Tshuku is a qualified Optometrist whose focus lies at making sure that her patients leave the consultation room with a smile on their face. Very vibrant and humbled Tshuku gives us an insight into her career life as an Optometrist.
WHAT IS IT THAT MANY PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT BEING AN OPTOMETRIST?
Being an Optometrist is more than just giving patients spectacles, they study at universities for years before they qualify to examine the eyes. As Optometrists, we need to examine the eyes using the suitable equipment that helps perform the process effectively and efficiently.
ACCORDING TO YOU, WHAT IS MORE IMPORTANT WHEN GETTING INTO THIS CAREER FIELD?
Passion, love, care, and determination. One must be passionate about people’s eyes and their health as a whole.
YOUR FIRST YEAR WORKING AS AN OPTOMETRIST, HOW WAS IT LIKE?
The first few months were quite hectic and challenging. Alone I had to see patience and make all final decisions by myself unlike in varsity when we always had a supervisor with. As time went on, I started believing in my judgements from the good work I was doing as patience would come and leave with satisfaction, also the treatment doing well.
BEST HIGHLIGHTS OF YOUR CAREER SINCE YOU STARTED TO DATE.
Working in a public healthcare facility where I get to visit public schools and old age homes for screening. I also get to organize and attend health campaign screening. Being a volunteer for special Olympic South Africa (Opening eyes) where we travel to special schools across the country to screen people with intellectual disabilities.
ARE YOU AN OPTOMETRIST WHEN AT HOME OR OUT WITH FRIENDS? IN CASE SOMEONE GETS INTO TROUBLE WITH THEIR EYES?
Of course, I am. My family always call me whenever there is something wrong with their eyes. I am indeed an Optometrist even over the phone. As for my friends, many of them saved me as “Optometrist”. They usually report to me when they experience something they believe is wrong to their eyes. (She laughs)
WHAT ADVICE CAN YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE WHO WANTS TO BE IN THE SAME FIELD AS YOU?
Do it because you love it and passionate about it so that when things become tough, you can hold on with the same love you have for being in the industry. Doing something out of love is very compulsory and makes one earn the top level of being an expert in whatever field they are in.
HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU TAKE TO PREPARE YOUR DAY BEFORE SEEING PATIENTS?
I think I am always ready. With all the equipment in the consultation room, all I need is to plug, switch on and examine the patient.
WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL IN THE FIELD?
Ausi Emma Rapoo. (May her soul continue to rest in peace), my former manager. During my varsity life when I was working at Torga Optical, Cresta Mall as a student, though she was not an Optometrist, she taught me so much about this field and life in general. I remember her motivating me that if she could do it, I could do it too. Not that we can replace our role models, Ms. Faith Chabedi is also a role model to me. She introduced me to the Special Olympics South Africa.
Mmatshukudu Molepo is proud to be an Optometrist as she has got love for the field.