Popular Subjects: nurse

How to become a Veterinary Nurse

Are you interested in becoming a Veterinary Nurse but not sure how? One of our students nurses, Jaz, has told us of her experiences and route to becoming a registered Veterinary Nurse.

Hi I’m Jaz, a student vet nurse at the Stratford surgery of Avonvale Veterinary Centres. After working with horses until the age of 25 and with a Bsc (Hons) in Equine Science under my belt, I felt it was time for a career change. I have always loved all animals from a young age and so I felt veterinary nursing may be the career for me.

I set about finding out how to train as a veterinary nurse and found there are two main routes. The first option was a 3 or 4 year Bsc (Hons) in Veterinary Nursing alongside placement days for practical clinical skills. The second option was to undertake a Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing which involved 4 days working in practice and 1 day a week at college over 2 ½ years. Due to already undertaking a degree, and my eagerness to get into practice and start learning hands on, I decided to take the Diploma route. We have a mixture here at Avonvale of students taking both routes.

I’m currently two years into my training and the end is in sight! Along the way I have undertaken case study assignments helping to link together theory and clinical skills, as well as written exams. I am assigned a clinical coach in practice and together we have been busy completing my Nursing Progress Log which is a computer based log of core tasks that a student needs to be competent at in order to finish their degree or diploma. Training ‘on the job’ is a way in which I feel I learn the best and I have found I particularly enjoy anaesthesia and in-patient care.

Ahead lie some final written exams and OSCE practical exams, after which I will finally be able to trade in my stripy student tunic for a bottle green registered veterinary nurse tunic!

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Dental Awareness Month

Our pets rely on us to make sure that their teeth and oral health are in good order. They are not able to brush their teeth twice daily and take themselves off to the dentist every 6 months as we do, so we must take care of their teeth for them.

Poor dental hygiene can be a source of chronic pain and discomfort for many pets. Most owners are unaware of this discomfort because most animals will not cry out in the presence of such pain – they just tolerate it.

If there is an infection in the mouth it can allow bacteria into the body via the blood stream and cause infections elsewhere. Kidney, heart, lung and liver problems can all be caused by poor oral health. Bad teeth can therefore just be the ‘tip of the iceberg’.

Any of the following may indicate that your pet has a dental problem: 

  •   Halitosis (bad breath)
  •   Sensitivity around the mouth / pawing at the mouth
  •   Loss of appetite
  •   Bleeding, inflamed and/or receding gums
  •   Tartar (brownish hard material)
  •   Loose or missing teeth.
  •   Difficulty chewing & eating food or dropping food

The first thing to do is to look in your pet’s mouth. Halitosis (bad breath) is caused by bacteria in the mouth, so this may alert you to the presence of dental disease.

Tartar is the hard brown accumulation which occurs on teeth. It is caused by mineralisation of plaque which in turn is caused by bacterial action against food particles in the mouth. The presence of tartar leads to gingivitis (gum inflammation). The gums become red, sore and prone to bleeding when touched. Tartar and gingivitis will eventually lead to periodontal disease where inflammation and infection cause destruction of the tissue around the tooth. Affected teeth loosen and may eventually fall out.

If the disease is severe, affected animals may eat on one side of their mouth, lose weight or generally fail to thrive. Older cats especially may start to look rather tatty as they may start to groom themselves less enthusiastically.

When dental disease is suspected you should seek veterinary advice.

Throughout March we are offering free dental checks with a qualified veterinary nurse who can check your pets teeth, give you advice on preventative dental care and provide you with a  complimentary finger brush to help you get started.

For pets requiring further treatment, we are offering 20% off dental treatment during March.

Keep an eye out for further tips and advice on dental care on our website and Facebook page.

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Houdini the hedgehog

Houdini 1This is Houdini the hedgehog who was brought in to see Mark out of hours this week. He was found in Stratford with some plastic netting stuck around his neck.

The plastic had been there for some time and had cut into the skin around his neck so it was difficult to remove. Mark gave Houdini an anaesthetic and managed to carefully cut him free.

Houdini netting

Houdini and KimHere is Houdini having a cuddle with vet nurse Kim after his lucky escape!

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