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Nurse-Led Approach to Diabetic Retinal Screening, Article Review Example

Pages: 1

Words: 392

Article Review

Diabetic retinopathy can lead to loss of vision and is connected to many different health problems. Early detection can help in the prevention and management of diabetic retinopathy. At the Western Eye Hospital, ophthalmic nurse practitioners are using the opportunity of screening patients for diabetic retinopathy to educate them on its connection to their pre-existing diabetes. Patient education helps to ensure compliance with treatment.

Early detection of diabetic retinopathy can help to prevent loss of vision. In this study, the integrity of the entire visual health is assessed. Prior to the screening, patients receive a thorough examination of their blood pressure, visual acuity, intraocular pressure, and integrity of their optic discs. If patients are found to have pre-existing conditions such as poor visual acuity, relative afferent pupillary defect, or narrow angle glaucoma, they will be referred to an ophthalmologist to receive appropriate care. The procedure of screening for diabetic retinopathy uses digital photograph and slit-lamp biomicroscopy to obtain digital images of the retina. Two color photographs are taken of the optic disc and macula in each eye. The photographs are then graded to determine the presence and stage of diabetic retinopathy. The lens, vitreous, and optic disc are also graded. If early stage diabetic retinopathy is found, laser therapy is recommended to prevent further vision loss. If there is no retinopathy and minimal background deterioration, patients are encouraged to be re-examined every 12 months. Patients will be re-examined every six months if there is more severe deteriorating background. The importance of patient communication is crucial at this point because it helps to ensure that they will follow-up with their treatment plan and health care.

According to Watkinson, it is important that the nurses in educate patients not only in their diabetic retinopathy, but also how their vision relates to the entire health as well. They can use this opportunity to show the importance of mmaintaining healthy blood pressure and glucose levels can benefit their diabetes and affect their vision (Watkinson, 2005). “Health education should include the best available research evidence to empower patients to make decisions about lifestyle changes and gain control over their condition” (Watkinson, 2005). By educating patients and promoting early screening, better management of diabetes and its side effects including retinopathy can be achieved.

References

Watkinson, S. (2005). A nurse-led approach to diabetic retinal screening. Nursing Times, 101(36), 32. Retrieved from http://www.nursingtimes.net/nursing-practice-clinical-research/a-nurse-led-approach-to-diabetic-retinal-screening/203683.article

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