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Raising Awareness for Nurses

May is Veterinary Nursing Awareness Month.

May is Veterinary Nursing Awareness Month. This annual campaign, led by the British Veterinary Nursing Association (BVNA), aims to raise awareness of the importance of the role of the veterinary nursing profession to the public.  

We are extremely proud of all our veterinary nurses who are an inspiration to us all and an integral part of the clinical team at Crown Vets. We have an amazing, varied team of nurses across the three clinics who are dedicated to supporting our clients and their pets.  During this challenging time, these nurses have been working extremely hard to support the Vets and look after all the patients under their care. They are a vital part in the smooth running of the practice.  

Registered Veterinary Nurses (RVN)'s are skilled dedicated professionals working alongside Veterinary Surgeons to provide a high standard of care for all animals under their care. Working generally within a Veterinary Surgery, or in a Veterinary Hospital or Referral Clinic, they are involved in a wide range of animal treatments and care. RVN's provide skilled, professional care for all animals, both sick and healthy. They give trained advice on preventative healthcare for all ages of animal, from the young to the elderly, giving healthcare advice tailored to the specific species, age, and life-stage of your pet. 

As well as providing expert nursing care for the sick animals, veterinary nurses also play a significant role in supporting pet owners in keeping their pets healthy from puppyhood to old age. They carry out essential clinical work and are skilled in undertaking a range of diagnostic tests, treatments, and minor surgical procedures, with veterinary support. Registered Veterinary Nurses have the technical knowledge and hands-on expertise to care for animals with skill and empathy. Also, in their varied skill sets are: Monitoring anaesthesia during investigative procedures, surgery and dentistry; They can undertake some minor surgical procedures under Veterinary supervision; They can administer medical treatments and carry out diagnostic tests as advised by the attending Vet; They give Intensive nursing care to the hospitalised patients; They give post-surgical care, ensuring skilled, nursing care after any surgical procedures and undertake careful logged monitoring during anaesthesia and through their crucial recovery phase after anaesthesia; They carry out , prepare and place patients for Radiography; They advise on preventative dental treatment and care; They offer client advice and education on on-going pet preventative healthcare; They also can advise on behavioural problems; and they can advise on weight loss and diet and run a variety of nurse clinics including geriatric care clinics and weight management clinics. 

The RVN training takes time and commitment, but the rewards of an excellent career after this training are well worth it. It is a rewarding career that offers job satisfaction, a variety and contact with animals of all species and at the same time helping and educating their owners about on-going healthcare for their pets. 

Many qualified RVN's continue to work throughout their career in Veterinary General Practice in a local Vet practice, where they can go on to assume greater responsibilities and continue with further advanced and specialist training in Veterinary Nursing. They can also progress into Veterinary Practice Management, become Vet Nurse heads of department and team leaders supervising the clinical staff and Hospital wards in the practice, or they can go into teaching trainee Vet Nurses and their support staff. 

Outside General Practice alternative career opportunities include : work in research establishments and Laboratories; work in Veterinary Colleges and Universities; work in Zoological or Wildlife parks; work with Animal Charities ( e.g. Guide Dogs for the Blind , Hearing Dogs , Assistance Dogs , The Peoples Dispensary for Sick Animals, The Blue Cross); working with Breeding/Boarding and Rescue Kennels; working as key representatives for Pharmaceutical and Animal Food and health supplement Companies; or work with Pet Insurance Companies. The possible career opportunities here are wide and varied. 

Vet Nurse training is conducted through colleges and Universities that offer qualifications approved by the RCVS and their linked approved training Veterinary Practices. To achieve a RVN qualification student Vet Nurses can choose one of two routes for their training: a) To study at further education for a vocational Level 3 Diploma, or b) To study at a higher education level for a Diploma to BSc (Hons). In both cases they will be working with their linked approved training Veterinary Practices throughout their Vet nursing training. 

The title of Registered Veterinary Nurse (RVN) can be used by nurses who have undergone extensive training and education. Once they have passed their final nursing exams, nurses are entered onto the VN register and are regulated by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS). They follow the Code of Professional Conduct for Veterinary Nurses, which includes requirements to undertake Continuing Professional Development (CPD) to keep their skills up to date. 

To find out more about the role of RVNs in veterinary practice, or if you are interested in finding out more about a career in veterinary nursing, you can contact the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons RCVS:   https://animalowners.rcvs.org.uk/veterinary-careers/i-want-to-be-a-veterinary-nurse  

Or visit the British Veterinary Nursing Association BVNA website at www.bvna.org.uk/a-career-in-veterinary-nursing/a-career-in-veterinary-nursing 

We are happy to relay that our regular Vet Nurse clinics will be resuming from the 3rd of May, after a long period without these clinics due to the enforced Covid-19 restrictions.

 

Alison Laurie-Chalmers 

Senior Consultant 

Crown Vets 

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