Veterinary nursing: a job that makes a difference

I started my veterinary nursing career at a relatively late when compared with most nurses. In 2006 at 31 years of age, I decided that I wanted a career that would make a difference. I thought being a human nurse would be the way to go. My partner said, “Don’t be a nurse, be a vet nurse.” This was a career that, until then, I had not even thought about. This was the turning point.

I engaged in a part-time course and while I didn’t quite mesh with my tutors, I excelled in my theoretical studies. Unbeknown to me, my tutors were, quite simply, worried about my practical success. Until I began workplace training. I arrived for my lesson for the evening and came out of my silent shell as I explained the joy of being a part of my first caesarean. My tutors later explained their concerns and that those concerns were put into the past when they saw my passion after this experience. I then launched into being the best nurse I could be.

Six years on, I cannot look back. Every single day is a learning experience and no day is the same. Needless to say my own pets were my guinea pigs during my training and they deserve a medal for the rigours I put them through. They were very tolerant and forgiving, with the help of numerous treats.

My passion for animal care is non-negotiable. This goes without saying, but along with the ups there are the downs and there certainly is a skill to managing the emotional roller coaster that comes with vet nursing. There’s the absolute joy of running puppy pre-school and seeing the uncoordinated fumbling chaos and incompliant cuteness of the first week become the semi-controlled pups showing off their new skills, even if a food lure is needed, in the last week. Then there’s the worry of seeing a pet struggle through illness and the relief when it comes out on the other side, ferociously happy and with an appetite for destruction. There’s also the unfortunate task of euthanasia. Although humane it does hurt to take away a life that has brought so many delightful memories and provided such companionship. My very first euthanasia was more than heart-wrenching, and although I did not know the owners personally, the desperate anguish in their tears drove me home to cry myself to sleep that night. Although now my emotions are contained at these times, my thoughts always draw back to the owners and their feelings of loss. Continue reading Veterinary nursing: a job that makes a difference