May is Veterinary Nursing Awareness Month, a whole month dedicated to raising awareness of the veterinary nursing profession and the vital role they play in animal care and treatment.
Nicole Shorto is our Clinical Nursing Manager and has kindly taken some time out to tell us about life as a vet nurse.
How long have you been in your current role and what positions have you held previously?
I started at Peak Vets in 2008 as a Student Veterinary Nurse and completed my training to be a Registered Veterinary Nurse. I have worked here ever since, but I have only been in my current role as a Clinical Nursing Manager since March so I am still very much learning!
What training did you have to do to achieve your qualifications?
I trained via the apprenticeship route, which meant I went to The College of Animal Welfare in Leeds once a week for two years to learn a lot of theory. The rest of my time was spent working in practice alongside my fabulous Clinical Coach Katy Lacey who taught me everything to do with the practical aspect of the job.
What attracted you to a career in the veterinary sector?
I have always LOVED animals but most importantly I LOVE people! Most people think the job is about cuddling kittens and puppies all day, but actually it’s very people-based and for those who know me, I am quite a chatterbox!
What is the best thing about being a Veterinary Nurse?
There is no greater reward than seeing a sick patient get better, knowing that you have been a huge part of that journey!
What kind of attributes do you need to be good in your position?
Like I say I am very new to my current role, but I think a good Clinical Nursing Manager needs to be fair, kind, understanding, have great communication skills and also be able to problem-solve! …. hopefully all skills which I possess!
What advice would you give someone thinking about a career in the veterinary world?
Do some work experience and get a real view of the less glamorous aspect of the job! I clean up some form of bodily fluid most days, the hours are long and the work can be very emotionally draining. However, the veterinary world is also hugely satisfying and very varied so you would never get bored!
What are the best things about working at Peak Vets?
100% the people! They aren’t just colleagues, they are friends! We are a very close-knit family-like team. Every team member is so different but equally as great, the fact we each have different strengths and interests means together we are amazing!
Are you doing any extra study at present?
To stay registered as a Veterinary Nurse I have to complete a minimum of 15 hours CPD a year. I am currently 3/4 of the way through the ISFM Advanced Certificate in Feline Behaviour. We are a gold standard cat-friendly practice and I have loved putting some of my learning into action.
What do you do to relax outside of work?
Outside of work I love to spend time with friends, family and fur babies! I have a gorgeous one-eyed terrier, two beautiful cats and five lovely chickens! (I should have mentioned earlier a career in Veterinary Nursing will probably mean taking a lot of animals’ home!)
Thank you, Nicole, for sharing your story.
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, visit the BVNA website at www.bvna.org.uk/a-career-in-veterinary-nursing/a-career-in-veterinary-nursing.