This month for our Q&A profile we chat with Sarah Wilson, from Wilson Fitzpatrick Family Optometrists.
1. Where did you grow up?
I was born in Perth, WA but spent most of my childhood here on the Sunshine Coast, in Buderim.
2. What did you study/train in and have you followed that path?
I followed a very straight line from high school into the Optometry career that I now enjoy. I went immediately from high school into my Bachelor of Vision Science at QUT in Brisbane, and followed that with a Master of Optometry before returning here to the Sunshine Coast to begin my work as an optometrist, which I continue to do now as well as running the business.
3. What made you choose to bring Wilson Fitzpatrick Family Optometrists to the hinterland?
I’ve been very fortunate to work with Wilson Fitzpatrick Family Optometrists since 2011 in some way or another while studying, then as an employed optometrist, then business partner and now sole owner.
Over the years, in each of my roles, I have developed a wonderful rapport with my patients in Nambour and the surrounding hinterland. Reaching more people to educate on the importance of eye health and eye care is always my top priority. It’s something my entire team does very well, and I hope to expand our reach of care.
4. What does a 'typical' day entail for you?
Well, a typical work day begins with an early start to walk my dog and catch sunrise, followed by early arrival to the practice to work on the business (the behind the scenes management duties) before opening the practice with my team and seeing patients throughout the day. This ranges from standard eye consultations, to emergency eye care for infections, to aviation vision examinations, to in-office dry eye clinics.
5. Do you have any funny stories/anecdotes to share?
I’ll never forget an eye test I completed with a gorgeous little five-year-old boy. His parents had brought him in for his first eye test because of a bath! During bathtime he had managed to get soap in one of his eyes and his father told him just to close it for the moment and use his other eye.
The little boy said, “I can’t! That’s my bad eye!” And that’s how his parents realised he has vision problems in one eye. The little boy just thought that everyone had one good eye and one bad eye, that everyone saw the world the way he did.
6. What is the most useful advice you could give someone regarding their eyes?
Get a regular eye test. Even if you have perfect vision, there are so many conditions we can screen for with a standard eye health test that you cannot check for yourself (freckles inside the eye, high blood pressure and cholesterol, diabetes, the list goes on).
Wear good sunglasses. It’s Queensland. The sun is intense. The eyes need protection. Simple.
7. What do you like to do in your spare time?
My husband and I have a border collie, so lots of spare time is spent running her energy out at the beach or hiking. I love time with our friends, watching sunrises and sunsets, and enjoying good food together.
8. What do you enjoy the most about the hinterland?
I’m a sucker for nature and green landscapes and the hinterland has some of the most beautiful lookouts, hikes, waterfalls and towns on the Sunshine Coast.
9. Do you have a favourite quote which inspires you?
Yes I do. It’s a long one though.
If you don't enjoy getting up and working and finishing your work and sitting down to a meal with family or friends, then the chances are you're not going to be happy… If, on the other hand, happiness depends on a good breakfast, flowers in the yard, a drink or a nap, then we are more likely to live with quite a bit of happiness. – Andy Rooney.
Another, which I constantly fail at, but I try to live by:
Today you could be talking to someone who is doing their best not to fall apart. So whatever you do today, do it with kindness in your heart. - Anonymous
Wilson Fitzpatrick Family Optometrists, 40 Howard St, Nambour, 4560. Phone: (07) 5441 2277 Website: fitzpatrickoptometrists.com.au/nambour