Ok so I’m not a student vet nurse yet but will be starting my training in two months. I began working at a vet practice back in 2015 as maternity cover for Reception. I took a big gamble doing this because I have a mortgage and other responsibilities. Meaning that if I wasn’t able to be kept on I would be without a job, having to find money to pay for the house. It was touch and go when the maternity cover was up, but luckily I was asked to stay on and offered to go to college to begin my training for Veterinary Nursing. I’ll be honest, before working in a vet practice I had no idea there was such a thing. Even when I had started I thought that it wasn’t going to be the right path for me because I was too sensitive.
I would cry every time there was a euthanasia, everything else I could handle but when owners would bring their animals in to be put to sleep, I found it very hard to deal with. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a robot now. I still get upset and yes the odd one, namely the ones you’ve grown to really love will hit you in the feels and will leave you in tears. The difference is, now I view it differently, I see it from a medical point of view rather than an emotional view. Of course you’ll always have an emotional view to them, I will still think it’s incredibly sad. However you do look at them and think, it’s their time to go, they’re in a lot of pain and discomfort and it’s not fair to keep doing tests as it can become exhaustive for them. So when you look at it like that, you almost feel relieved for them, to know that there suffering is over. When I started to view it like this, I became increasingly more accepting, I began to think to myself that maybe I would make a good nurse. So I agreed to start my nurse training for this year and I’m so glad that I’ve found the right career for me.
Going Back to Education
I promised myself after failing miserably to get into university, that I’d never go back into education. It was “right that’s it, I’ve had enough, I’ll start a full-time job and work my way up”. I went to work for South West Ambulance Service answering the 999 calls and I thought that this was it, this was where I was going to start my career. Fast forward a year and half and I had had enough, I couldn’t take it anymore and I didn’t want a job anywhere else in the building. It was like I wanted to run out of the door and never go back. It was a fantastic job and it has given me a lot of skills to take with me on my future roles. So I’ll always be thankful for that and I am so glad I did work there. Next stop, the vets. I’ve already told you what’s happening here, as you know I was offered the role as a student vet nurse. I had to consider the fact I would have to go back to college for two years in order to complete this. It was a factor that did put me off a bit but then I thought, sod it, it’s only two years and I’m going to have a fantastic qualification and career ahead of me. Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and do what’s going to be best for you and your future family. After all it’s only one day a week, that’s not too bad.
Ok so there is no such thing as glam in this job. When I first started I used to doll up with the makeup, you know, to make an impression and all that. After a while you come to realise what the point is. None of your colleagues care and the animals certainly don’t. The clients only care about their beloved pet and how well you’re looking after them. You can’t wear nail varnish due to health and safety so gone are the days of having acrylics and bright nails. You put makeup on and you’ll forget and end up looking like a panda because you’ve been rubbing your eyes so much. There’s no point in getting any other shoes than sketches or crocs because you’re on your feet all day. Quite often will be cleaning up all matters of body fluid, from blood to vomit and faeces, but hey we don’t mind, that’s what we’re there for. So no, nothing glamorous involved I’m afraid.
Behind the Scenes
A Veterinary Nurse does so much more than you probably think. We are the ones comforting your pet when they’re feeling scared after you’ve dropped them off for their op. We’re the person who cleans and changes their bed when they’ve had an accident. We’re the ones who take on the role of an anaesthetist when your dog is under an anaesthetic, making sure their heart is still beating and is regular and that they’re breathing. We’re the ones who recover your pet when they wake up from an anaesthetic and reassuring them, making them feel safe. We are all in this job because we love animals, because we want them to feel happy and healthy. We laugh and we cry in this job, but we do it for our love of your pets and for our love of making your pets better.
I know that for me Veterinary Nursing is the career path perfect for me. Sure, like everyone we all have our “dream” jobs, but realistically this is my dream job. It’s very challenging and emotionally draining sometimes, however we go through this because it’s our passion.