SNEC embarked on developing training programmes to meet the growing demand for healthcare.
"Our patients will increasingly demand quality health care not just from our doctors but from all members of the eye care team."
– Dr Ian Yeo, Deputy Medical Director (Education), SNEC
With the Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences ACP (EYE ACP) being established, SNEC embarked on developing training programmes to meet the growing demand for healthcare. This includes courses to train local and regional ophthalmic technicians and ophthalmic nurses.
SNEC’s Nurses and AHPs have been receiving traditional on-the-job training with career progression after they have gained several years of experience. The improved certified training programme offers SNEC staff learning opportunities that are in tandem with their career pathways.
Since May 2014, SNEC has been accredited by the international division of the US-based Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel for Ophthalmology (JCAHPO). SNEC is the first institution in Singapore and Southeast Asia to receive the recognition, enabling it to organise internationally-recognised courses for nurses and AHPs.
On 17 May 2014, SNEC partnered the Duke-NUS Graduate School of Medicine to organise the first formal training programme for allied health staff. This marked the first IJCAHPO-accredited and JCAHPO certified programme that forms part of the Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences ACP.
The programme uses a modular curricula developed by eye doctors, senior nurses and AHPs while senior eye doctors, nurses and AHPs take on the role of examiners. The programme offers different levels of training and certification. Upon completing their training, participants receive course certificates with the mark of the three organisations, IJCAHPO, SNEC and Duke-NUS.
“This accreditation is timely. Our patients will increasingly demand quality health care not just from our doctors but from all members of the eye care team. We hope that this accreditation will motivate our staff to recognise the value of the training courses,” said Dr Ian Yeo, Deputy Medical Director (Education), SNEC.
SNEC expects 10 to 20 nurses and technicians to be equipped with this certification each year. It is hoped that the accredited programme and certification credential will encourage more people to join the eye care profession as nurses or technicians.
From next year, the programme will be extended to personnel from other hospitals and neighbouring countries. With the certified programme in place, SNEC is set to become a regional examination centre for JCAHPO certificate programmes. The accreditation can further motivate staff to recognise the value of the training courses and enable them to deliver high quality eye care through continuous learning.