Grant Funding Received for a RPH Nurse Led Glaucoma Assessment Clinic Project
The WA Nurses Memorial Charitable Trust has awarded $14,960 to Jeanne Young, Lauren Entwistle, Jean-Louis DeSousa, Meredyth Haigh, Fiona MacDonald, Kim Hill to evaluate a Nurse Led Glaucoma Assessment Clinic Project.
Glaucoma is a serious, irreversible optic neuropathy that can result in permanent loss of vision (Tham et al, 2015). Glaucoma is known to increase with age with an estimated 1:200 Australians over the age of 40 years having the condition, with this increasing dramatically to 1:8 Australians who are aged over 80 years.
Alarmingly, 50% of people with glaucoma are not aware they have the condition (Glaucoma Australia, 2020). Given the slow progression of this disease, early diagnosis along with appropriate monitoring coupled with tailored education are integral requirements to preserving vision.
Research evaluating Nurse Led Clinics for ophthalmology patients is very limited but available findings have demonstrated the safety and effectiveness of a nurse led clinic (Sandinha et al; 2012; Slight et al., 2009; Kirkwood et al, 2005).
This project at Royal Perth Hospital will evaluate a nurse led assessment clinic for glaucoma patients. Only non-complex patients, who have been deemed suitable by an ophthalmologist will continue to attend these clinics.
Objectives are to:
- Develop a training programme to upskill an ophthalmology RN to run a NLGAC and undertake the approved ophthalmic assessments
- Improve patients’ knowledge, understanding and management of glaucoma through the provision of individualised glaucoma education
- Improve non-complex glaucoma patients’ waitlist times by attending a NLGAC at RPH
- Improve wait times for complex glaucoma patient to be seen by an Ophthalmologist
- Evaluate the cost benefits of implementing of a NLGAC at RPH
Three NLGAC will be run per week with a total of 288 patients seen by the nurse over the course of four months.