S. Finn, S. Ahrens, H. Dinisco
Oct 1, 1994
The changing economic climate in health care has motivated nurses to clearly define their role and job duties. Ophthalmic nurses, in particular, have to relate to the differences between the skill level of nurses and technicians. Staff nurses asked to define their role in an ambulatory ophthalmic laser center, placed a high priority on patient education as a professional responsibility. Their view is supported by the Joint Commission Accreditation Manual for Hospitals, and is listed as a responsibility for the registered nurse by that agency. The Joint Commission Standards were reviewed, and a review of related theories of learning was conducted. Teaching standards were developed for nine ophthalmic laser procedures. The standards include teaching content and appropriate teaching aids. The goal is to inform patients specifically regarding the laser surgery, and eye health in general. The patient's knowledge base regarding laser surgery is addressed as part of the nursing assessment and documented in the progress note. Information regarding the proposed procedure is provided based on the teaching standard, and the patient's level of understanding is documented in the progress note. Theories of learning as well as individual teaching standards and tools will be presented.