A Day In The Life of A Vet Nurse
“With Vet Nurse Day around the corner, what better time to share with our clients what our role involves and a daily run down in the life of a Qualified Veterinary Nurse?
Most shifts begin with a thorough handover from one of our fellow nurses which allows us to be up to date on the presenting symptoms, current treatment plans for each hospitalised patient and any changes to their schedule.
We will then carry out an assessment of each patient's vitals and behaviour, administer medication as needed, follow feeding plans and provide exercise, check intravenous fluid lines if necessary and give our patients some well needed attention – hugs are by far the best part of the job!
After clinical rounds with the vets, where we discuss each patient case in detail, our clinic likes to “huddle”. This is where all of the hospital staff get together and each details what their role is and anything they want to share for the day ahead, such as challenging medical cases or individual pressures. This is a really good way of helping us all to support each other as a team.
On a typical day in the clinic we have on average anywhere from 7-10 nurses carrying out a variety of tasks from caring for hospital inpatients and assisting with procedures to greeting clients at the front desk and running consults. Our shifts vary from 7am starts to night shifts often finishing in the early hours, staggered shifts and working around the clock allows for us to be available for your pet when you need us.
The pace picks up following admission of surgical and treatment patients typically between 8am and 9am. The schedule is organised between the vet and nurses and each animal is examined, pre-medicated, blood tests performed (if required) and catheterised for intravenous fluid therapy prior to induction of anaesthesia. As a vet nurse we are responsible for ensuring this all runs smoothly and that each patient is ready for their procedure on time. Along side this we are responsible for monitoring anaesthetised patients, general cleaning, autoclaving instruments and running the internal laboratory, to name a few – we are busy bees!
Despite having a daily schedule we are constantly kept on our toes with the possibility of admissions through consults and triaging emergencies, which can arrive at any time. It is important that we are prepared to help deal with critical and trauma patients the moment they come through the clinic doors. We also have a steady stream of wildlife brought in to us which require examinations and treatment as well as releasing or finding a carer for them.
As each patient's procedure is completed they are closely monitored and kept warm in our main hospital recovery area. Once our patients are awake and on their feet we will begin our discharge checklist, ensuring that those due to go home are all prepared with medications, homecare instructions and sometimes the dreaded buster collar! The most rewarding part of what we do often comes towards the end of the day when we get to hand our day patients and sometimes long-stay hospital patients back to their owners. Being able to provide a service which benefits the health and well-being of your furry loved one is the reason we do what we do.
Being a Vet Nurse is no mean feat and certainly comes with its challenges but every day is different and the memories and experiences I have gained over the years are second to none.
Happy Vet Nurse Day to all my fellow Nurses!”