My day will involve the treatment and care of hospitalised inpatients, including administrating medicating and monitoring the individual patient. A nurse admits and prepares day patients for operations and procedures, and supports them throughout the day and during their procedure. This includes preparing the patient and monitoring them under anaesthetic or assisting the veterinary surgeon with the operation. You then have to recover the patient post-surgery or procedure and discharging them to the client, giving out advise at the end of the day. Throughout the day a nurse will also be running nurse appointments, completing admin tasks, running laboratory tests, but no two days are the same in the veterinary industry!
What do you think are the three most important skills to succeed in your career area?
Veterinary nurses need to be passionate about the job, caring and hard working to cover all the long hours!
Was this something you planned to do or did you change direction at any point in the past? If so, what was that and was it easy to do?
I always wanted to work with animals from a young age. I started with Trident work experience through school and from this I got a Saturday job. There I gained experience and also volunteered at Jersey Zoo and a local dairy farm. I realised during secondary school my GCSEs would not allow me to be a veterinary surgeon. Although I couldn’t be a surgeon, I wanted to pursue a career with animals as I enjoyed the experience I had gained so applied to university to qualify as a veterinary nurse.
What do you love most about working in your career area?
I love how varied the job is, you never know what is going to be in store each day. I also like the intensive medical cases and being able to see the improvement of patients, often in multiple visits to the surgery.
Are there any negative aspects of working in your career area that people considering it should be aware of?
All veterinary nurses will tell you that the hours are long, the day often isn’t finished until everything is done and then there is still an on call out of hours rota to cover. Many people believe the euthanasia of patients to be a negative aspect and yes, this is sometimes the case, however as veterinary professionals we have the experience to know when it is the correct time and kindest option for the patient.
What training / qualifications did you undertake for your current role or are you currently undertaking?
To get on to any veterinary nursing course you need to have hands on experience within a veterinary surgery, often voluntary. I then applied to university and completed a foundation veterinary nursing degree, and gained a registered veterinary nurse qualification. I have also trained as a clinical coach, which enables me to assist other trainee veterinary nurses.
Is there any other information that would be of interest to someone thinking of this career?
Explore the different training options there are to become a registered veterinary nurse, as you can study while in full-time employment and go on block or day release to college. Or additionally, you can go to university and gain a degree in veterinary nursing.