12thMay 2018 was International Nurses Day – IAPB members came together to shine a light on the fantastic work that ophthalmic nurses do. IAPB West Pacific organised a webinar hosted by the incredible Heather Machin. Heather wears many hats in the global community including as a project officer at the Centre for Eye Research Australia, a WHO Collaborative Centre for Blindness Prevention, at the University of Melbourne. Heather highlighted the challenges for nurses working across the Western Pacific and the globe, as well as encourage the audience to think about how nurses are an untapped resource and fundamental to the success of any eye health team. If you’d like to catch up on the webinar you can, here!
With the help of many fantastic IAPB members, we also presented a number of blogposts and stories from nurses working in the field, these capture the amazing relationships nurses have with both patient and eye care team. Heather wrote a wonderful article around the International Nurses Day theme: A voice to lead, health is a human right. We heard an amazing story from the ORBIS International’s Flying Eye Hospital team, about Nurse Sandy Burnett, who was reunited with a patient after many years and helped to save his sight, not once but twice!
IAPB shared the story of Nurse Manager Antonio Vazquez Barrero, who works with St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital. He explained to us the level of dedication that all nurses around the world provide when it comes to patient care and commitment, “We have breakfast while everyone else is asleep, have lunch when everyone else is showering, and work a ten hour shift while the rest of the world is enjoying their day-off. We see people at their worst and at some of the most vulnerable moments of their life. We are often forgotten as we are in the background, but we are an essential element in the fabric of health systems.”
We highlighted the amazing work that can happen when Nurses unite! From Elisa Urruchi, who works full-time on ORBIS International’s Flying Eye Hospital and talks us through her work with the Ophthalmic Nursing Association.
Our final story came from Artika Avikashni, who works as an Ophthalmic Nurse and a Course Tutor at the Fiji National University and Pacific Eye Institute in Fiji, and focuses on her work training the next generation of nurses in the Western Pacific.
Thank you to all of those who shared their stories with the IAPB alliance.
To find out about our next International Days and how you and your organisation can shine a light on your work, do leave a comment below, and we will get in touch.