International Nurse's Day: sight-saving eye care training during the pandemic

This International Nurse's Day, we're championing nurses all over the world who are committed to continuing sight-saving eye care training during the pandemic.

One such nurse whose unwavering commitment to fighting avoidable blindness is helping to change lives all over the world is Angela Purcell; Nurse Supervisor on board the Orbis Flying Eye Hospital. She continues to deliver sight-saving eye care training in countries battling the COVID-19 outbreak using the latest in virtual training.

In 2020, as part of the Virtual Flying Eye Hospital programme on Cybersight, Angela and her team delivered 24 live ophthalmic nursing sessions, which included training on infection control and emergency preparedness in patient care. These courses had 160 enrolments of eye care professionals in Bolivia, Cameroon, India, and Zambia.

Angela’s training is of such as high quality she contributed to the Orbis Flying Eye Hospital achieving AAAASF accreditation, the gold standard in the USA indicating that an ambulatory surgical facility has met the highest standards for patient safety.

Hear below from nurses in Peru and Cameroon on how this training is helping them in their roles:

Ms. Flor Romero, Volunteer Faculty Nurse for Bolivia Virtual Flying Eye Hospital project. Based at Regional Institute of Ophthalmology(IRO), Peru

“The virtual training allows us to participate in a constant teaching process. The virtual training reinforces our knowledge based on ophthalmic nursing science! What I liked the most was the fact that the IRO nurses were able to demonstrate that we were now ready to share our knowledge and experiences that we’d built up during all of the years of our partnership with Orbis. It was an opportunity to give back to Orbis and to say, “Thank you,Orbis!”

Mr. Kanmegne Ninkam Célestin, Registered Nurse and Cataract Surgeon, Mother and Children Hospital,Yaoundé, Cameroon

“It’s true that face-to-face training has a lot of advantages, but the virtual form has even more. You don't have to stop your daily work at your hospital; instead, you just aim to be free for a few hours for the scheduled trainings. The videos are much more in quantity and can be reviewed at any time when needed. There is also the fact that more professionals can participate and contribute and give their experiences—some of these skilled professionals could not travel if there was only face-to-face training.”

Mr. Ayienwi Frubih Wilson Head Nurse of the Operating Room Unit, Magrabi ICO Cameroon Eye Institute, Yaoundé, Cameroon

“Attending these online courses has been a beautiful experience for me. The fact that we receive videos ahead of time and can come up with questions about our doubts and have discussions with the facilitator makes it interesting and very practical. No question is considered foolish or out of place, and various team members are at the ready to provide answers to these worries we might have. We have learned about various techniques for cataract surgery and how to make the best choices for our patients.”

You can help support this sight-saving work this International Nurse's Day

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