This is a broad description: veterinary nurses provide expert nursing for sick animals. However it is a more complicated than that. Over a couple of our blog entries we would like you to know just how varied and challenging a role of a veterinary nurse is in a modern veterinary practice.
So what do nurses do? Kay Lockwood, a RVN at Rainsbrook Veterinary Group, is going to give you alittle insight into this rewarding and challenging career…
Nurses play a large part in the education of owners about maintaining their pets health. We have been trained to perform laboratory tests, give medical treatment and perform minor procedures under direction of the vet. We monitor anaesthetics, perform dental scale and polishes and take x-rays. We also scrub in and assist during operations, Mr Walker at our Leamington Spa branch has a certificate in orthopaedics so we regularly scrub in and assist with hip replacement surgery. On occasions we go out on large animal visits to assist with cow caesareans. On top of all this it is our responsibility to maintain the sterility and cleanliness of the practice. To be a veterinary nurse, you can not be afraid of a scrubbing brush and some good old elbow grease!
Here at Rainsbrook Veterinary Group we have 6 qualified nurses. There are two entry routes to becoming a veterinary nurse: the vocational route which is similar to an apprenticeship scheme and the other route is via higher education and a university degree. All 6 of our nurses have come from different routes; Alison and Kim did the vocational route, Tammy did a degree in equine sports science and then completed the vocational route, Gemma has a degree in animal welfare and behaviour and also completed the vocational route, Amy has a zoology degree and has recently completed the 3 year foundation degree in veterinary nursing, Kay completed the four year honours degree in veterinary nursing.
Both routes lead to the registration as a veterinary nurse with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) and this allows us to wear our badges. These badges are a symbol demonstrating to the general public that we are keeping our skills up to date with Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and that our professional conduct is accountable to the RCVS. The CPD allows us to keep up with the ever-changing industry:
Alison is trained in hydrotherapy, which is run at our Leamington Spa branch, Kay has a City & Guilds Certificate in Nursing Exotic Species and Gemma is currently completing a Certificate in Behaviour.
Our next post will cover A Day In The Life……