Fundamental goals in ophthalmic nursing should include the preservation of vision and the prevention of further visual loss in those patients who have already experienced some degree of loss. The maximal practical use should be sought for any remaining vision.
Skillful listening and interviewing on the part of the nurse or provider are critical tools for the rehabilitation of the distressed pa-tient. The health care provider together with the patient should de-termine which goals are possible. A referral to a low-vision center for evaluation may be an appropriate intervention, but for some patients, it may be a signal that all hope of vision restoration is lost.
To be effective, the nurse listens to the patient, tries to deter-mine his or her level of health care need, and makes suggestions and recommendations that can be of real value to the patient. Lines of communication must be kept open so that the patient is comfortable exploring all treatment modalities without fear of being ridiculed or patronized.
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