Skip to content
left end
left end
right end

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 objective 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. In addition, this course will fortify and evidence-base their clinical practice for their role in direct patient/client care. The learning outcomes below are in line with the current Common Clinical Competency Framework for Non-Medical Ophthalmic Healthcare Professionals in Secondary Care.

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 20-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 course organisers understand that ophthalmic nursing and allied professional care continue to expand and develop. In order to meet the needs of patients and their carers, policymakers 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: (1) Ophthalmic Theory and (2) Ophthalmic Practice. The Bristol Ophthalmic Nursing Course prides itself on the wealth of resource persons, facilities and services that it engages. Over nearly three months, the once-a-week-in-campus sessions consist primarily 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, formative MCQs, practical sessions, clinical care studies, personal tutorials and library/research days. Students are required to attend placements in various ophthalmic areas (ophthalmic outpatient clinics, pre-op & diagnostics, ward, A&E and theatre departments, and if possible, eye bank) over a 6-week period as a supernumerary member. During this time, students must take advantage of all opportunities to learn and achieve necessary skills that are relevant in their clinical practice.

Candidates require a minimum of 1 year relevant ophthalmic experience to attend this course. Module 1) Ophthalmic Theory will be assessed through written examination (weighting 50% total course). Module 2) Ophthalmic Practice will be divided into two components. Component A) aims to develop and produce a PowerPoint® Presentation that assists in answering a clinical question in relation to an area of ophthalmic practice and reflects the learning outcomes of this module (weighting 25% total course). Component B) will be assessed through four 500-word reflective accounts and completion of Placements.

The pass mark for these modules is 50%.

Learning Outcomes

Module 1

Students who successfully complete this module will…

Knowledge & Understanding

  • Recognise normal and abnormal anatomy and physiology of the eye
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of ophthalmic conditions and their management
  • Establish a critical understanding of ophthalmic pharmacology
  • Understand safe practice in relation to clinical applications and procedures (i.e. laser)

Cognitive/Intellectual Skills

  • Demonstrate ability to critically analyse ophthalmic scenarios and make appropriate judgments
  • Evaluate the appropriateness of intervention based on individual patient needs

Module 2

Students who successfully complete this module will…

Knowledge & Understanding

  • Apply ophthalmic theory to diverse practice settings
  • Demonstrate cultural sensitivity when providing holistic care

Professional and Practical Skills

  • Perform the role in accordance with NMC standards
  • Care and management of the ophthalmic patient across the lifespan in different settings
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the role and responsibilities of the nurse in ophthalmic settings
  • Demonstrate effective multi-disciplinary team working
  • Effectively communicate with visually impaired patients and their families throughout the treatment process
  • Be able to prioritise patient flows and recognise changes in clinical presentations

Transferable Skills

  • Be an advocate for patient empowerment and ocular health promotion

Key Information

  • Start Date March and September each year
  • Duration 20 weeks (Portfolio submission: 4 weeks after completion of placements)
  • 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 Ines.Esteves@uhbw.nhs.uk | Tel. 0117 342 4795