Lauren is one of our Registered Veterinary Nurses here at Kentdale and she kindly took time out to tell us all about life as a veterinary nurse.
- How long have you been a Veterinary Nurse and what route did you follow to qualify?
I qualified as a Registered Veterinary Nurse (RVN) in July 2016 with a FdSc degree in Veterinary Nursing after studying for 3 years at Myerscough College. I also completed a work placement alongside my studies.
- What attracted you to a career as a Veterinary Nurse?
Living on the family farm has always involved working with and caring for a variety of animals, so this is what predominantly attracted me to the career as a Veterinary Nurse. After completing work experience in various practices from the age of 15 I knew this was what I wanted to do.
- What does your job as a Veterinary Nurse entail?
My job as an RVN involves preparing for surgeries, setting up theatres and preparing kits, admitting patients and calculating their medications. I also monitor general anaesthetics, prepare the patient for surgery and clip and perform surgical skin preparation. I help to take radiographs before and after surgery, whilst monitoring patients during CT scans and help within the wards to make sure patients are medicated and appropriate nursing care for the individual is provided. In addition, I do monthly night shifts which sees me providing nursing care to in-patients out of hours. I really enjoy this as you get to spend quality time with the patients and it’s really helped develop my nursing skills too.
- What is the most rewarding thing about being a Veterinary Nurse?
Veterinary Nursing is very rewarding – it’s so humbling to know that the care and support you have provided to a patient has helped them to regain normal function and return home with a good quality of life. Since joining Kentdale in January I have particularly enjoyed nursing the spinal patients and seeing the improvements which they make in the hospital environment following surgery.
- What kind of attributes do you need to be a good Veterinary Nurse?
To be a good Veterinary Nurse you need to be able to work well as part of a team, but also be quick thinking and able to make decisions for yourself in given situations. As a veterinary nurse communication is key, not only with colleagues but with clients as well – it is important to be empathetic and caring towards your patients and clients at all times. Organisation is also very important and general hygiene and cleanliness is key!
- What are the best things about working at Kentdale Referrals?
I joined the Kentdale team in January 2020 after working in general practice for the past 3 years and during my training. I love being part of the Kentdale team; I have learnt so much already and feel my nursing skills are really starting to develop! I enjoy helping with surgeries and monitoring anaesthetics for a variety of operations, and although before joining Kentdale I had never worked night shifts, I really enjoy them! I am able to spend quality time with the patients and provide nursing care to the individual depending on their condition. It’s so nice to get to know the patients and their personalities and it’s so rewarding to see the improvements they make day to day
- Have you completed any additional training to support you in your role?
After I completed my FdSc Veterinary Nursing degree, I went on to ‘top-up’ my degree to a full Bachelors of Science degree in Veterinary Nursing. This saw me completing modules focused on life-limiting conditions, pain management and analgesia, rehabilitation and physiotherapy. I produced a dissertation focusing on owner’s perceptions of adult dog behaviour in the veterinary environment relative to puppy socialisation and graduated with a First Class BSc (Hons) in July 2018.
- What’s the next step in your career pathway?
It has been quite a big step for me this year moving from general practice to referrals, but I’m so glad I took the opportunity when I was able to as I am settling in well and enjoying learning so much! One day I would like to complete an advanced certificate but for now I am enjoying my new job and hope I can continue to become a great veterinary nurse!