Posted By: Angela Smith

Date 26-09-18

Optometry Student Volunteer


Optometry Student Brooke talks about volunteering at Moorfields.

Brooke Hutchins has been a volunteer for Friends of Moorfields for the past year. She spends Wednesday afternoons helping with patient guiding, meeting and greeting patients at A&E, getting patient feedback, and more recently supporting people to use the Self Check In kiosks.

“Alongside volunteering for the Friends of Moorfields, I am an Optometry student at City, University of London, where I have just completed my second year of the undergraduate course. I chose Optometry as I find the study and profession so varied and fascinating. Despite the challenges and intense hard work required on the course, I could not have chosen one more interesting!

This was not a career that I had thought of at all during my school and sixth form years but after working for a couple of years in healthcare, and a bit of exploring and research, I became sure that I wanted to be an eye care professional.

The course itself is made up of a broad range of modules, which reflect the depth of knowledge needed within the profession, and the combination of practical lab work and lectures make every day different.

The first year is mainly theory and introduction to the core clinical techniques; then as you progress within the degree, you cover all the fundamental optometric skills and knowledge such as eye disease and pathology; contact lenses, and binocular vision.

Alongside testing, it is also essential for an optometrist to be able to dispense the appropriate spectacles or contact lenses to patients that they see. I am particularly looking forward to my third year, when I will begin to conduct eye examinations and contact lens appointments on the general public, within the university sight clinic.

I have found volunteering at Moorfields extremely complementary to my university studies. I really look forward being able to communicate with and assist patients around the clinics, and the experience of being within an eye hospital itself is a bonus.

There is a huge volunteer team of all ages and backgrounds which makes the experience really enjoyable. What has been so beneficial for me personally, is that alongside the patients that I guide, I have also met many people with specific eye conditions and being able to speak to them about their individual experiences is also a wonderful learning opportunity for an optometry student.”

Photo of Brooke outside Moorfields wearing green volunteer jacket