“Every dollar given makes a world of difference to an eye patient”
Our Clinical Nurse Consultant (CNC) Ophthalmology, Joanna McCulloch, shares her insights and inspirations about working at Sydney Eye Hospital.
What do you do?
I’m responsible for five areas: education, clinical leadership, patient consultation, service planning and research, but for me, my whole focus is our patients, and providing them the best care.
What inspires you?
I have been nursing for thirty years and have worked in ophthalmology for over 20 years now and am still passionate about the specialty. I’m inspired by our patients, especially those who live life with complex eyes conditions and low vision. Learning from them, about them, allows me to provide better care for the next patient.
What are you most proud of?
Developing and delivering the Graduate Certificate in Ophthalmic Nursing in collaboration with the University of Notre Dame.
If you met someone who was thinking of donating to the Sydney Eye Hospital Foundation, what would you say to them?
Every dollar given makes a world of difference to an eye patient. That dollar may buy equipment or support research that provides eyesight and independence to eye patients or help train a nurse.
Clinical Nurse Consultant (CNC) Ophthalmology
Lesley McDowell (Left)
Meet Lesley McDowell – our Outpatient Nursing Unit Manager
If you’ve been to the Outpatient Unit, you’ve probably met Lesley McDowell, our Nurse Unit Manager.
Lesley manages 18 nurses while running the busiest department in the hospital, offering over 70,000 appointments annually.
It’s an extremely challenging job, but Lesley says she’s inspired by the people she works with.
“Between providing patient care and completing our quality improvement projects, in a very busy and stressful environment, we still manage to be a close-knit family – sharing laughter, tears and celebrating each other’s achievements.”
Lesley’s priority is to make sure her team feels supported, happy and safe at work.
“I’ve noticed when the team is happy, our patients are happier too.”
“As a surgeon, most of my patients would become rapidly blind without emergency surgery”
Meet Dr Andrew Chang, vitreoretinal surgeon, Head of the Vitreoretinal Unit and the Head of Ophthalmology at Sydney / Sydney Eye Hospital.
Dr Chang says his favourite part of working at the Hospital is the strong team culture.
“We all work together to care for patients and serve the community with a unified vision to save sight.”
“As I walk into the hospital it is wonderful to join other dedicated eye surgeons, registrars and fellows, nursing, orthoptic and administrative support staff.
“Together, we give an uncompromising care to patients.
“We share a genuine desire to care for patients using our skills, research and technologies. It is essential to work well together in a team setting, training the next generation of eye surgeons for a sustainable future.
“Our operating rooms are busy seven days a week all year round treating emergency retinal conditions such as retinal detachment, infection and trauma.
“The Sydney Eye Hospital Foundation is extremely important to me. It supports patient care, research and teaching next generation eye surgeons from around the world. I’m so grateful to everyone who makes the Foundation’s work possible.”
Dr Andrew Chang
“What other job do you get to meet so many people?”
Meet Irene Chan, registered nurse Sydney / Sydney Eye Hospital.
If you’ve ever been in the outpatient or emergency department of Sydney / Sydney Eye Hospital, chances are you would have met Irene.
She’s been working there as a full-time nurse since 1986.
In fact, she’s been going strong as a nurse since 1961, and says she’s nowhere near ready for retirement.
“Life is too short to feel tired,” says Irene.
“I’m continuously inspired by my job at the Sydney Eye Hospital.
“I love the variety of people, the patients, colleagues, volunteers – what other job do you get to meet so many people?”
On her days off, Irene still doesn’t rest. She volunteers at Taronga Zoo.
“I help visitors with directions and staying on the paths. I use the Zoo to charge my inbuilt battery. It helps me face the challenges at Sydney Eye Hospital.”
Irene is also a loyal donor to the Sydney Eye Hospital Foundation. “I give to the Foundation because I can see how they allocate the money. I know it gets to where it is needed!”