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How to become a Veterinary Nurse

Veterinary nurses form part of a team that is dedicated to providing the best possible care for pets and their owners. They use their knowledge and skills to assist veterinarians in surgeries, administer medications, and provide comfort to animals during their stay. They also educate pet owners on how to properly care for their pets and prevent illnesses.

If you love animals of all kinds, don’t mind getting your hands dirty, and want a job that can be both challenging and rewarding, becoming a veterinary nurse could be something to consider.

What skills do I need as a veterinary nurse?

  • Kind and caring
  • Emotionally and physically resilient
  • Can work efficiently under pressure
  • Great team worker
  • Excellent communicator
  • Dedicated and passionate
  • Active and hands-on
  • Strong stomach

What tasks can I expect to do?

  • Carry out diagnostic tests and administer medications
  • Assist with surgery and emergency procedures
  • Perform minor procedures with direction from a veterinarian
  • Stock medical and other supplies
  • Provide information and support to pet owners
  • Clean and sterilise work spaces and equipment
  • Keep medical records up to date
  • Carry out administrative and other functions

What industries do veterinary nurses typically work in?

  • Professional, Scientific and Technical Services
  • Arts and Recreation Services
  • Other Services

What kind of lifestyle can I expect as a veterinary nurse?

Part-time work is very common for veterinary nurses. You will also need to be flexible enough to attend to emergencies – this means you may need to work late nights, weekends, and holidays.

This is a career that can take an emotional toll as often as it is rewarding. You’ll need to be prepared to deal with sick and injured animals, as well as upset and grieving owners.

Most of your work will be done indoors, generally in a veterinary clinic. There is some outdoor work involved too, and you may even have the opportunity to travel and work from clients’ homes. Because of the hands-on nature of the job, remote work is very rare, though sometimes basic consultations can be done over the phone or via video conferencing.

Most veterinary nurses earn an average wage.

How to become a veterinary nurse

Veterinary nurses require extensive training and education, which can include completing a two-year vocational or associate degree program in veterinary technology and passing a national certification exam. They also need ongoing continuing education to stay up-to-date on the latest advancements in animal care.

If you’re in high school now and are thinking of becoming a veterinary nurse, here are some steps you could take:

  • Study English, Mathematics, and Biology at high school. Completing these subjects will equip you with the basic knowledge you need for further study.
  • In some cases, you may be able to complete your qualification as part of an apprenticeship or traineeship. This can be a great option for hands-on learners, or if you want to make some money while you study.
  • Contact vet clinics and animal refuges or shelters near you and volunteer, even it’s just cleaning out kennels or sweeping up around the place.
  • Be prepared to engage in lifelong learning throughout your career.

Find out more here:

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