VN Awareness – nurse profile

May is Veterinary Nursing Awareness Month, a whole month dedicated to raising awareness of the veterinary nursing profession and the vital role they play in animal care and treatment.

Paige Henderson is our Head Nurse here at Lida Vets and she kindly took time out to tell us about life as a vet nurse.

paige1. How long have you been a Vet Nurse and what route did you follow to qualify?

I qualified as a registered veterinary nurse 6 years ago. I attended college first before going on to the Royal Veterinary College to get my degree.

2. What attracted you to a career as a Veterinary Nurse?

I have always had a love for animals, when I was 16 I completed work experience where I immediately knew I wanted to be a veterinary nurse. Every day as a veterinary nurse is different.

3. What does your job as Head Nurse entail?

My day to day job entails me and a team of veterinary nurses to monitor patients under anaesthesia, provide excellent care to our patients, run routine blood and urine samples and run our successful clinics.

Alongside this I support all of my nurses through training and Continuing Professional Development (CPD), provide our nursing team with a rota to ensure we have a smooth-running practice and keep up to date with our practice standards. I make sure that the nursing teamwork closely together with the veterinary surgeons, reception, and senior management to provide the best patient care.

4. What is the most rewarding thing about being a Vet Nurse?

The most rewarding thing about being a veterinary nurse is caring for your patients until they are healthy to go home. Seeing the happiness in the patients when they come and say hello is extremely rewarding. I also find it rewarding to build a bond with not just the patient but their owners.

5. What kind of attributes do you need to be a good Vet Nurse?

You need to be patient, caring, reliable and trustworthy and most importantly work well within a team.

6. What advice would you give someone thinking about a career as a Vet Nurse?

Being a veterinary nurse is not easy, there will be bad days, but the good days are so rewarding. Helping patients through every life stage and creating a bond with them is second to none.

7. What are the best things about working at Lida Vets practice?

We are a family at Lida Vets, we have known each other for years and support each other on a daily basis. All patients receive a very personal service at every level.

8. What would be your career highlight so far?

There are two highlights of my career – one was becoming a Head Nurse; this is something I have worked very hard for over the years. The second was being nominated and becoming runner up in “managing weight with excellence, pet slimmer of the year” with Hills Nutrition, providing weight clinics for my patients is especially important to me.

9. What’s the next step in your career pathway?

Continue to work hard, enjoy every day as a veterinary nurse, and continue to lead a strong team of veterinary nurses.