Claire Speight RVN

Claire Speight RVN

What is your current position and what does your job entail?
I am a Head Nurse at Kettering Vets4Pets. My job entails liaising with the JVPs of the practice to ensure the highest possible standards of care for every patient. I ensure the practice is fully equipped with medications and supplies, ensure the equipment is working properly and serviced according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. Day-to-day I manage the prep area to make sure the work flow is kept moving and all the everyday tasks are completed. I manage the nurse rotas, holidays and CPD and act as a go-to for all the nurses in my team.

As well as working in practice, I regularly lecture to veterinary nurses, students and members of the public on my area of interest; rabbit medicine and surgery to raise the standards of care for rabbit patients and the knowledge base, to help further the correct care for rabbits, both in practice and by their owners.

How did you achieve your current position?
I was employed as a Senior Nurse 4 years ago, and became Head Nurse a couple of years later. My lecturing and feature writing has increased year-on-year over the last 10 years.

What do you enjoy about your job?
Working with the best team and all the lovely animals and clients we meet every day. Each day is different – you just never know what will walk through the door. When you have been involved in a case and watching the patient reunited with their owner, knowing you have helped to achieve that. I love meeting people who are passionate about improving rabbit care and the information shared will go on to help improve rabbits’ lives.

What are the challenges of your role?
Time…there is just never enough time. I could fill 26 hours a day at times!

The public perspective of vets and nurses…we don’t do our job for the money but we do deserve to earn a fair wage. There is so much misunderstanding about what vet nurses actually do.

What are your plans for the future?
I plan to stay as a Head Nurse in my current practice and to continue to lecture. Over the last few years this has increased dramatically as the need for information on rabbits has increased.

What are your other qualifications?
I am an A1 Assessor and Clinical Coach so I also train students in practice and oversee the other Clinical Coaches at the practice.

Ten years ago I also undertook and gained the City and Guilds Nursing Exotics Certificate.

What key piece of advice would you give to anyone wishing to follow a similar career path?
Be prepared for long hours, less than average pay and to work extremely hard…but vet nursing is a passion not a job and having your RVN qualification opens doors to other careers.

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