Filipina Doherty (Pin) an Ophthalmology Nurse at Noble’s Hospital recently represented the Isle of Man and the Department of Health on a self-funded trip, as an invited speaker at the second annual 2-day Ophthalmology Nursing Conference in the Sultanate of Oman at the end of last year.
Pin was delighted to take up the invitation from Farida Salum Al Abrawi, Head of Nursing and Midwifery Services at Al-Nahdha Hospital in Muscat, the capital of Oman, who she had worked with prior to coming to the Isle of Man. The Conference, which was sponsored by the Director of Oman’s Royal Hospital, attracted nurses from many disciplines such as eye clinics, wards and Accident and Emergency.
'This has been a great experience. I was nervous and it was amazing to be treated as a VIP. We had a tour of the Al Nahdha Hospital in the capital, Muscat, and attended a post-conference dinner with the Head of Nursing and Midwifery Services and the organising committee. Later we attended the offices of the Ministry of Health where I met the Health Minister and the Director of Nursing and Midwifery Affairs. I have had such positive feedback from participants. To successfully speak to an auditorium full of health professionals of all levels, has given me more confidence to be able to share my experiences and knowledge with my colleagues at Noble’s Hospital.
'The Health Minister of Oman was pleased to receive the gift of a hardback copy of ‘Visions of Mann’ and said he would love to visit the Island in the summer.'
Oman, under Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said, has developed healthcare, education and tourism since the Sultan came to power in the early 1970’s. As is the case in the Isle of Man, Omani nationals have free access to healthcare. Despite many similarities, Pin noticed key differences between the delivery of healthcare in the two jurisdictions.
'It was particularly interesting to see the workings of another well-developed health care system which is free at the point of delivery like our NHS. In the Isle of Man nurses work as part of the clinic or ward team, working with the patients and the ophthalmic diagnostic equipment. In Oman, only technicians are permitted to use the equipment, with consultants seeing the patient in clinic and nurses accompanying patients to and from the clinic to the technician and collecting reports. This means that there is a lack of autonomy, with nurses not being involved in the care or diagnosis of the patient.'
Pin delivered two presentations, but first Pin introduced the Isle of Man with some tourist information and pictures, and information about clinical best practice in Ophthalmology at Noble’s Hospital. Pin’s first presentation was on glaucoma, and the second was a workshop on auditing biometry results.
Pin returned with two gifts for the Department – an ornately engraved crystal copy of the national emblem of Oman which consists of a Khanjar (a dagger in a sheath that is superimposed upon two crossed swords); and a hardback book titled ‘Oman – My Beautiful Country’.
Minister for Health, David Anderson MHK, said:
'I am very pleased to receive these gifts on behalf of the Department and would certainly welcome a future visit from Oman’s Health Minister. I congratulate Nurse Doherty for representing the Department so expertly and helping to share best practice from the Island.'