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Global ophthalmic nursing conference announced

28/11/2018By Myles Hume
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The unveiling of a world-first global ophthalmic nursing forum was the highlight of a groundbreaking Nursing Day Conference at this year’s RANZCO Scientific Congress.

The initiative will run in 2020 alongside events organised by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), with the IAPB’s Western Pacific regional program manager, Mr Drew Keys, announcing more details would be released in 2019.

In a taste of things to come for Australia’s ophthalmic nurses, a host of international delegates attended this year’s ‘Pacific Rim Conference’, including representatives from the US, Singapore, Fiji, New Zealand, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.

The Australian Ophthalmic Nurses Association Victoria organised the event, and president Ms Heather Machin told Insight it was unique as local ophthalmic nurses rarely had the opportunity to network and communicate with their international counterparts at this level.


“This event had something for every nurse at every level of their professional journey.”
Heather Machin, AONAV

“That’s why we decided to bring our international colleagues to Australia. This event had something for every nurse at every level of their professional journey, and it helped highlight our need to remove our silos and work more collaboratively, both nationally and globally, for our shared benefit,” Machin said.

“This year’s program featured base-entry ophthalmic qualification programs in the US, as well as Masters level qualifications in the Pacific Islands. It explored and extended nurse practitionerships in eyecare in New Zealand and Singapore.”

Machin said attendees were presented with practice examples from around the world, and a showcase of Australian nurses’ involvement in global capacity development.

“It also covered antibiotic and glaucoma stent management, infection control, nurse-initiated community projects and optical coherence tomography use,” she added.

Next year’s nursing program will be hosted by the Australian Ophthalmic Nurses Association New South Wales at the RANZCO Scientific Congress in Sydney.

More reading: Ophthalmic nursing standards framework established

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