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.
Nicola Tooth is a veterinary nurse at Cave Veterinary Specialists and 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 working within the veterinary industry since leaving college in 1999, I gained a BTEC 1st Diploma in Animal Care, National Diploma in Animal Care, Pre-Veterinary Nursing Diploma and then the NVQ II + III in Veterinary Nursing. I didn’t meet the expected GSCE grades so needed to go via a different route. I qualified as a Registered Veterinary Nurse in 2010.
What attracted you to a career as a vet nurse?
My love of animals and caring for them. I loved science and Biology at school so I felt this was a good mixture of the two.
What are the best things about being a vet nurse?
Being able to make animals as comfortable and looked after during their stay in the hospital.
What kind of attributes do you need to be a good vet nurse?
I think you need to be able to consider how an animal may be feeling to be able to make them feel better and to prioritise each emotion and act quickly. Compassion and understanding of frightened/aggressive animals as these behaviours could be caused by injury or pain.
What advice would you give someone thinking about a career as a vet nurse?
Caring for animals involves a lot of commitment, patience and a willingness to get your hands dirty. There are many roles which include feeding, cleaning, disinfecting, long hours, on calls etc.
What are the best things about working at Cave Veterinary Specialists?
Of the several veterinary establishments I have worked for, Cave is the most committed to further learning and constantly keeping up to date with the latest treatments, approaches etc, to provide the best care for each individual patient. My senior members are very supportive and always encourage us to have a go at new challenges. They supported my recent achievement of a Nursing Certificate in Anaesthesia.
For more information on Vet Nurse Awareness Month, visit www.bvna.org.uk/about-us/veterinary-nursing-awareness-month.