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The ophthalmic nurse assists the ophthalmologist in all aspects of diagnosing and treating various conditions of the eye. The duties of this position include performing basic eye examinations as well as maintaining the equipment required for these examinations. The ophthalmic nurse typically works in an eye care clinic, either in a private practice setting or in one of the larger box type stores that offer eye care clinics. In order to be qualified to work in this field, you must already hold the title of registered nurse and while certification is generally not required, some employers may recommend that you become certified, each state has their own requirements pertaining to certification, therefore, you must first contact the state board of nursing to determine how to proceed with your education. Once you begin working in the ophthalmologic nursing field, you can expect your salary to be less than most of the other nursing careers, however; it is still considered one of the mid-level salaries for those with a college degree in the $45,000 per year range, plus any benefits package offered by your employer.
Job Description of Ophthalmic Nurse
The ophthalmic nurse provides assistance to eye doctors before, during and after eye examinations and they also provide basic patient care to those who are undergoing various eye exams. The ophthalmic nurse will perform the preliminary examinations that take measurements of the eye as well as testing for disorders such as glaucoma. Once the examinations are complete, the nurse will then go through all of the machines used in the exam and clean and sanitize them to ensure the machinery and equipment is ready for the next patient. When the patient goes to see the ophthalmologist, the nurse will also stand by for assistance in cases where the patient is receiving treatment for disorders in the eye.
The main educational requirement to become an ophthalmic nurse is that you earn at least a two year Associates degree in nursing. A four year Bachelors degree is generally required or at least recommended. Both of these degree programs can be earned by distance learning at one of the accredited top online universities. In addition, you may complete your clinical training at an eye care clinic or private practice in your area which will give you not only the title of registered nurse, but the experience needed in the field of ophthalmology. Once you have completed your chosen degree program, you may begin working in one of the numerous eye care clinics where you may or may not be requested to go through the certification examination for your state. Typically, in order to become certified as an ophthalmologist nurse, you will be required to have about 4,000 hours of work, or three years of full-time employment in the field of ophthalmology as well as your title of registered nurse. This certification examination is simply a computerized test that generally consists of multiple choice questions. There is no required course to take before undergoing the examination, however; there are numerous online schools who offer the certification prep course that you may complete on your own time, which will get you fully prepared for the examination.
If you want to become an ophthalmic nurse, enroll in classes today. You will change your future and your life.