22/12/2022 | Press releases

Age is no barrier for 70-year-old scrub nurse

Scrub nurse Rheza Rivas may have turned 70 but retiring is the last thing on her mind.

A popular figure on the Ipswich Hospital Raedwald Day Surgery Unit and, before, in South Theatres, Rheza has no intention of leaving Suffolk and returning to her birthplace in the Philippines.

She arrived at Ipswich Hospital in 2001 – her husband and three children remaining in South East Asia.

Rheza Rivas

Rheza Rivas has no intention of retiring.

Rheza said: “I cannot imagine myself in another job in the Philippines, because in my country there is a mandatory retirement age at 65, even if you are still strong and have a desire to work.

“It’s nice here because you are still allowed to work even if you are 70. I don’t want to stay at home idle.

“Even though I am alone in this country, I love the place, I love the work, I love the weather, now!

“My colleagues are all good to me, they respect me.”

Rheza is one of 146 staff aged between 66 and 70 at ESNEFT, while 49 colleagues over the age of 71 still work for the Trust.

Rheza’s team leader Jonathan King said: “I don’t know what we would do without her.

“She has got so much skill and is so well liked by everyone.

“Rheza has a wealth of experience, she is great with students. We all learn from her.

“She says to me, ‘can I please carry on? And I say you can carry on for as long as you want.”

Rheza and Jonathan.

Rheza, with her team leader Jonathan King.

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