You’re Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile – AnaRita Takes Joy In Her Job

One of the first things that you notice about London Vision Clinic nurse AnaRita is her smile.

It is one of those delightfully infectious smiles that not only lights up her face, but also a whole room. Clearly she is a person who is exceptionally happy in her work.

Nurse AnaRita at work
Nurse AnaRita at work

“I love my job”, she tells me proudly, “I really look forward to coming in every day”.  Even if the rush hour commute means being squashed into an overcrowded tube train “like a Portuguese sardine in a can”. The analogy is hers and she explains that it always makes her smile easing the unpleasantness of the journey.

AnaRita was born in Porto to a Portuguese father and a Mozambican mother. Her parents moved to the UK first and then  they were joined by five-year-old AnaRita who quickly picked up the language and integrated into the British education system finally achieving a university degree in nursing.

Her career began at a busy hospital’s accident and emergency department in South London before becoming part of the team at the London Vision Clinic in July 2009 where, from Day One, she knew that this was where she wanted to be.

As part of the clinic’s nursing team, AnaRita plays a vital role in ever y aspect of the patient’s journey. This includes conducting the crucial eye tests which provide the necessary data for the optometrists to assess and make their treatment recommendations, the post operative tests, as well as discussing patients’ medications and eye drop treatments.

“Every day is different; but I especially enjoy assisting the surgeons in the operating theatres. It doesn’t matter how many times I see a patient’s joyful reaction after surgery, I always feel emotional for them.”

Never having had a vision problem herself, AnaRita turned to her mother  – who had undergone the blended vision procedure  at the London Vision Clinic – for advice on what it actually feels like to have Laser Eye Surgery, from a patient’s perspective.

“But, of course, it is an individual experience and, although everyone is nervous to some degree, people like to cope with it in their own way – and I enjoy being able to help them.”

Alongside catching up with friends, most of AnaRita’s free time is spent with the love of her life: her dog Molly.

AnaRita and Molly take a break

However, despite being adored “almost like a sister”, the 14-year-old Golden Retriever has not had an easy life health-wise. Her problems have included losing an eye which had to be removed as a puppy due to the discovery of a malignant tumour.

AnaRita starts her work days at 5.00am in order to fit in a brisk morning walk with Molly. At the moment there is little time to fit in other hobbies but, in the past, the 24-year-old has enjoyed creative drawing and hopes to take it up again.