‘My most asked questions as a Veterinary Nurse answered’
What’s the most unusual species of animal you’ve treated?
I have had the opportunity to treat a wide range of species over the years, but some that stand out include wallabies, parrots, raccoons, and a serval cat.
Within one of my roles, I worked closely with an exotics Vet and we worked on other unusual cases such as doing investigative work on a peregrine falcon, remodelling an overgrown beak on an African grey parrot, and triaging deer that had become injured in road traffic accidents.
What was your favourite thing about the job?
I enjoyed seeing my hospitalized patients recover and improve day-by-day, it was very rewarding to assist them in their healing process and to see them back for rechecks looking like a completely different animal!
I enjoyed providing continuous services to animals throughout their lives and seeing them grow into their characters.
I am a huge wildlife lover and advocate and so I enjoyed being involved with any wildlife cases, which is what led me to my involvement with some wildlife rehabilitation.
Did you get to cuddle puppies and kittens all day?
I wish I could say that this was a bigger part of the job, but it is such a busy work environment that these moments were briefer and fewer than what we all would have ideally liked!
That being said, I enjoyed providing care for patients of all ages and with every day being different, I had plenty else to get stuck in with.
Throughout one standard working day I could be involved in dog neutering, emergency surgeries, giving blood transfusions, running nurse appointments and inducing vomiting in a dog who ate too much chocolate.
In fact, on a busy day in the practice, that could all have taken place before lunch!
Did you find it hard being involved in the euthanasia of people’s pets?
Euthanasias can be incredibly upsetting even just from the point of view of the veterinary nurse assisting with the procedure and there were many times I would be choked up or trying to hide the tears in my eyes.
It’s normal to feel that way as it is an incredibly significant and heart-breaking experience for the animal’s family as they are saying goodbye to someone who has stuck by them through the thick and thin.
However, as a nurse, you understand your role in providing the last act of kindness and in supporting those who are losing someone close to their hearts.
Was it a rewarding job?
You get to assist in saving animal lives and in contributing to animal health and so it can be very rewarding.
The most rewarding cases for me were when I have assisted in genuine emergencies, such as saving a dog who was choking on a tennis ball or delivering stuck puppies through a c-section.
Did you see distressing things?
It is true that in veterinary nursing, you sometimes see distressing cases, such as those involving severe neglect or abuse. Admittedly, I have witnessed some cases that will always stay with me due to the heart-breaking trauma that the patient had been through.
I sometimes saw dogs that had clearly been used for illegal fighting, or wildlife that had been intentionally attacked by humans.
At the time, you just have to help the patient in front of you, but it would be hard to completely bury the emotions raised by seeing the effects of the violence inflicted.
This is really what has led to me being drawn to Naturewatch Foundation.
I care deeply about the health and wellbeing of all animals and am a huge wildlife conservation advocate.
I am so excited to be working with the charity as my new role of Campaigns Assistant will help me contribute to campaigns that are tackling issues close to my heart.
Natasha Wright, Campaigns Assistant