This month is Veterinary Nurse Awareness Month. We got Cat blogger Purdy to grill our Student Vet Nurse Chloe and give you the lowdown on her job…
P: You’re currently in your first year of training – is it hard work? What do you have to do to become a VN?
C: YES... VERY hard at times! To become a veterinary nurse the RCVS requires you to complete a minimum of 2990 hours in training with at least 1800 in an approved training practice. Alongside that I attend college once a week for 9 hours a day to study the theory side of being a nurse.
There are several practical exams as well as 3 theory exams I have to pass in order to be a Veterinary Nurse and multiple assignments over the 2 years.
I also have to complete my NPL (nursing progress log) in which I have to log almost everything I do; from taking payments on reception to monitoring a patient whilst under anaesthetic. The whole course will take me 2 years to complete and I am now on my way to finishing my first year as an SVN!
P: You seem to study a lot - what subjects do you do at college?
C: I do a level 3 diploma in veterinary nursing which I study anatomy and physiology, animal welfare and husbandry, laboratory techniques, infection control and health & safety, diagnostic imaging, supporting the supply of veterinary medicines, communication, understanding the essentials of being a veterinary nurse and much, much more!
P: Many people are surprised at the variety of jobs a vet nurse does – can you give us some examples of the type of jobs you have to do.
C: Well as a veterinary nurse you don’t just have one job there is a variety. We as nurses can do anything from nursing consults, monitoring anaesthetics and nursing our in-patients. We can even perform a scale and polish procedure on patient’s teeth and suture wounds. There are many other jobs but my favourite job as being a nurse is being a phlebotomist and of course being a kitty, rabbit and dog cuddler!
P: Are there any cases you have dealt with that have stood out or affected you?
C:There have been many cases that have stood out to me since working at Lowesmoor Vets. I have seen and been involved with tail amputations, leg amputations, rabbit dentals, x-rays, ultrasound scans and have seen all sorts of interesting cases. The one that has stood out the most would have to be 18 months ago when a 4 week old kitten had been found abandoned on the streets, she was very tiny and had cat flu when she was brought into us. After days of looking for her owner and caring for her I had no choice but to take her home and make her my own along with my other 4 cats! #crazycatlady
P: What kind of characteristics do you need to be a VN?
C: You have to be caring, reliable, have good teamwork skills, be dedicated, hardworking and most of all be passionate about caring for animals.
P: What are the most challenging parts of your job?
C: I would say the most challenging part of my job would have to be saying goodbye to the furry friends we make here, I am very passionate about my job so I love all animals and get attached to clients pets like they are my own.
P: And the most rewarding?
C: The most rewarding part of my job is seeing patients and clients happy knowing me and my colleagues have made a difference and made a pet’s life better and of course working with a wonderful team at Lowesmoor Vets who help me become a better nurse every day!
P: What advice would you give to someone thinking about a career as a VN?
C: If you are hardworking, passionate about animals and don’t mind being covered in dog pee then DO IT!
It is THE most challenging yet rewarding job I have ever done and I am so grateful for this opportunity to get to be on the pathway to my dream job!
P: Finally - who's your favourite blogger?
C: I couldn’t possibly choose a favourite... you are all wonderful in your own ways!
P: A very diplomatic answer (I’m pretty sure she means me though!!!)
Many thanks for letting me interview you Chloe. I was very surprised by all the training that’s involved, as well as the range of skills a vet nurse needs. Top marks for all your hard work – us furries are safe in your capable hands!