What VN Do... Rachel Woodward

Posted: 20th May 2019

Name: Rachel Woodward

Job: RVN (Registered Veterinary Nurse)

Time qualified: I've been registered since 2016

What route of study did you take to qualification?

I took the diploma route.

Do you have a favourite aspect of your job or an area of special interest?

My area of interest is consulting. I'm one of the practice's clinic nurses and amongst other things, I educate clients in preventative healthcare, perform post-op checks, allergy injections, clip nails, run puppy/kitten clinics and carry out home visits.

Do you have a specialist additional qualification?

Not currently, but I plan to start a Nurses Certificate in Nutrition in October.

What do you do that most people wouldn’t know a vet nurse does?

I think a lot of members of the public would be surprised to hear that when their fur babies come in for surgery, there is always a Registered Veterinary Nurse at the head end, ensuring that the patient remains adequately and safely asleep. We are also able to flag up to the veterinary surgeons if we feel our patients would benefit from extra pain relief and administer if necessary.

What’s the best part of your job?

Definitely my clinics. I love meeting owners, and working together to make sure their fur babies get the best care possible.

What’s the worst part of your job?

Euthanasia, we have the ability to end an animal's suffering with dignity. It's one of the kindest things we can do, but that doesn't make it any easier. I'll admit, especially with patients I've nursed personally, I have to fight back the tears. It's not easy, we love our patients like our own.

What is a typical day in your job?

I don't think there's such a thing as a 'typical' day in the world of veterinary! It can include anything such as caring for hospitalised patients, taking bloods or placing I/V catheters, ensuring patients have the correct fluids/medications at the correct times, grooming animals that are too sick to do it for themselves, wound care, monitoring anaesthetics during surgery, recovering patients from anaesthesia & making sure they wake up safely, patient admits/discharges, clinics, giving advice to clients over the phone, home visits, emergency triaging, unfortunately sometimes CPR, blood transfusions, dealing with emergency surgeries, rubbing puppies/kittens to life after an emergency caesarean section, sitting with a patient for some much needed loving, encouraging them to eat and making them tasty food to try... Ours days are so, so varied, but that's why it's the best job in the world!

What VN Do... Rachel Woodward