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I come out of the consult room with my head filled with thoughts of sick hospital patients. I have a young dog in my arms that has just been brought in by his owners. He is very flat, has been vomiting and has a very sore tummy. It is a busy day but I am relieved that just through the swinging doors are a team of very dedicated nurses. As soon as I enter the treatment room the nurses will always come to help.

“Can you please take some blood from Scruffy for biochemistry and haematology and collect a urine sample. I also need him on IV fluids please, vitals taken every 30 minutes and if you can set up the x-ray machine for a set of abdominal radiographs that would be great”. They do not blink an eye! They take the dog in their arms with calming words and set about the tasks asked of them.

Not only do nurses have the skills and initiative to help manage critical cases they work tirelessly throughout the day, allowing the clinic to run smoothly.

Veterinary nurses are often underestimated as they work behind the scenes. They start the day early, gathering vitals on the inpatients, walking, cleaning and feeding the animals. Their experience will allow them to relay important information to the treating vets. IV fluids may need to be changed or a new catheter placed. As soon as the phones turn over they are constantly talking to clients, guiding owners, discussing their concerns. Reception is always a challenge, everyone always turns up at once – but the girls are always trying their best to juggle appointments, discharges, and unexpected emergencies as best they can. The surgical nursing team play important roles in preparing surgery, monitoring anaesthetics, post operative care and often discharging patients.

Vet nurses often work long tiring days but get satisfaction from the contribution they make ensuring peoples much loved pets are comfortable, free from anxiety and receiving good nutrition whilst also being largely involved in the process of diagnosis and treatment.

At the end of the day I am always amazed at the continued emotional support they are able to provide for both owners and the vets. So if ever you have a pet in hospital always consider the contribution the nurses have played in getting them home!

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