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.
Coral is our Senior Veterinary Nurse at Village Vet Potters Bar and she kindly took time out to tell us about life as a vet nurse.
1. How long have you been a Vet Nurse and what route did you follow to qualify?
I started my training back in 2008 on the Degree pathway at RVC but then transferred to the College of Animal Welfare to qualify with a Diploma and qualified in 2012 meaning I have over 12 years’ experience in Practice!
2. What attracted you to a career as a Veterinary Nurse?
I have always had a passion for animal care and welfare and positions working with animals, I also enjoyed being a St John cadet and the first aid treatments I was involved with, so for me, it was the combination of animal care and the medical side that drove me to a career as a veterinary nurse.
3. What does your job as a Senior Veterinary Nurse entail?
My role is extremely varied from working on reception with customer service and dispensing medication being main tasks, to carrying out nurse consultations, treating inpatients and time in theatre. As a senior nurse, I also carry out other tasks such as insurance forms and queries, placing orders and stock control.
4. What is the most rewarding thing about being a Vet Nurse?
Working in primary care practice it really is about educating clients, especially those with new puppies and kittens, spending time with the clients and pets ensuring we deliver great preventative healthcare and creating bonds with our patients.
5. What kind of attributes do you need to be a good Vet Nurse?
Have a passion for animal welfare, be empathetic and have a lot of patience!
Nursing is a really difficult career, however extremely rewarding. Be prepared to work unsociable hours but have a wide and varied caseload as no two days are ever the same. Do some work experience to get a feel for the job role or other roles available in practice as time nursing isn’t all spent with patients, there is a fair amount of admin and cleaning involved.
7. What are the best things about working at Village Vet Potters Bar practice?
We are a small, close-knit team and have a lovely client base. I have worked here for six years and the team have great bonds with clients and there’s a real community feel.
8. What would be your career highlight so far?
I used to be a zookeeper and have a real interest in exotic nursing so working at Potters Bar has given me the opportunity to work alongside two exotic vets, Harriet Nicholson (now based in Berkhamstead) and currently Tatiana Mashanova. As you can see from my photos, my highlights often involve the weird and wonderful creatures we get to see here! I also love a doggy cuddle…. especially with Staffordshire Bull Terriers
9. Have you completed any additional training to support you in your role?
I have completed a Certificate in the nursing of exotic species and also a Canine and Feline behaviour course.
10. What’s the next step in your career pathway?
At the moment I am enjoying what I do and have my exotic interest so no current plans to change anything at the present!