Meet Nicola Pritchard-Jones, an Advanced Orthoptist working in Nevill Hall Hospital, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board.
Nicola is what we refer to as an AHP (Allied Health Professional). Allied Health Professions is a collective term used to describe 13 different professions who work across the whole lifespan, in a wide range of settings throughout the NHS, social care, local authority, private practice, education, and the judicial system.
Nicola has kindly taken some time to share her experience as an AHP with us...
As an Orthoptist, our core role is to diagnose and treat eye movement defects and how the eyes work together. We see a wide caseload range that may be affecting vision, from misalignment of the eyes (squint), diplopia, reduced vision, and visual field loss.
I am now involved within the stroke service provided by the Orthoptic department, and some of these issues can be a direct impact of stroke due to defects in the nerves that communicate with the eyes. We work closely with the stroke MDT, providing assessment and diagnosis of potential eye problems, and then also assist to provide information and treatment in managing the eye symptoms.
I particularly enjoy the diverse range of patients we see; no two days are the same. Working closely with patients and building rapport with them, whilst striving to provide them the best possible care is very fulfilling. I enjoy working as part of a multi-disciplinary team, valuing everyone's input as part of the rehabilitation to the patient's recovery.
To continue to advocate the involvement of Orthoptists in the role of stroke rehabilitation, whilst continuing to learn and develop alongside my colleagues whether that be clinically or through further education.
I studied at undergraduate level for BSc Orthoptics at University of Liverpool. I have completed a Masters level module in Neuro-Ophthalmology.
Someone who genuinely cares about people, providing a person-centred approach to the patient’s health and well-being. You need to have excellent communication skills and be adaptable and flexible in your approach.
To find out more about AHPs in Wales, visit our AHP pages on the website.