May is Veterinary Nursing Awareness Month, a whole month dedicated to raising awareness of the veterinary nursing profession and the vital role they play in animal care and treatment.
Harriet Deering is our Emergency and Critical Care Clinical Lead here at Eastcott Referrals and she kindly took time out to tell us about life as a vet nurse.
Q: How long have you been a Vet Nurse and what route did you follow to qualify?
A: I chose to do the degree route, qualifying from the Royal Veterinary College in 2014.
Q: What attracted you to a career as a Veterinary Nurse?
A: I had grown up with animals all my life, I was fortunate to have a menagerie of horses, dogs, chicken and cats when I was younger and fell in love with being around animals. I always knew I wanted to work in veterinary. I originally wanted to be a vet but found that I enjoyed the caring side of nursing more.
Q: What does your job as an Emergency and Critical Care Clinical Lead entail?
A: As part of my role at Eastcott I set up the new Intensive Care unit, I now manage the nursing team working in the intensive care unit and care for the most poorly animals in the hospital.
Q: What is the most rewarding thing about being a Vet Nurse?
A: There are so many aspects of my job I love, as my career progresses I have enjoyed the managerial and organisation aspects of my job more, however there is nothing better than making really sick patients better and seeing them go home to their families, it’s been known to bring a joyful tear to my eye on many occasions!
Q: What kind of attributes do you need to be a good Vet Nurse?
A passion for animals, hardworking, an interest in medical science and be a good team player.
Q: What advice would you give someone thinking about a career as a Vet Nurse?
It’s important when deciding to become veterinary nurse your decision is driven by a true love and passion for animals. This can be a stressful and demanding job and there are times you might wonder why you chose this career but the animals you look after make everything worth it.
Q: What are the best things about working at Eastcott Veterinary practice?
A: Eastcott is blessed to have some of the most experienced clinicians and high-end equipment that a veterinary practice is able to offer. The desire by everyone to provide gold standard care is so inspiring. The Eastcott team are friendly and kind; there is so much support for available for everyone.
Q: What would be your career highlight so far?
A: There are too many to say! I’d say most of the highlights are the first time I achieved something I never thought I’d be able to do, my first time doing an open chest anaesthetic, the first time I performed CPR and the patient recovered and the practices I’ve helped open new hospitals.
Q: Have you completed any additional training to support you in your role?
A: I’ve done an extra certificate in Anaesthesia and some managerial courses.
Q: What's the next step in your career pathway?
A: Although I will always love clinical work, especially emergency and critical care, I hope to progress into a more managerial role in the coming year. The great thing about becoming a veterinary nurse is the endless possibilities of career paths; friends of mine have become physiotherapists, insurance analysers, practice managers, marketing managers and sales executives, all of which are based within the veterinary sector.
Thanks Harriet for that great insight!