There’s More To London Vision Clinic Reception Than Meets The Eye!
Regular visitors to the London Vision Clinic will have noticed one or two changes this year. These include the launch of a new uniform … those working in reception have switched their white coats for smart black outfits with toning black and blue scarves; while a new collection of white coats – complete with the clinic’s logo together with embroidered individual name tags – has also been introduced for some members of the medical team.
And there are other changes too -assistant clinic manager, Anna Akesson, is expecting her first baby (a girl we are told) in mid-May.
Anna joined the London Vision Clinic in September 2007 starting her career as a clinic coordinator in reception. Here, as one of the essential “flight controllers” , she would smoothly handle the crucial details of seven diaries while arranging patients various appointments – from their initial screening, through their surgery, post operative checks and beyond.
All of this would be carried out with a serene and reassuring smile- regardless of the circumstances.
“Sometimes things happen that are out of our control. A patient’s train might be delayed, making all the appointments run late or – for some reason a check up might take longer than expected. It can be difficult to appear calm. Maybe I looked like a swan above the water while below I would be like a duck frantically paddling away, emailing colleagues and trying to sort out a problem.”
Anna also explained to me that while working in reception it is essential to be “in the moment” and totally concentrate on the job in hand.
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“You’ve got to be switched on all the time. You need quick reactions and the ability to multi task.
“It is also important to be able to recognise faces and remember names. Sometimes – as in the case of twins – the receptionist might add clues to the patient’s notes – such as the colour of their sweater – to help identify them correctly.”
Clearly, there is much more to being a London Vision Clinic receptionist than meets the eye. This is, after all, the home of all those electronic diaries; as well as the hub and public face of the clinic.
“Occasionally I am back on the desk to help cover sick leave or staff holidays. Reception will always be ‘my ship’ and I still care passionately for how it is being managed – it’s hard to let go.
“I still have close contact with the girls on a daily basis – they keep me in the loop as to what is going on and sometimes call me for help and advice.”
Anna, who came to the UK from her native Sweden six years ago, hopes to be able to continue to work until the beginning of May – depending on how she feels.
“I have been very fortunate with an easy pregnancy so far – although I don’t want to jinx it – I know that the hardest bit is yet to come.
“I am really looking forward to starting a family and to experience the challenges of becoming a mum.”
She is not yet sure about how long she will be away from work adjusting to her new role.
“However long I am away I know for sure that I am going to miss the London Vision Clinic and all the people here – they are like a second family to me. The close relationship we all have with each other is very dear to me.”