Case study

Registered veterinary nurse — Matthew Hall

Matthew graduated with an FdSc in Veterinary Nursing and is currently working as a multi-disciplinary registered veterinary nurse (RVN) at Dick White Referrals

How did you get your job?

I undertook my final year clinical placement at Dick White Referrals. At the end of the placement, and once I'd finished my degree, I was offered a permanent full-time job within the company.

Is your degree essential for the job?

Yes, without it I would not have been able to become a RVN and therefore unable to carry out Schedule 3 (minor) tasks under the Veterinary Surgeons Act.

What's it like being a veterinary nurse?

A typical day always involves a patient-round at the beginning of your shift. After the round is complete, patient treatments need to be undertaken. The patient care required depends on the current department I am working in, so there is a lot of variety.

Throughout the day, we communicate with the veterinary surgeons to ensure that patient care is continuously monitored and updated, and therefore tailored to the individual. At the end of the shift, it's important to complete a written handover for the next nurses with any relevant information they may need to know. Upon the arrival of the nurse taking over a verbal handover is then given.

What are your career ambitions?

Being given the opportunity to work in a variety of different departments within the hospital has allowed me to find that my interest lies within medicine.

My career ambitions are still vague at the moment as I have only been qualified for a short period of time. However, I am currently undertaking a certificate in emergency and critical care and I would also like to teach veterinary nursing at some stage in the future.

What do you enjoy about your job?

I really like providing nursing care for a patient that is seriously ill and terrified within the hospital environment. It's extremely satisfying when the patient improves in both aspects of this and leaves the hospital wagging their tail.

What are the challenges?

Every day presents a new challenge within the hospital. Patients that are scared can often be challenging as providing the best nursing care proves difficult due to their behaviour. 

What advice would you give to aspiring veterinary nurses?

  • Be prepared to study hard.
  • Read up about the role you are about to undertake.
  • Try to get as much work experience as you can to ensure it is the role for you.

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