Kay Lockwood, RVN, continues her blog in describing what it is like to work as a Veterinary Nurse…
….we care for two types of patients, those who are sick and need our highest levels of dedication care and attention and those who are in for routine day surgery who equally need our attention to ensure they recover smoothly and do not get too scared and worried about being away from their owners.
Our day usually starts at 8am and begins with cleaning and checking inpatients making sure they are comfortable and their individual needs have been met. Everything we do is recorded on their hospital sheets. The vet then comes around gets the animals out and gives them a good check over and make a nursing plan for that day. The nurse then follows the vet’s plan and gives the animals their medication, diet and exercise.
While one nurse is attending to our patients another is setting up theatre and getting ready for the day’s procedures. Nurses also admit patients for day surgery. Once they are admitted they are given an injection, which contains a sedative and pain relief. The nurse then needs to closely monitor the patient to ensure the drugs have no adverse side effects.
The nurse holds and comforts the patient while the vet administers the anaesthetic agent and once the patient is intubated and sleeping the nurse prepares the surgical site. During the procedure the nurse closely monitors and records the anaesthetic.
The consulting vet may bring down animals for blood tests or bandage changes any time of the day, and nurses can also been seen on reception helping with phone duties and preparing prescriptions.
Early afternoon is when the nurses call worried owners and reassure them that their pets are all ok and arrange collection. The rest of our day is spent ensuring the practice is spotless, cleaning and sterilising equipment, feeding and exercising the inpatients, doing nurse clinics (see below for more detail) and discharging day patients.
We have to be organised and be ready for anything that comes our way whether it’s a rabbit with fly strike, a cat with breathing problems or a dog that’s been hit by a car. These emergencies can happen any time of day and we are prepared for it. At Rainsbrook we also run our own out of hours service and each nurse takes it in turn to receive that call in the middle of the night or during the weekend.
We get scratched, bitten, barked at, hissed at, urinated on, defecated on, covered in anal glands and pus.
Some days are sad, it is always hard to say goodbye to our favourite furry friends but we know we have done everything possible to make their days comfortable. The next day will bring another cute bundle of fun through the door for its first vaccination and the start of their life with their new owners with us supporting them throughout.
One part of our job we thoroughly enjoy is running clinics, being in contact with owners and sharing our knowledge. Some appointments are straightforward like flea and worm checks or removing a disgusting little tick that has latched onto your beloved pet. Others may be more involved such as clipping claws on a wriggly dog who hates his feet being touched! I tell you, the best behaved animals for claw clipping are usually guinea pigs! We run the puppy parties at our Hillmorton branch and it is great to see them back at their 6 month check appointment and see how much they have grown. Our new clinics that that we have already launched are our senior cat clinics, aimed at educating owners who have cats aged from 9 years old.”
If you would like to make an appointment with one of our nurses, please call your local surgery.