Celebrating our vet nurses on National Vet Nurse Day Posted on October 10, 2019 Where would we be without our wonderful, hard-working vet nurses? It’s impossible to say! At RSPCA NSW, our brilliant vet nurses keep this place running. With an inimitable mixture of expertise and calm, they work tirelessly to make sure all our animals are safe and in good health. This Vet Nurse Day, we wanted to take the opportunity to celebrate how inspirational we think our vet nurses are by highlighting just some of the superstars working in our shelters. Bec (nominated for Student Vet Nurse of the Year) “Hi, my name is Bec and I am a recently graduated vet nurse at the RSPCA. Since I was a kid, I would always drive past the RSPCA and dream of one day getting to work there myself. I have worked for the RSPCA for nearly five years now, starting in the shelter and eventually moving into the clinic. I love working for the RSPCA because I love the work we do. I love that our attitude towards all animals is that we want to help them and do everything we can to save them. Nothing here is money driven, it’s all for the love of the animals and I love being a part of something like that. As a kid, I always wanted to work with animals. I was always outside playing with my dogs and I volunteered in veterinary clinics as soon as I was old enough and started getting as many qualifications as I could so that I could get a paid job in the animal industry. I became a vet nurse because I wanted to be able to help animals in their greatest time of need. I love that I can be there to comfort them when they are scared, care for them when they are feeling sick and see them through their recovery. It’s such a great feeling to come to work loving what I do and being able to go home knowing I have helped make a difference in not only that animal’s life but perhaps the owner’s aswell.” Emma “I was brought up around a lot of animals and wanted to be there to help them if anything went wrong, so veterinary nursing was a great career path. I wanted to work at the RSPCA because it is such a large and busy hospital where I also get to help the shelter animals. One animal I will always remember is a Shar-Pei that came into the hospital with an open fracture on her leg. The dog’s leg had been broken for around two weeks but, despite everything, she was always so friendly for treatments and happy to see the nurses. A funny time at the RSPCA was when I was working with another nurse who bent down to pick up a dog and as she picked up the dog, her trousers split! It is so important to be able to laugh in this industry! What I like most about working at the RSPCA is working with all the incredible staff. We all work together for the same goal, seeing the sick patients become better and finding them amazing forever homes.” Sally “My dream was always to be a veterinarian, so I went to university in Queensland in 2009 in the hopes to work my way up to it. But when I discovered what a vet nurse entailed — the love, the care, the passion for the patients — I decided to complete a veterinary technician degree and work as a nurse. By far the best decision I have made. I worked for the university for two years, then private practice for two years, and as a sales representative for a pet nutrition company for two years. When the opportunity arose for me to work for the RSPCA in 2017, I couldn’t put my application in quick enough! The RSPCA mission is exactly what I stand for and exactly where I saw myself filling out my career. At university, I worked closely with Greyhounds who had been rescued and became passionate about the breed and their welfare. It didn’t take me long to adopt a rescue greyhound Shilo, who is eight next year. Now working at the RSPCA, I have much more than just a rescue Greyhound, including a rescue Staffy Pug crossbreed, four rescue cats, some rescue fish and a rescue budgie.” Kate “My name is Kate and I became a vet nurse because I’ve always loved animals and have always had an interest in how things work – it fascinates me to be involved in complex medical cases. I also really enjoy following a patient through their time at the RSPCA and eventually to see them go home in a better state than when they arrived. I decided to work for the RSPCA because I wanted to help fight against animal cruelty. Being a vet nurse gives me a great opportunity to help animals in need feel better and get on the road to recovery. In my time at the RSPCA, I have come across many patients who have stuck in my heart but one I will never forget is Freddie – a male cat whose talkative nature just made your day so much better. The best part about working for the RSPCA is knowing that you are helping so many animals – from the private clinic and also in the shelter. Because of us, they recover sooner and are able to go home with their families.” Claire (Head Nurse and Australian Vet Nurse of the Year nominee) “I always knew that I wanted to become a vet nurse. It started from a very young age, trying to help the injured insects in my back garden, and has never ended. If anything, it made me more determined to want to work with animals. I qualified in 2006 as a veterinary nurse in the UK and after three years of gaining experience in both general and emergency veterinary work, I decided to travel and work in Australia. I was working in a private general practice in NSW and decided after seven years I needed a change in environment. I also missed the medical nursing and hands-on experience that I always enjoyed and the reason I became a veterinary nurse. I joined RSPCA NSW in 2016 as it had the opportunity and experience I had been seeking. RSPCA NSW has not only the opportunity for me to be able to nurse animals back to health, but also to help those animals who have not had the best start to their life. Also, being in a fantastic team environment and having the same values and beliefs is a highlight about working for RSPCA NSW. Throughout my 18 years of being in the veterinary industry, one patient I have never forgotten is a dog named Sacha. Sacha suffered from severe epilepsy. The reason I will never forget her is, without question, Sacha was admitted on every full moon. She would be sedated and kept asleep for eight hours and then slowly woken up, and then she would be back to her normal playful self. Being a veterinary nurse, there can be funny stories among the heartache. A memory that most definitely has stuck was shared between a dog and fellow vet nurse Claire, when I had anal glands expressed onto my face, just missing my mouth! If I had laughed any louder and wider, I am sure it would have made its’ smelly way into my mouth.” Deanna “Hi, my name is Deanna and I work at the RSPCA because I’m passionate for the wellbeing of animals. I want to benefit the animals’ lives while they are in my care. I love helping them and seeing the physical changes. I decided to work for the RSPCA because it’s such an amazing charity that fights animal cruelty and speaks for the voiceless animals. There are lots of animals who come into my care that I will never forget, but there are a few special ones that have stayed in my heart, including Peter the Bulldog and Dory the Great Dane. The long-term RSPCA animals are very hard to not get attached to. The best part of working at the RSPCA is going to work with a great team that are all there for the same reasons, no matter what department they’re in. Also, gaining an animal’s trust and watching the animals shine when their hidden personalities come out and comparing their progress from when they first come into the RSPCA. I have such a rewarding career.” Find out more about National Vet Nurse Day here.