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.
What was started as an awareness day by the British Veterinary Nursing Association (BVNA) in 2005 quickly grew into a week and expanded even further to a month in 2012.
Rachael Taylor is a veterinary nurse at Calder Vets’ Mirfield practice and she kindly took time out to tell us about life as a vet nurse.
How long have you been a vet nurse and what training did you have to do to achieve your qualifications?
I have been a veterinary nurse for 12 years and started training on a trainee nurse rota at my first practice. I studied at Myerscough College on block placements, while working full time in practice.
What attracted you to a career as a vet nurse?
I was incredibly squeamish growing up and didn’t think I could ever do anything in the medical profession but after doing work experience in a vets, it completely changed my mind. I’ve always had an interest in working with animals but couldn’t decide if it was veterinary or behaviour that I wanted to pursue. After I qualified as a veterinary nurse, I then went on to study advanced nursing and clinical coach training, allowing me to train student nurses starting in the profession.
What are the best things about being a vet nurse?
I love the varied caseload. Working in a veterinary practice, every day is different. I love nursing the animals while they are with us and getting the satisfaction from seeing them bounce back to themselves. I love making them feel that little bit better during their stay and providing comfort really makes the job worthwhile. I enjoy working as such a strong team, working together with the vets and the receptionists and providing support to them.
What kind of attributes do you need to be a good vet nurse?
The best attributes a nurse can have is love and compassion, empathy for people during difficult times and humour for anything that is thrown at you during the working day!
What advice would you give someone thinking about a career as a vet nurse?
It’s not for the faint-hearted. You need to have a strong stomach, be prepared to work weekends, bank holidays and night shifts during training and be on your feet a lot. The upside is that you get to work in fantastic teams, bond with clients and patients and ultimately do what you enjoy – love and care for animals.
What are the best things about working at Calder Vets?
Working at Calder gives opportunities in different directions and allows you to work with fantastic colleagues. The company is very supportive and we have a close-knit team.
For more information on Vet Nurse Awareness Month, visit www.bvna.org.uk/about-us/veterinary-nursing-awareness-month.