This Friday, 11 October, we are celebrating Vet Nurse Day! The annual event provides the opportunity for the veterinary profession and public alike to acknowledge the important role that nurses play in vet practices.
You probably have a pretty good idea of what your veterinarian does, but how much do you know about the nurses and technicians that work alongside them?
Veterinary nurses are highly-skilled professionals that fulfil a number of key roles in your pet's healthcare. The minimum qualification for vet nurses in Australia is the Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing. In addition to assisting vets in diagnosis and treatment, qualified nurses have the ability to provide informed assessments to pet owners.
From puppy training right through to palliative care, vet nurses are there to educate and assist pet owners in raising happy, healthy animals. Some of the issues you might discuss with a vet nurse are general health concerns, pet nutrition, dental care, behaviour issues, surgery details, and much more. If you need to make any hard decisions about your pet, your vet nurse will be there to support you.
Some practices run vet nurse-run clinics that include services such as nail-clipping, dressing and bandage changes, administering prescribed medications, weight management, surgery rehabilitation and pre-vaccination procedures.
Vet nurses undertaking consultations alongside vets is becoming more commonplace. This is where a vet nurse will undertake the initial health check and history taking, freeing up the vet to carry out more in-depth tasks specific to their skillset. This relieves time pressure on busy vets, allowing them to spend more time focussing on the best possible outcome for the patient.
Veterinary practices across Australia will be observing Vet Nurse Day with decorated waiting rooms and staff morning teas. Pet owners can participate in the day by sending a card or just by simply heading into their local veterinary clinic and thanking nurses personally for all that they do.
Board Director, Veterinary Nurses Council of Australia