course understand that ophthalmic nursing and allied professional care continue to expand and develop. In order to meet the needs of patients and their carers, policy makers and public perceptions, ophthalmic nursing care has had to transform itself to tackle the challenges of evolving health care demands. The profession is now faced with expectations to maximise capacity, rapidly embrace new technology and treatments, and utilise ophthalmic specialist skills in more ground-breaking and imaginative working routines, whilst also providing value for money.

The course consists of two modules, namely: (1) Principles of Ophthalmology, and (2) Practice: Ophthalmic Care. BONC prides itself with the wealth of resource persons, facilities and services that it engages. The once-a-week in-campus sessions over nearly four months consist mostly of lecture-presentations by highly qualified speakers (mostly BEH consultants, senior nursing, allied and diagnostics staff who are top specialists or subspecialists in their own right). Interspersed as part of the learning process are student-led work-based learning discussions, short quizzes, test, practical sessions, personal tutorials and library/research days. Students are required to go on placement at ophthalmic outpatient clinics, pre-op & diagnostics, ward, A&E and theatre departments, and if possible eye bank, to achieve necessary skills that are relevant in their clinical practice.

The main requirement of the course is a 4,000-word essay that should either be (1) a reflection on a clinical incident, practice or situation where the student was a participant, or (2) an analysis of an ophthalmic nursing issue or concern. In any case, the essay should substantiate the student's achievement of all the learning outcomes of the course.


Learning Outcomes

1 - Knowledge and Understanding:

a. Apply learned principles and integrated understanding of the anatomical, physiological, pathological, psychosocial, pharmacological and cultural aspects of practice and care to meet ophthalmic patients' needs.
b. Determine and assess the psycho-social needs of patients with ocular problems, conditions or disease, and those experiencing loss and grief, and factor those needs in the delivery of their care and management that is sensitive to the context of a multicultural and dynamic society. 

2 - Intellectual Skills:

a. Apply appropriate legal, ethical and professional requirements to the delivery of care of ophthalmic patients.
b. Evaluate the effectiveness of volunteer agencies in the field of ophthalmic care, and utilise such resources to optimise results.

3 - Professional and Practical Skills:

a. Adopt a critical approach to ophthalmic care through reflection on practice, and demonstrate an ability to competently perform ophthalmics-specific clinical skills relevant to role.

b. Select appropriate strategies for assessing, planning, implementing and evaluating the care and management of the ophthalmic client group in a variety of settings using an evidence-based approach.

4 - Transferable Skills:

a. Comprehend the importance of risk management in a variety of ophthalmic settings, and employ appropriate strategies to provide a safe environment for ophthalmic patients.
b. Evaluate own and others' inter-personal communication skills and techniques required in various client settings, and work effectively and efficiently with members of the interdisciplinary team (IDT) when caring for ophthalmic patients.


Key Information

Start Date March and September each year

Duration 15 weeks (Submission of essay: 4 weeks after last session day)

Fees £800 for two modules

Application Period Until the end of May for September start

Until the end of November for March start

Contact for Information

Tel. 0117 342 4795