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Vet speak: 'Could a career in Highland veterinary nursing be right for you?'

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veterinarian doctor
veterinarian doctor

May is Veterinary Nursing Awareness Month, an annual campaign, led by the British Veterinary Nursing Association to raise awareness of the importance of the role of the veterinary nursing profession, writes Alison Laurie-Chalmers.

We are extremely proud of all our veterinary nurses. We have an amazing, varied team across the three clinics who are dedicated to supporting our clients and their pets.

During this challenging time they have been working extremely hard to support the vets and look after all the patients under their care.

Registered veterinary nurses (RVNs) are skilled, dedicated professionals working alongside veterinary surgeons to provide a high standard of care. They are involved in a wide range of animal treatments as well as giving trained advice on preventative healthcare.

They carry out essential clinical work and are skilled in undertaking a range of diagnostic tests, treatments and minor procedures with support. RVNs have the technical knowledge and hands-on expertise to care for animals with skill and empathy.

RVN training takes time and commitment, but the rewards of an excellent career are well worth it. It offers job satisfaction, variety and contact with animals of all species, at the same time helping and educating owners.

Alison Laurie.
Alison Laurie.

Many qualified RVNs continue to work throughout their career in veterinary general practice, where they can go on to assume greater responsibilities and continue with further advanced and specialist training. They can also progress into veterinary practice management, become vet nurse heads of department and team leaders or they can go into teaching trainee vet nurses and their support staff.

Alternative career opportunities include work in research establishments and labs; work in veterinary colleges and universities; work in zoological or wildlife parks; work with animal charities; working with breeding/boarding and rescue kennels; working as key representatives for pharmaceutical and animal food and health supplement companies; or work with pet insurance companies.

To achieve an RVN qualification student vet nurses can choose one of two routes: Study at further education for a vocational Level 3 diploma; or study at a higher education level for a diploma to BSc (Hons).

Once they have passed their final nursing exams, nurses are entered onto the VN register and are regulated by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS). They follow the Code of Professional Conduct for Veterinary Nurses, which includes requirements to undertake Continuing Professional Development (CPD) to keep their skills up to date.

To find out more about the role of RVNs in veterinary practice, or if you are interested in finding out more about a career in veterinary nursing, see https://animalowners.rcvs.org.uk/veterinary-careers/i-want-to-be-a-veterinary-nurse

Or visit the British Veterinary Nursing Association website at www.bvna.org.uk/a-career-in-veterinary-nursing/a-career-in-veterinary-nursing

We are happy to relay that our regular vet nurse clinics restarted this week, after being closed due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Alison Laurie-Chalmers is a senior consultant at Crown Vets in Inverness.

READ: Vet Speak: A delicate problem for cats that needs immediate attention

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