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Student VN Awareness Month

When I was a vet student, the veterinary nurses were mythical dragons.
There were very few of them. They dressed in dark green and swooped in to rescue patients
when we students were making a mess of things.
They rarely spoke, and when they did, it was invariably to make scathing comment on my
rudimentary skills. We learnt that when they issued commands, we students should obey.
The same is true today, of course.
Any competent vet knows to listen to their nurse, as their connection to the patient can
often be closer and even more empathetic than our own.
This month of May is Veterinary Nursing Awareness Month.
I have helped to train more veterinary nurses (VNs) than I can count. And I have employed
many too. I enjoy the process of supporting them through three or more years of training.
They generally progress from the first tentative uncertain steps to confident professionals in
a most satisfying manner.
Just last week my VNs were coping with a five day old puppy rejected by its dam. There was
an emergency anaesthetic for a dog with a twisted stomach. They were celebrating the first
steps on a weight loss project for two dogs. They helped to manage a giant breed dog who
would not allow even its owner to stroke it. They were cleaning foul teeth with ultrasound,
and taking the dental x-rays so that I could see which ones needed extraction. And x-raying a
cat with a suspected fracture. Not to mention the gentle nursing care of all patients, and
endless cleaning.
Their abilities are still legend, and I still obey when they make suggestions.
This is your last chance to book a place on our first aid course for pet owners. It’s being held
on Monday 6th June at 6.30pm at The Yews Community Centre.
Places are limited, so pre-booking is essential by Monday 30th June.
I will take ninety minutes of your time, and provide you with the skills you will need to

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