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.
Kirsty White is one of our Registered Veterinary Nurses (RVN) who works on the Out of Hours Emergency team at our 24/7 Dewsbury Hospital. She kindly took the time to tell us about her life as a Registered Veterinary Nurse.
How long have you been a vet nurse and what route did you follow to qualify?
I have worked in practice for almost nine years and have been qualified for four years. I joined Calder Vets as a trainee and completed all my training here whilst visiting Myerscough college on block release.
What attracted you to a career as a veterinary nurse?
From a very young age, I had always wanted to work in a veterinary practice, as do most children. My passion for animals made this possible.
What does your job as emergency night nurse entail?
As part of the night team, we are responsible for providing high-quality nursing care to routine, critical and trauma patients and assist with imaging and surgical procedures of critical animals. An emergency can present at any point so we must remain calm under pressure. We also offer a telephone advice service, as well as performing reception duties, cleaning, and in-house laboratory tests.
What is the most rewarding part of the job?
The most rewarding part of this job is seeing poorly patients bounce back to health, especially those who have been critically ill. I also feel reuniting stray pets with their owners by tracing microchips is very satisfying.
What attributes do you need to be a good vet nurse?
You must be able to multi-task, be proactive, hardworking, have good timekeeping skills, work both independently and as part of a team and have a passion for this line of work, as it can be very intense.
What advice would you give to someone considering a career as a veterinary nurse?
Study hard for the relevant entry requirements for the path into nursing you wish to follow. There is a large workload, but it is worthwhile; keep at it. It is a very demanding job with long working hours.
What are the best things about working at Dewsbury Hospital?
There is always something different to see; no two patients or conditions are the same. The team are like an extended family and share a positive work ethic.
What would your career highlight be so far?
Being trusted to move onto the senior nurse rota shortly after qualifying.
Have you completed any additional training to support your role?
I have completed more than enough Continuing Professional Development (CPD) training but in the future, I may wish to advance my skills in the imaging department.
What is the next step in your career pathway?
I would like to advance my skills in the diagnostic imaging sector or potentially become a clinical coach.
Thank you, Kirsty, for sharing your story.
To find out more about the role of RVNs in veterinary practice, or if you are interested in finding out more about a career in veterinary nursing, visit the BVNA website at www.bvna.org.uk/a-career-in-veterinary-nursing/a-career-in-veterinary-nursing.