A Day in the Life of a Veterinary Nurse

Veterinary nurses provide a vital service to animal owners and their pets. They support veterinarians by preparing animals for surgeries, performing lab work, administering medication and giving general advice about pet care.

No two days are alike in this job, but it's a rewarding one that gives you a lot of hands-on experience with a variety of animals and allows you to form relationships with their owners. If you're looking to change careers and are passionate about caring for animals, a career as a veterinary nurse is a great option.

Vet nurses are the bridge between patients and their owners, so a strong sense of empathy is essential for this role. Often, they're the first person that pet owners talk to when they have a question about their health or the best treatment options available.

They also provide support and information to pet parents during times of grief, such as when a family member passes away or the animal dies. Because of this, it's important that veterinary nurses have a positive attitude and demonstrate compassion when working with patients or their families.

A Day in the Life of a Veterinary Nurse

At Adelaide Animal Hospitals we believe that it is important to provide an exceptional standard of veterinary care to our clients and their pets. This includes offering our patients the best possible anaesthetic care during their surgery and ensuring they are well looked after after the procedure.

A veterinary nurse works closely with a vet to ensure the patient is as comfortable and safe during their procedure as possible. The nurse will monitor a patient's heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure and oxygenation levels throughout the anaesthetic. This helps the vet ensure they are getting a good level of anaesthesia and can also alert them if their patient feels uncomfortable or if they're not recovering properly.

Anaesthesia is a key part of the surgical process and is very important for the safety of both the patient and the staff. The nurse will calm the patient, restrain them if necessary and will be monitoring their body temperature, heart rate and respiratory rate to ensure they are fully asleep but not over-anaesthetised.

Once the anaesthetic has been administered, the patient is taken to the surgical room and is attached to a gas anaesthetic machine. This is a complex procedure that requires a great deal of knowledge, expertise and patience from both the nurse and the veterinarian.

The nurse and the vet will then work together to prepare the patient for surgery. This can be quite an intimidating process for some patients, so it's important to keep them calm and reassured at all times.

After the procedure, the vet and nurse will give the patient a post-operative check up, to make sure they are recovering well and that they're feeling OK. This can include checking their weight, temperature, blood pressure and any other changes that are noted on their medical records.

A Veterinary Nurse's Career

The average annual salary for a veterinary nurse in Australia is $56,725 per year. This is higher than the national average of $45,617. However, it's important to note that salaries vary widely depending on the type of hospital you work in and the level of responsibility you have as a veterinary nurse.

Have you ever wondered what it really is like to work in a vet clinic? ezyVet was given the opportunity to walk in the shoes of two veterinary technicians Kati & Samantha for the day and find out exactly what they get up to on a daily basis.

A Veterinary Nurse is one of the most important members of a veterinary team and can play a vital role in ensuring that patients receive the care they need. They support the veterinary surgeons and technicians in the treatment of animals and are also responsible for educating owners on how to take good care of their pet.

The Veterinary Nursing career offers excellent opportunities to work in the animal health and welfare industry. As a veterinary nurse, you can expect to provide expert nursing care for sick and injured animals as well as undertake a variety of diagnostic tests and minor surgical procedures. You can also help veterinary staff to manage their workload by providing administrative and technical support.

Getting started

If you want to become a veterinary nurse, you can enroll in a college program that includes classroom instruction and hands-on field experience. Many colleges offer an associate degree, which covers the fundamentals of veterinary nursing and includes internships and practice-based experiences at a veterinary hospital.

You can also choose to get a bachelor's or master's degree in veterinary nursing. These degrees typically include courses such as biology, animal physiology, anatomy, common procedures and medications, and health and hygiene.

Some veterinary schools also have an equine nursing concentration that can prepare students to work with horses in their homes. These programs teach students to communicate and coordinate care between a horse's owner, trainer and veterinarian.

Veterinary nurses can work in a wide range of locations, from small animal clinics to equine hospitals. They are typically licensed by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) and may have a degree or diploma from an accredited college.

It is a great feeling to be able to see an animal make improvements, relieve pain and bring relief to their owner. It is also satisfying to know that you are helping the animal feel better and enjoy a longer, more healthy life.

A Day in the Life of a Veterinary Nurse

We arrive before the clinic opens on Monday mornings to perform a full examination of any hospitalised patients that have been admitted overnight. This involves checking their heart and respiration rate, temperature and pain levels and administering any medication required.

This is a fairly intensive job and can sometimes be quite stressful, however it is necessary to ensure that the patients have a chance to have a nice long rest before the afternoon surgeries start. This is done by walking them around on the grass, allowing them to stretch their legs and have a bit of fresh air.

We then clean up the surgery area, preparing the surgical instruments and storing them in the correct place. This can be a repetitive task as we are expected to do this several times in a day, but it is an essential part of keeping the surgery and wards running smoothly.