Sharing our knowledge with professional ophthalmic nurses.

In early December last year, two of Blind SA’s Orientation & Mobility Practitioners travelled to Limpopo Province to share their valuable practical knowledge with professional ophthalmic nurses working at the eye clinic of Dr C N Phatudi Hospital.

This ‘sharing and learning’ workshop gave our O&M Practitioners time to talk through a range of assistive devices – sharing their experiences of how best to coach blind and visually impaired people in using them. Through demonstration and explan- ation, the professional nurses gained from the practical experiences of Blind SA’s field staff – becoming more familiar with the various devices and learning how best to help their patients who need to acquire these devices for their own use.

Beyond this practical engagement, our O&M Practitioners also shared many of their communication tips with the nurses, covering important issues like…

… how to communicate properly with people who are blind,
… the basic skills needed when functioning as a sighted guide
to a blind person,

… the dos and don’ts when meeting a blind person for the first time,
… and how best to handle the serious responsbility of referring young blind children to the appropriate schools.
Challenges were acknowledged, frustrations aired, learnings shared – a very valuable interchange between experienced ophthalmic nurses and our fieldwise O&M Practitioners.

Ultimately, the real winners will be the patients in their care.

Nurses practise the correct method of pouring liquids using liquid level indicator.
Demonstrating how to count money
by using the Mali-bhala template.
Nurses were also given the opportunity to experience using different types of canes.

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