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Female vet walking in cattle farm

Seven-year itch: vets who make the move to non-clinical work do so after seven years

With widespread concern about the recruitment and retention of vets, new figures from the British Veterinary Association reveal a mix of “push” and “pull” factors in vets’ decisions to leave clinical practice. The vast majority of the vets polled who are now in non-clinical roles (92%) had worked in clinical practice in the past and, […]

Lance Corporal Lucy Hennessy RVN

What can you tell us about your role?
Being an RVN in the Royal Army Veterinary Corps (RAVC) offers a unique opportunity to work with military working animals, in particular dogs and horses.

My daily routine includes nursing inpatients, assisting the Veterinary Officer with surgical and medical procedures, running and organising clinics, dispensing medications and supportive treatments, completing routine paperwork and ensuring patient records are maintained and up to date. In addition, I have the opportunity to assist trainee Veterinary Technicians as a Clinical Coach.

Susan Howarth RVN

What is your job title and what does the job entail?
I am the Programme Manager for the veterinary nursing course that we offer, which includes the license to practice BSc (Hons) degrees in veterinary nursing, the RCVS DipAVN and postgraduate veterinary nursing courses ranging from certificates to MSc.

My job involves recruitment of students and the development and quality assurance of courses and content, as well as teaching and assessment of students across the range of courses.

Stuart Ford-Fennah RVN

Who is your current employer and what do they do?
I am employed by Cave Veterinary Specialists a multidisciplinary veterinary referral centre in Somerset. As a centre we only see referral level patients in multiple disciplines which include medicine, oncology, soft tissue surgery, orthopaedics, neurology, cardiology and dermatology. These primary areas are then supported by specialists in anaesthesia and diagnostics. Our dedicated nursing team provide a high level of nursing care to these patients 24/7/365.

My current position as Clinical Manager is a very diverse role, which includes both clinical and management components.

Nimisha Patel RVN

What is your job title and what does the job entail?
I work as a registered veterinary nurse in a referral practice. I could be running a ward of patients, dogs, cats or exotics to ensure they get their medications and the care they need. I may also oversee the surgeries for the day, ensure everything is ready in a theatre, including equipment, and then prepare and monitor the anaesthetic for each procedure.

Hayley Walters RVN

What is your current position?
I am the Welfare and Anaesthesia Nurse at the University of Edinburgh’s Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies and have been for over five years. I work in the Anaesthesia Department of our small animal teaching hospital helping to teach final-year vet students the importance of a well-thought-out anaesthetic and analgesia plan, and how that impacts on the animal’s welfare.

The next generation

Helena Diffey is the past President of the Association of Veterinary Students UK and Ireland (AVS). In this role she represented vet students on a range of professional forums and coordinates the central AVS committee.

Helena is in her fifth year of study at the Royal Veterinary College, having intercalated in Global Health at Imperial College, London. She enjoys the great variety within veterinary medicine, from lab work to surgery, and has a wider interest in epidemiology, neglected diseases, policy making and veterinary education.

“Only half of recent graduates say their career has matched expectations,” revealed a survey from the Vet Futures project in 2015. As a student on the verge of beginning my career in the veterinary profession, this was a pretty distressing statistic to find out.”…

Education, education, education

Liz is Associate Professor of Veterinary Education and Sub-Dean for Teaching, Learning and Assessment at the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, University of Nottingham. Liz graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 2000 and initially worked in a number of assistant roles in mixed, small animal and equine practice in the Midlands. In 2006 Liz joined the University of Nottingham as a teacher and lecturer, whilst continuing in equine practice, before becoming head of teaching in 2012…

“My motivation to become a member of the Vet Futures Action Group was the desire to be part of something with a real potential to have an impact on the profession I love. As a teacher at Nottingham Vet School (but very much a general practitioner at heart) I am very lucky to be involved with educating the vets of the future”…

Veterinary students

Diverse and rewarding veterinary careers

Clare is a Senior Teaching Associate for curriculum and innovation in the Department of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Cambridge, where she is currently chairing a taskforce to develop a curricular thread on professional skills throughout the professional veterinary course. Clare graduated from the University of Cambridge in 1996 and after completing an equine ambulatory internship at Millbrook Equine Practice in New York she started teaching on an equine studies programme and founded her own equine practice…

“I have wanted to be a vet all of my life… (well, apart from when I wanted to be a princess in my really early years!). But my identity as a vet has continued to evolve and change throughout my education and career. My veterinary career so far, then, has not been typical. But that is because, I would argue, there is no such thing as a ‘typical’ veterinary career”…

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