In this ongoing series, we are interviewing the staff that makes Village Vet the preferred veterinary provider in your local community.
This interview is with Sophie Fenwick who works as the deputy head nurse at Village Vet Milton.
My name is Sophie Fenwick and I am the deputy head nurse at the Milton branch. I trained at small animal general practice while I was earning my degree in Veterinary Nursing, and was then offered a job after my placement had finished and continued to work there for another 10 months as an RVN. I then made the decision to move to Village Vet in Milton as I wanted to experience working in an animal hospital. I have been at Milton now for 3 yrs, and after being at Milton for 2yrs I was given the title and role of Deputy Head Nurse.
2. What are the best and worst bits about being a Veterinary Nurse?
The best part of working as a veterinary nurse is that every day is different, and I find it interesting to see all the different type of patients and cases we see day to day and how those cases develop. The most difficult part of my job, is as working in a hospital we often see cases that can be critical and seeing the patient uncomfortable or suffering whilst you are trying to stabilise them and administer treatment and sometimes we don’t get the outcome we hope for which can be difficult to see.
3. Tell us about your most rewarding case to date
We had two large crossbreeds that were brothers called Chester and Hugo, they were extremely nervous as pups whenever they came into the practice. We advised Chester and Hugo’s owner to come into the practice regularly, so we could help get them more settled in a veterinary environment. They came every week or every other week and k would play with them, give them treats and positive attention to try and help them to become more comfortable in the practice. Now they don’t particularly enjoy coming into the practice, but they are a lot more comfortable and know they can trust me when they are here and that is very rewarding to see.
4. What is a typical day for you in practice?
There is no typical day at the hospital at Milton, we are lucky that we see a variety of cases everyday which makes every day a bit different and very rewarding to work in learning about different case and treatments and how to effectively nurse them.
5. What is the route to becoming a Veterinary Nurse?
I took the degree route and was at university for three years, you can opt to do a fourth year to top your qualification up to a degree but this can be done at any time, and I chose to start working straight away after three years due to being offered a job from my training practice.
6. Tell us about your own pet
I have Norman a French Mastiff he is 4yrs old and a bit prone to being ill which can be typical for a nurse to own such a dog, but he is a big softie. We also have a Springer Spaniel cross called Fletcher who is 10 months old and is incredibly cheeky but very cuddly.
7. What are your top tips for people looking to get a puppy or kitten?
Research the breed and choose one appropriate to your lifestyle, you can research online and or speak to a breeder of the breed you are interested in and a good breeder will help you make the right decision. You can also call us or come and speak to a nurse we are more than happy to help you make the right decision. Make sure when you do get your puppy that you socialise it, take it to train and make sure to get a good life plan insurance policy.
8. What advice would you give to someone looking to become a Veterinary Nurse?
Make sure you get lots of work experience to be sure that it is defiantly the line of work you want to be in. You can go to different type’s of practices in different areas to get a good feel for the role and the expectation of a nurse, you need to be sure it is the right career for you as the pay can be low and the hours long and most of the reward comes from the fulfilment and satisfaction of the role/job.