The Veterinary Nurse role is integral to every practice and there is a common misconception that nurses are just ‘mini-vets,’ when in fact the two jobs are very different. Nurses work alongside Veterinary Surgeons to provide a high standard of care to injured and sick animals.
Often working full days at the hospital, then studying in their evenings, our veterinary nurses train long and hard to gain their qualifications. Registered Veterinary Nurses must achieve a qualification (either a Degree or Diploma) which involves practical and theoretical training (in practice and at college) covering a range of topics. The practical training must take place in an RCVS approved training practice and with limited positions available, students may struggle to secure a placement.
Once in placement, trainee nurses must complete a Progress Log online which consists of a variety of cases to demonstrate their competence. To qualify, nurses must also sit various written and practical exams over two or three years (depending on which qualification route they choose). The topics covered in a nurses training are as follows:-
Anatomy and physiology
Professional responsibilities and ethics
Infection and immunity
Animal handling and restraint
Applied animal welfare, health and husbandry
Nutrition and feeding
Nursing models and care plans
Diagnostic imaging and aids, such as radiography and laboratory
Anaesthesia and analgesia
Theatre practice and surgical nursing
A nurse’s role is not limited to offering advice to clients, they are skilled professionals who are trained in many areas of the practice. All this training means our qualified nurses are able to perform xrays, monitor anaesthetics, take blood and run laboratory diagnostics, dispense and administer medications and much, much more (oh and, of course, provide lots of cuddles and care to patients visiting the hospital)! In the world of Veterinary Nursing, no two days are the same and every day is a challenge!
Nurses are taught heaps of information about animal healthcare and can give you much valued advice about many aspects of your pet's welfare. At de Montfort Veterinary Hospital we offer daily nurse consultations covering a wide range of conditions, such as:-
• Dental consultations and preventative care advice
• Weight checks and nutritional information
• Blood sampling
• Blood pressure monitoring
• Lifestage – from puppies and kittens right through to senior pets
• New pet checks
• Flea and worm treatment
• Nail clips