It’s that time of year again! Veterinary Nurse Awareness month!
Throughout May I will be writing a daily diary entry showing the world what us Veterinary Nurse’s do!
First and foremost, we have a genuine love of animals, one so strong that we have endeavoured to dedicate our lives to ensuring they receive the best care and support possible. A veterinary nurse is caring, compassionate and empathetic, and is truly always there for your pet.
Our dedication to the profession can be seen through 3 or more years of hard work, examinations, college, case studies and literally a time of putting your life on hold. In my case it was 6 years of hard work – my first year on a reception in a vets (which got my foot in the door to another practice), one year as a kennel assistant to prove I could work hard and was determined to do nursing. One year doing a ‘pre’ nursing course – the Animal Nursing Assistant qualification which I passed with distinction. This was followed by three years of working full time, and going to college, and dedicating all free time to my studies – I am thankful for my very patient friends throughout this time!
Day 3 – CPD
Qualified Veterinary Nurses do ongoing ‘Continuing Professional Development’ or CPD. This is something we must do in order to stay registered. We go on multiple courses, watch research webinars, do further reading – all to ensure that we are up to date with the ever changing veterinary world. Our training is very important to us, and continuing on with that training makes sure we have the ability to provide the very best care and possess the knowledge to help your pet.
Day 4 – Anaesthesia
The vets have an incredibly important job in performing surgical procedures – they absolutely need to concentrate on their job in hand. This is why they need a trained nurse to ensure an animal is at the correct level and depth of anaesthesia throughout the procedure. Anaesthetic levels may change during an op, and may be different depending on the type of animal or anaesthetic used. We need to make sure these animals are in safe hands and will wake up smoothly and safely.
Day 5 – Nurse Clinics
Veterinary nurses in many practices will have sole responsibility of running vital nurse clinics – these may include weight loss, diabetes, senior pets, mobility and puppy & kitten clinics, to name only a few. We want to ensure that clients have enough information and support that they feel happy with all issues relating to their pet:- growth, how to give medication (which can be a daunting task!), how to keep their pets healthy and understanding of their pets ailments. Being a Pet Health Counsellor has helped me with clinics I have run and I thoroughly enjoy them!
Day 6 – Cleaning
It’s not a glamourous job but someone has to do it. How would you feel if your pet came to a practice that was filthy and dirty? You wouldn’t expect it in a hospital where infections can spread, and you wouldn’t want it at the vets. We want to make sure that when your pet comes in to see us, that they are in the cleanest of conditions and have minimal risks of nosocomial infections (infections caught within a hospital environment)
Day 7 – Radiography
We are trained in how to operate x-ray machines, and with experience come to know which is the best Kv and Mas setting to get a good setting for your pets varying body parts and sizes. Correct settings as well as correct positioning is important for a quick and successful x-ray and anaesthetic – and the aim is to do as few x-rays as possible and to have your pet under anaesthetic for as short a time as possible. As shown in these photos, where my own dog thought it would be great to eat a glass plate! X-raying was essential as we found a few shards that were likely to cause damage to his intestines! Honestly, staff pets…..