May is Veterinary Nursing Awareness Month, a whole month dedicated to raising awareness of the veterinary nursing profession and the vital role they play in animal care and treatment.
Erica is one of our Registered Veterinary Nurses at our Ashford branch and has kindly taken some time out to tell us about life as a vet nurse.
I started studying veterinary nursing in 2009, studying through a college course whilst working full time in practice and qualifying three years later in October 2012. I was attracted to the job as I have always had a love and interest in animals and enjoyed the sciences, following these through to university.
Veterinary nursing appealed due to its practical and hands on nature, whilst also needing a large amount of knowledge and experience. Veterinary nursing involves many different skills and jobs. Vet nurses carry out anaesthesia monitoring, inpatient care, laboratory work (including obtaining and running blood samples), cleaning and assisting the vets in their jobs as well.
All aspects of veterinary nursing are rewarding, however, personally I find the care of poorly pets and seeing them through their hospital stay is the most rewarding. Being a good nurse requires patience, compassion and good communication both with the veterinary team and the clients you deal with. For someone thinking about becoming a veterinary nurse, my advice would be not to enter the profession just because you prefer animals to working with people! Veterinary nursing involves large amounts of teamwork and also a heavy involvement with working with clients.
The practice I work for is very supportive of all staff members and the whole team feels like a big family. I also enjoy working there due to its hospital status and the variety of work involved. So far in my career, the highlight has been getting to assist a specialist dentistry vet carrying out dental work on a chimpanzee at Chester zoo!
All nurses are required to carry out a certain number of training hours each year and so far I have focussed a lot of my training on diabetes management and care in our patients. This is something I would like to develop over the coming years along with developing other nursing consults for long term conditions.
Thank you, Erica, for sharing your story.
To find out more about the role of RVNs in veterinary practice, or if you are interested in finding out more about a career in veterinary nursing, visit the BVNA website at www.bvna.org.uk/a-career-in-veterinary-nursing/a-career-in-veterinary-nursing.