Popular Subjects: Veterinary 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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Heston the Hedgehog

Just as the winter weather was setting in a member of the public bought a small hedgehog into our Stratford upon Avon surgery. He had been found in the middle of a car park during daylight hours. At just 97g he would not have survived the winter.Denni, one of our nurses, took him in. Over winter she kept him warm and well fed. His favourite food was meal worms but as these have little nutritional value they were rationed to encourage him to eat his healthier hedgehog mix. Over the winter he has grown big and strong, now weighing in at a healthy 700g.

As spring arrived, Heston was ready to be released. For safety reasons Heston was unable to be released back to where he was found. Thanks to Kyra at Hedgehog Friendly Town, Heston was released in a safe and hedgehog friendly environment.

Hedgehog Friendly Town work hard fostering hedgehogs and finding safe release sites. It is important to find out if other hedgehogs live in the area before releasing more on that site. If there are no resident hedgehogs already, there is probably a good reason for this and so an alternative site is found.

Unfortunately the hedgehog population is currently under threat. Here are a few ways you can help hedgehogs in your area.

  1. Leave areas of wilderness in your garden where hedgehogs can snuffle for insects. Place a small hedgehog house to provide a safe place for them to hibernate during winter. A small hole in your fence will allow visiting hedgehogs to pass through. In the past people used to mark visiting hedgehogs with a little paint so they know if they return but the paint may be harmful and also makes it easier for predators to spot them.
  2. Leave out a water bowl for them to drink from. Dusk is a good time to scatter food for them to eat. Avoid bread and milk as hedgehogs are lactose intolerant and these foods will make them ill. They like eating dog and cat food – wet or dry. They also like a few meal worms. Autumn and winter is a good time to leave out food for struggling hedgehogs.
  3. Kyra and Heston on the release day

    Hedgehogs are nocturnal. If you see a hedgehog during the day then it may need help. Using gardening gloves or a thick towel, carefully pick him up and take him to a wildlife rescue centre. Hedgehogs are also good at getting stuck in litter so pick up litter and if you do see a hedgehog in trouble, please transport him to a veterinary centre or wildlife rescue centre.

  4. If you are planning on having a bonfire, please always check for hedgehogs before lighting it. Unfortunately hedgehogs sometimes move into the heap before you light it and are then severely injured by the flames or worse.We would like to wish Heston and his fellow hedgehogs all the best for the future. It is also important to check for hedgehogs before using strimmers on long grass or vegetation.


Posted in General News, Stratford News | Tagged , , ,

Petplan Vet Awards

Avonvale's nomination for the Practice of the Year award at the Veterinary Awards 2017We are very pleased to announce that we have received lots of nominations for the Petplan awards this year. Our Kenilworth, Stratford, Southam and Wellesbourne surgeries have all been nominated for “Practice of the Year”. Vets Kieran, Sophie, Penny B, Deborah and Becky have each been nominated for “Vet of the Year”. Maddi, Michelle and Anna H have been nominated for “Vet Nurse of the Year.” Jodie and Nicole were both nominated for the “Support Staff of the Year” and Liz K has been nominated for “Receptionist of the Year.”

We would like to say a big thank you to everyone who nominated us.

Posted in General News, Kenilworth News, Southam News, Stratford News, Wellesbourne News | Tagged , , ,

Veterinary Nursing Awareness Month

Laura C and Sarah BMay is Veterinary Nursing Awareness Month. This campaign, led by the British Veterinary Nursing Association (BVNA), aims to raise awareness of the importance of the role of the veterinary nursing profession and the provision of responsible pet care to the general public.

Veterinary nurses are an integral part of the veterinary team, and are vital for the smooth running of the practice.  As well as providing expert nursing care for sick animals, veterinary nurses also play a significant role in educating owners on maintaining the health of their pets. They carry out technical work and are skilled in undertaking a range of diagnostic tests, medical treatments and minor surgical procedures, under veterinary direction.


The title of Registered Veterinary Nurse (RVN) can only be used by nurses who have undergone extensive training and education. Once they’ve passed their final nursing exams, nurses are entered onto the VN register and are regulated by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS). They are expected to follow the Code of Professional Conduct for Veterinary Nurses, which includes requirements to undertake Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

At Avonvale, we are extremely proud of our veterinary nurses. We have a brilliant team of 28 RVNs who work alongside, and help to train, our 5 student nurses. Meet our nurses here: www.avonvets.co.uk/about-us/our-team.

To find out more about role of RVNs in veterinary practice, or how to become one, visit the BVNA website at www.bvna.org.uk/a-career-in-veterinary-nursing/a-career-in-veterinary-nursing.

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New faces at Avonvale!





There have been some exciting changes across Avonvale recently.

This month we have bid a very fond farewell to Diane, our Practice Manager who has worked for Avonvale for over 12 years. We wish her all the best in her new adventures in sunny Abu Dhabi!

We are very pleased to welcome new Practice Manager Kate Webb and administration assistant Ann to the Avonvale team.



Our Stratford branch going from strength to strength means we have recruited three new vets! Welcome to Lara, Gemma and Daisy. Daisy will be joining our Stratford team while Katie is on maternity leave, Gemma will be mostly at Warwick and Lara will be working across all of our surgeries.



We also welcome our new nurse Denni, who many clients at our Stratford surgery may have met already.



All our new team members are looking forward to meeting our clients and their pets over the next few weeks.

Posted in General News, Stratford News, Warwick News | Tagged , ,