Day 22 – Bearers of more information!
If doing notice boards wasn’t enough, Veterinary Nurses are in charge of putting together information packs for clients. This will often include useful ‘night time reading’ on vaccinations, insurance, microchipping, diet, and much much more! I myself created and made puppy and kitten books to be given with useful leaflets, as well as posters of common reptile and small mammals that were regularly seen and could quickly be printed off for the client. Information is key, and there is a lot of it!
Day 23 – Administrator
Not only are we doing our nursing duties, but we will often be involved in a lot of administration, paperwork and emails! For example we enrol animals and clients onto practice pet schemes, register them for insurance, fill out microchip paperwork, check daily emails, write up clinic notes and input lab reports. Honestly there is no end to a Veterinary Nurse’s talents or daily jobs!
In my previous practice I would do my full time nursing days, as well as the practice Facebook, creating adverts for a local newspaper on a monthly basis and update the website! There are not enough hours in a day!
Day 24 – Foster parent
I will often read about Veterinary Nurses who will not only work full time but will take home that litter of kittens, puppies or ducklings who have tragically lost their mum, and they will stay up at all hours of the night to feed and care for them, each day going back to their full time job. That is absolute dedication and just shows how much Veterinary Nurses have committed their lives to caring for animals (whether in work or not!) (Or in my case – trying to nurse a sick wild bat that flew straight into the practice! – smart bat!)
Day 25 – Inpatient nurse
This is an important role as these nurses are the ones caring for your sick or injured pet around the clock. They ensure your pet is fed, watered, walked, cleaned, have their medication given at the correct time, change bandages, run drip lines and more importantly – just give that hug that that animal needs. I had such a feeling of job satisfaction on my inpatient weeks – here it is you who is with that patient for long periods of time and it is you who the animal begins to trust. They then start to become less fearful or scared which is just great and means you are doing your job well. We want to make sure they feel safe and happy as they are on the road to recovery.
Here my poor dog Scooter suffered a serious stick injury and is feeling a little sorry for himself in the inpatient ward. He had plenty of cuddles though and knew he was in good hands!
Day 26 – Nutritionist
We are often the first person a Vet or client will come to for advice on nutrition and diets suitable for certain ailments. If we don’t know the answer we will always make sure we find out one way or another! A healthy nutritious diet is so vital for a long and happy life. You may often hear of pets being prescribed a specific low calorie diet, or on a specially formulated diet which will aid or slow down certain ailments such as kidney failure and mobility problems.
This is something that I feel very passionate about and would love to further my knowledge and qualifications in this area, following successful weight loss clinics.
Day 27 – Triage nurse
If a vet is consulting or busy and a sick animal is brought in, a nurse will be called to triage that patient and see what urgent attention or treatment is needed. Often it is a case of calming panicking clients, putting animals on oxygen and interrupting the vet if they feel it is an emergency. A nurse is always there to help and be the first point of contact (if required) should anything happen to your pet!
Day 28 – We assist the Vet
In a Veterinary practice you will find the nurses taking blood samples, putting on dressings and bandages, inserting catheters, working out drip rates, injecting medications, giving oral medications, working out dose rates……and these are simply a handful of our daily jobs! We run the blood samples that we have just taken, in the laboratory, we monitor our inpatients, we prepare theatre for surgery, we…just do everything!!!…..It’s a little wonder that our days are at least 10 hours long!!! Our possibilities are endless and our abilities are phenomenal!
Day 29 – We are cat whisperers!
Some Veterinary Nurses really do have the magical knack when that terrified, scared and angry cat comes into the practice. More often than not, that nurse will have your cat out of their basket, clip their nails, pop a worming tablet in them using their bare hands, do a health check and have them back in their basket before the cat even knows what has happened! (Or before there is chance to bite or scratch!) I am in awe of these Veterinary Nurses! I’m more of a dog whisperer so don’t completely have this knack yet but am certainly getting so much better! Animals really know who to trust and it is really important you feel completely at ease with them and show no signs of fear or anxiousness (even with an aggressive animal)
Day 30 – We wear our badge with pride!
We have worked many long and difficult years in order to receive our Veterinary Nursing badge which shows an image of Saint Francis, the patron saint of animals. You can spot a Veterinary nurse by this badge she/he proudly wears and has worked hard for! On several occasions I thought I lost my badge and my heart has literally stopped and panic set in! The badge is a symbol of my hard work, and to lose it would be devastating! Wear it with pride fellow nurses, because you earned it!!!
Day 31 – We are part of a team!
Veterinary nurses are part of a very important veterinary team who all have their own individual, vital roles, and without them we just would not function! Not only is it so important to work efficiently and well as a Veterinary Nurse team, working in sync with the rest of the Veterinary team is essential to have a practice that is united and happy! There are Veterinary Nurses, Veterinary Surgeons, Student Veterinary Nurses, Receptionists, Practice Managers, Animal Nursing Assistants and Kennel assistants. Team work is vital and we love being a part of one!
Keep up the good work nurses – you’re doing a fantastic job! Be proud of your profession and all the effort and hard work you have put in to be where you are today!
The pictures here show the logos of the RCVS (Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons) and the BVNA (the British Veterinary Nurse Association) – check out their websites for more information on Veterinary Nursing.
Thank you for following my story to spread awareness on Vet Nursing!!!