Vet nurse awareness month

This month in Hexham, Stocksfield and Bellingham you may see posters or digital posts about vet nurses. Across England, the month of May marks veterinary nurse awareness month (VNAM). VNAM was first launched in 2005 by the British Veterinary Nursing Association in order to raise awareness of the work veterinary nurses do. 17 years later, the tradition pursues, and we continue to dedicate May to recognise and celebrate the skills veterinary nurses bring to the veterinary profession. This blog sheds light on the importance of the work veterinary nurses do, read on to find out.

Registered Veterinary Nurses (RVN) is a title that can only be used by nurses who have undergone extensive training and education to gain their qualification which takes a minimum of 3 years, either via a nursing diploma or a degree. All RVNs must pass their final exams, be regulated by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, and follow the Code of Professional Conduct for Veterinary Nurses, which requires all vet nurses to undertake continuing professional development (CPD) a minimum of 15 hours per year to ensure skills are kept up to date.

Vet nurses play a fundamental part in the clinical team here at Orchard House Vets, so what roles do they actually do?

Here at Orchard House Vets we are a training practice who have seen over 10 student nurses become registered veterinary nurses. We run nurse clinics daily and you can expect the following services: 

  • Minor procedures: such as nail clipping, anal gland expression and microchipping.

  • Blood pressure clinics.

  • Education and advice on: weight management and dietary plans, puppy socialization, and pre and post-operative care.

  • They also: can take blood samples, administer worming and flea treatment, or repeat medication if you are struggling yourself.

The vet nurse clinic is just a small part of their role, our highly skilled RVNs and nursing team are just like a human nurse but for animals, but rather than doing just one role they are multiskilled in lots of areas to provide patient care. They can: 

  • Provide in-patient care including emergency critical care.

  • Anaesthetists – monitoring anaesthesia and sedated pets.

  • Assist in surgeries

  • Triage emergencies as well as give advice to you when you are concerned about your pet.

  • Provide aftercare for post-operative patients.

  • Administration of running the clinic,

  • Pharmacist.

  • Radiographer – taking x-rays.

  • Phlebotomist – blood samples.

  • Administer and maintain intravenous fluid therapy.

  • Ambassadors for patient welfare.

  • Rehabilitators.

  • Generally make our lives much easier!

Our nursing team also provide all the love and care to your pet whilst they are with us, making sure they are happy and settled at the clinic.

Being a Vet Nurse is not an easy job and it takes a special kind of person to be one. Currently, there is a national shortage of RVNs in the UK and whilst many are drawn to the job because it is working with animals it is a very tough sector and many leave the profession. Because they work behind the scenes it is really easy to discount what a professional, highly-skilled, important and vital role they play in providing your pets care. We would be lost without them and our clinic would not be able to function so we value our nursing team highly for the superheroes they are!

At Orchard House Vets, our vet nursing team is currently made up of:

  • Catherine (Registered Veterinary Nurse)

  • Christine (Registered Veterinary Nurse)

  • Darren (Registered Veterinary Nurse)

  • Emily (Registered Veterinary Nurse)
  • Zoe (Registered Veterinary Nurse)

  • Georgia (Registered Veterinary Nurse)

  • Kelsey (Registered Veterinary Nurse)

  • Victoria (Registered Veterinary Nurse)
  • Jess (Student Veterinary Nurse)
  • Hannah (Animal Nursing Assistant)
  • Jayne (Animal Nursing Assistant)
To find out more about the work our nurses do, click here, or to join our nursing team, click here.