May is Veterinary Nursing Awareness Month. During this month we celebrate the work of our amazing veterinary nurses.
We are proud to employ qualified Registered Veterinary Nurses and Student Veterinary Nurses enrolled in approved training programmes. The title veterinary nurse is not currently protected, but we believe it should be. Our nurses have vital roles including administering treatments (under direction of our vets), monitoring your pets whilst undergoing anaesthesia/surgery, and performing nurse clinics. We don’t believe it is appropriate for these tasks to be performed by people who are not qualified, or in approved training programmes.
The list of duties and responsibilities of a veterinary nurse is end-less, but here are some of the things they get up to:
- Preparation for operations and anaesthesia – our patients are prepared for, and monitored throughout surgery by a nurse. The nurses are trained to monitor various parameters during anaesthesia, such as heart rate and blood pressure, and to report any concerns to the veterinary surgeon. They are trained in the use of specialist equipment, such as our ventilator.
- Assistance with x-ray, ultrasound and endoscopic examinations.
- In-patient care – any patient staying with us will be kept comfortable, observed and monitored by our nursing team. Nurses are trained in placing intravenous catheters and taking blood samples.
- Lab work – all nurses are fully trained to run haematology and biochemistry blood tests in-house. They may also need to look at samples of blood, skin/hair or urine under the microscope, and they set up and monitor bacterial culture plates.
- Nurse clinics – our nursing team run successful weight clinics, and also offer a variety of other clinics such as older pet screening, arthritis/mobility and dental check appointments. Veterinary Nurse Laura Sproul leads the development of our nurse clinics, and is also our Nutrition Advocate.
- End of life care – there will usually be a nurse present if the time comes for your pet to be put to sleep. They assist the vet to try to reduce any stress for your pet and are also available to support you as the owner.
- Reception work – all our nurses spend some time on reception greeting clients and dealing with queries by phone or in person.
- Out-of-hours work – our nurses are on a night and weekend rota, meaning they may have to come in to check on patients or get called in to help the on duty vet with an emergency.
- The nurses are also responsible for cleaning and maintaining the clinical areas, sterilising equipment and ordering stock.
Nurses need to undertake continual training and development and at Greenbay Vets we encourage our nurses to go well beyond the minimum requirements. Our head nurse, Cazandra, has completed her Diploma in Advanced Veterinary Nursing, and our cat advocate, Claire, has completed her Diploma in Feline Nursing. Laura Holderness is starting a nursing certificate in animal behaviour later in 2021.
You can read more about our fab team here.