Unsung heroes, frontline workers, angels in protective gear—call them what you will but our nurses and the real contribution they have made to the care of our patients in these last two years of pandemic are beyond description.
And at Sydney Eye Hospital Foundation, we believe in showing our appreciation for their skills and commitment.
That’s why—thanks to the generosity of our supporters we are funding ophthalmic scholarships for nurses through the University Of Notre Dame.
There is only program in Australia where nurses can get specialist training in ophthalmology. The two-year graduate certificate in ophthalmic nursing costs $11,000 and we want to help by meeting the cost to nurses.
We need to fund four scholarships, costing $44,000 and, already, one nurse, Isabel Divinagracia, is taking the course.
She says: “I can’t wait to share my new skills and knowledge. I have been at Sydney Eye Hospital for ten years. Now I have the opportunity to learn more and specialise in ophthalmology to be in a better position to help the patients who rely on us.”
Clinical nurse ophthalmology consultant Joanna McCulloch is the course co-ordinator. According to Joanna, the scholarships will be a win for nurses and patients.
“It goes beyond technical expertise and allows nurses to understand how ophthalmology affects the patient in their everyday life.
“The Sydney Eye Hospital Foundation has been absolutely phenomenal with supporting nurses. Everyone knows the far-reaching impact of the Foundation’s Fellowships for doctors, and we’d like to see the same thing for nurses.”
Joanna has been nursing for thirty years, the last twenty in ophthalmology and says she is still passionate about the speciality.
“I’m inspired by our patients with complex eye conditions and low vision. Learning from, about them, allows me to provide better care for the next patient.”
She is extremely proud of the team in developing and delivering the graduate ophthalmic nursing certificate course and says support for the Foundation’s fundraising efforts is vital.
“Every dollar given makes a word of difference to an eye patient. That dollar may buy equipment or support research that provides eyesight and independence to eye patients.
“It will also help train a nurse.”