Meet the Heroic Nurses of Orbis

In honor of International Nurses Day, Orbis celebrates nurses around the world and their dedication to bringing sight-saving care to their local communities. From ophthalmic nurses in local communities to Orbis’s Volunteer Faculty and expert staff nurses, these eye care heroes are making a big impact in helping to end avoidable blindness.

Angela Purcell, Orbis's Associate Director of Nursing for the Flying Eye Hospital, is committed to saving sight and training nurses worldwide.

Inspired by the care she received from nurses as a patient, Angela Purcell decided to become a nurse herself.

After her initial medical training in London, she joined Orbis’s Volunteer Faculty in 2012 as a scrub nurse and within just a few months became Orbis’s Head Nurse. Today, Angela is the Associate Director of Nursing for the Flying Eye Hospital – Orbis’s state-of-the-art medical teaching facility and operating room on board an aircraft. Through Flying Eye Hospital projects around the world, Angela leads training programs for ophthalmic nurses and shares critical knowledge about infection control and skills for emergency preparedness in caring for patients.

Either through in-person training on board the Flying Eye Hospital, or virtual training via Orbis’s telehealth platform, Cybersight, Angela is committed to helping nurses globally to save sight and ensure that children and adults in need receive quality eye care. As a heroic Orbis nurse, she continues to change lives and stands firmly by her belief that “sight is one of the most precious gifts to behold.

Ganbold Bolortsetseg (left), an ophthalmic scrub nurse from Mongolia, has learned essential nursing skills through Orbis's Flying Eye Hospital programs in her country.

Ganbold Bolortsetseg, an ophthalmic nurse from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, has helped deliver sight-saving care to her local community for almost 15 years. As a participant in three Flying Eye Hospital projects, including one virtual training during the COVID-19 pandemic, she continues to be energized through Orbis’s highly educational and effective nurse training sessions.

Training with Orbis’s expert Flying Eye Hospital staff and Volunteer Faculty has helped Bolortsetseg acquire essential nursing skills in performing eye examinations and sterilization methods, and inspired by the Orbis training, she even implemented a surgical safety checklist prior to all surgeries at her local hospital.

Bolortsetseg loves being a nurse and believes in the power of teamwork and connecting with her patients to help her eye hospital function successfully. As she says, nursing “requires genuine care and human communication between us and our patients” and “working as a team is very important.

She is grateful to Orbis supporters for helping to expand her knowledge of nursing so she can deliver healthy sight to local patients in Mongolia.

Flor Romero, an Orbis Volunteer Faculty Nurse from Peru, helps train nurses throughout Latin America.

When the Flying Eye Hospital visited Peru in 2015, Flor Romero had an unforgettable experience meeting members of the Orbis team and learning critical nursing skills and new surgical techniques. Training on board the aircraft also helped her gain confidence in providing eye care to local patients in need.

Flor shares, “The Orbis staff nurses taught us using the resources that we have – at our own facilities. They demonstrated that we can provide quality care and encouraged us to improve by example.”

Today, Flor helps Orbis train other nurses in Latin America by imparting her own knowledge of patient care – including through recent participation in a Virtual Flying Eye Hospital program for Bolivian nurses.

Through nurse training programs, Flor shares her experiences in the field with trainees and strongly promotes active participation during training to develop and reinforce the essential skills that help nurses do their part to care for patients and help restore vision.

Registered nurse Ayienwi Frubih Wilson delivers critical eye care to his community in Cameroon.

We first met Ayienwi Frubih Wilson at a Flying Eye Hospital program in Cameroon in 2017, where he participated in hands-on ophthalmic nursing training. Now a registered nurse, and Head Nurse of the Operating Room Unit at his local hospital, Wilson applies the knowledge acquired from Orbis training sessions to provide exceptional eye care to his community.

Through his nursing training with Orbis’s Flying Eye Hospital project, Wilson expanded his knowledge on ocular anatomy, while learning valuable techniques for providing cataract surgery and new practices for pre-and post-operative patient management. Enriched by his experiences, he is now able to help meet the eye care needs of local children and adults.

Wilson was trained using the limited resources available in his home country but learned that it is still possible to provide quality eye care. Orbis staff nurses now see him as a “go-to person” when seeking advice on working in areas with minimal resources, and they connect with him about other ophthalmic nursing questions as well!

Flying Eye Hospital Nurse Xiao Ying Liu pictured on our training project in Barbados

Orbis staff nurse, Xiao Ying, trains and inspires nurses globally to provide world-class care.

With over two decades of nursing experience, Xiao Ying Liu, an Orbis staff nurse from Wuhan, China, consistently amazes us by delivering world-class training to nurses around the world.

While working on board the Flying Eye Hospital, Xiao takes an active role in planning training programs and teaching local eye teams essential nursing skills.

With expertise in infection control and sterilization, her skills became absolutely crucial during the pandemic, when she led virtual training programs to help nurses globally in treating and caring for their local patients.

Xiao believes “that all human beings should have the right to healthcare” and holds an unwavering commitment to providing quality eye care and fighting avoidable blindness – all this making her another heroic Orbis nurse!

The nurses mentioned here are just a few of the thousands of extraordinary nurses providing eye care every single day around the world. Orbis honors them, and thanks all nurses for their dedication to healing patients and fighting avoidable vision loss wherever it occurs.

In fact, right now in Can Tho, Vietnam, the Orbis team is training local nurses on board the Flying Eye Hospital! During this three-week project, local teams will strengthen their skills through simulation training and workshops during the first week and live patient training in the second and third weeks – improving the skills of local nurses to help restore vision and deliver quality eye care for years to come.

To support Orbis’s efforts to train nurses and eye care teams worldwide on board the Flying Eye Hospital, please make a special gift today!


Your gift helps Orbis train nurses and local eye care teams worldwide to save sight

Close the modal
Sorry there was an error.
Try again