By Chris Romero, PNT Correspondent
Name: Charles W. Brooks
Job: Optometrist and owner of Charles W. Brooks Optometry
Background: Charles W. Brooks is from the northeast and grew up in Clovis. His frandparents homesteaded in the area.
Brooks graduated from Clovis High School and then went to University of New Mexico and earned a degree in biology. He has also worked as a mental health counselor as part of a University of New Mexico program while finishing his degree at UNM. At the University of Houston he earned a doctorate in optometry. Currently Brooks has been a member of Kiwanis for the last 27 years.
Time on job: Since 1981
Q. Describe what your job entails?
A. Primarily testing ocular health of patients (ocular health is the measure and condition of an eye).
I determine the reason the patients come in and their chief complaint and history of their eyes. I also consider their medication and family health background; prior surgeries and injuries as part of the examination.
In the exam itself the first step a focus on external features. Next an exam of the surrounding tissues of the eye is made.
Glaucoma tests are routine and standard part of the exam.
Towards the end of the eye exam is a summarization of what I have done. This is where the choice for glasses, contact lenses, or further medical treatment is made. The patient may ask questions and then be educated as much as possible.
Q. What is a typical day on the job like for you?
A. Routinely the office opens at 8:30 a.m. for emergencies such as removing foreign bodies inside of the eye. The typical schedule begins at 9 a.m. and regular exams are take half hour while some exams take longer than others. I don’t like to wait or ask anyone else to wait.
Q. Why did you choose this job?
A. I’ve always wanted to be my own boss and I thought optometry would allow me to do that and it is an enjoyment providing eye care to the public.
Q. What type of training, if any, do you need for your job?
A. A four-year degree and an experienced background in science health like chemistry, math, optics, physics or biology and be accepted to an optometry college. There is an OCAT (Optometry College Admissions Test) that must be passed while statistics is included into the degree program.
Q. What do you enjoy most about your job?
A. I try to treat my patients the same way I would like to be treated. It’s an honor and a privilege. The more I understand the eye the more fascinating it is.