During my training as a small animal nurse I worked in a busy mixed practice and was one of the few nurses who were happy to go out on large animal calls!! It was during this time that I developed an interest in equine nursing.
I decided very early on in school that I wanted to become a veterinary nurse and have never wanted to do anything else!! I have now been nursing for over 25years and still love my job.
A typical day for us starts with doing inpatient rounds along with the interns and surgeons. At this point we discuss daily treatment plans, case progression and discharge recommendations. This will be followed by preparing any patients for surgical procedures both standing and general anaesthesia. We also run in house laboratory tests, assist with gastroscopy, as well as ensure all equipment and instruments are maintained and of course last but not least lots of cleaning up. We have a 24hour emergency service so theatre is always left set up ready for colic surgery as this is our most common surgical emergency. During the summer months we often have sick foals in need of nursing too!
No two days are the same which means we have to be flexible and always prepared for the next case as horses are very good at getting themselves into mischief!! It can be stressful but also very rewarding!
The part I love most about my job is when emergency or critical patients recover and go home! This the most rewarding feeling knowing we have made a difference!
My proudest achievement has been obtaining my equine nursing top up qualification after not studying for a very long time and having two small children to take care of!!
The number of equine nurses is currently small compared to their small animal counterparts and so my ambition for the future would be to continue to support the growth of the equine nursing profession through training of new nurses and promoting our skills. As equine nurses our skills make a positive difference to the care of horses. TLC has been proven to improve welfare and outcome of hospitalised patients.
I am also keen on promoting more sympathetic and positive training in the horse to allow for better welfare through behavioural knowledge. This is so important not only for the welfare of the horses but also the safety of staff when dealing with difficult patients.