… discussing the VN Passport – Squiggly RVN Careers at VSGD.
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I started working in the veterinary profession when I started sixth form. I became a practice assistant in my local small animal hospital and worked there for a few months before I started my veterinary nursing degree. I loved the course as I got to work in multiple practices, meet other veterinary professionals and really got to become part of the profession from day one.
I decided to become a veterinary nurse after seeing how lovely a vet nurse was with my cat, Tiger. He is usually a scardey cat when it comes to the vets, but the nurse was so lovely with him. The funny thing is that she ended up becoming my clinical coach when I started training as a nurse. After I qualified, I spent more time in referral practice as a locum and ended up loving the critical cases and cutting-edge surgery. I truly do think that everyone should spend their lives in scrubs. As much as I loved referral work, I wanted a different type of responsibility and wanted to pursue a surgical or ECC focused career. I diversified into studying veterinary medicine in 2020. I have noticed that I always have my nursing intuition switched on though. So it will be interesting to see how i get on once I start my clinical years at vet school.
I started my veterinary nursing degree straight after sixth form. After resitting year 12, I actually felt more prepared for university. I studied Biology, Chemistry and History but didn’t exactly get the exact grades needed to get into university. In terms of work experience, I spent a few months in my local vet practice and 2 weeks at a local animal sanctuary. I was also very lucky to get a week’s work experience at the Royal Veterinary College to help with their ‘Night at the Vet College’ event during sixth form. It made wanting to go to university real as I got to mingle with lecturers and veterinary professionals from the uni. Seven years on and I’m still studying there!
My advice would be to be confident in yourself. You know a lot more than you think!
The biggest barrier for getting into the profession for me was finding work experience. I found it hard to find experience prior to university and even applied to the same place for at least 5 times. My advice would be to follow up with places that you apply to, hand a cover letter and your CV yourself and to research about the profession to show that you genuinely have interest. Getting into the profession takes determination so do not take rejections personally and keep pushing on!
I started a free mentorship programme in partnership with a soon-to-be dentistry graduate for any year 11-13 students interested in a career in veterinary or dentistry
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