The 1st May marks the start of the BVNA’s Veterinary Nurse Awareness Month!
Veterinary nurses are a vital part in the care of your pets and we feel it is important to spread awareness about what they do.
Very much like human nurses, they not only care for your pets, they also take part in X-ray positioning, anaesthetic monitoring, giving medications, conducting nursing consults among many many other duties.
What do Vet Nurses do?
We often find that people can be surprised about the variety of work that Vet Nurses do, so we thought we would take this opportunity to spread awareness and highlight what an incredible job they do every day!
Here are a few of our nurses carrying out a number of duties, including monitoring an anaesthetic during an operation, by Kim, making sure the patient stays asleep, and yet is safe whilst under anaesthesia.
We also have one of our nurses, Dannii, recovering a patient after a General Anaesthetic, and Nurse Mikaela, not only monitoring an anaesthetic during a dental, but also teaching and mentoring one of our students, Amber.
Veterinary Nurse Training
There a few different ways in which a person can train to become a Veterinary Nurse. Completing a Degree through University is one option, either doing a few days a week in practice or completing block placements. These courses tend to be 3-4 years long.
Another option is doing a Diploma through college. This course takes around 2 years, and you spend 4 days a week in practice and 1 day at college.
Becoming a Veterinary Nurse takes total dedication – not only are there multiple exams to sit, such as anatomy and physiology, law and ethics and first aid, there’s a fair amount of assignment writing too!
Trainee nurses also have to complete the Nursing Progress Log (NPL). This is a (very) long list of tasks to complete, such as cleaning cages, taking blood samples, X-ray positioning and performing anaesthetics, among many others.
As well as this, nurses also need to take ‘OSCES’ – these are practical tasks which the nurse must be able to complete before becoming a Qualified Veterinary Nurse.
Although this sounds very daunting, becoming a Veterinary Nurse is very rewarding and a profession we are very proud of!
If you have any questions about becoming a Veterinary Nurse, please do let us know, we’ll be happy to help!
Pictured are a few photos of our Nurses at work. Leanne is performing an anaesthetic, Debs is running some bloods and Carrie is positioning a patient for X-RAYS.
Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and further training
Once a Nurse has qualified they must go onto the ‘Register’. This is a requirement by the RCVS (Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons) and means nurses are held to the RCVS code of conduct and must keep up to date in new ideas, knowledge and treatment.
It is compulsory that every Nurse takes part in 45 hours of CPD over a 3 year period for the whole of their career. This means they are constantly learning new ideas to help treat your pet in the best way possible.
Not only this, but Registered Nurses can choose to do further studies and gain certificates in certain fields. Meaning more exams!
A few of our nurses have extra qualifications and these include:
Vanessa – Behaviour
Sue – Nutrition
Dannii – Emergency and Critical Care
There are also certificates in things such as Anaesthesia and Wound Care.
Pictured is a photo of Head Nurse Louise, taking a blood sample, Dannii manning the reception desk and Kim, completing an anaesthetic record.
Jane (Facebook review)
Nurse Louise and Vet Helen came to help my beloved Bear onto better things recently
They were both so kind and caring and made a truly difficult and painful time much better than I could have hoped – peaceful and calm.
Thank you to you all for everything for 13 years of compassion and carexxx
Rachel (Facebook review)
I would like to send a big thank you to emma the vet and the nurse (sorry can’t remember ur name) who look after my dog charlie at the weekend and gave him lots of love and attention to help his recovery
I don’t think he would have been home so quickly if it wasn’t for u two lovely people
I can’t thank u enough x
Been a tough morning at the ‘office’ for us today…! Seven first vaccinations for this absolutely gorgeous litter of Labradors
My cat was very poorly over the weekend, having picked up a virus. She is now recovering well at home but I can’t thank Vet’s Emily and Cliff enough
This lovely young chap is Buble! He is a 5 month old Snow Seal Mink Bengal cat and isn’t he seriously handsome!