An interview with…Emma Onyejekwe, Wildlife Veterinary Nurse

Do you have any pets?

Yes, I have a rescued cat called Pansy. She is 16 years old and recently featured in a guest blog for Songbird Survival Trust ‘Get EduCATed’ campaign.

What made you want to be a Registered Veterinary Nurse?

From a young age, I knew I wanted to work with animals. I know it sounds like a cliche, but I am truly passionate about their welfare. Initially, I aspired to become a Veterinary Surgeon, which is usually the first thing that comes to mind when you consider working with animals. However, when I discovered veterinary nursing, I realised that it was a better fit for me.

Do you have any advice for our Student Veterinary Nurses?

Never compare yourself to other students or even other Vet Nurses. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, and we are all constantly learning, no matter how experienced we may be!

What led you to this point in your career?

I think my passion for wildlife and drive to make a difference has led me to this point in my career. I do struggle with my selfconfidence and suffer from imposter syndrome at times, but I have continually pushed myself out of my comfort zone in order to achieve my goals and aspirations. This has enabled me to speak at veterinary conferences, be part of some amazing projects and win the London Vet Show 30 under Thirty Award, which I am incredibly proud of.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

By far, the most rewarding part of my job is seeing an animal recover, whether that is a wild animal being released, an inappetent cat that starts eating again, or a patient who successfully loses weight.

What is the hardest part of your job?

Although things are improving, I would say the hardest part of my job is the lack of appreciation for the nursing role. This may be from owners, who are unaware of what we do as a veterinary nurse, or it could be from a manager who does not allow us to utilise all of our skills and potential.

What skills do you think you need at be a wildlife nurse?

Although I do not currently work as a Wildlife Veterinary Nurse. From my experience in volunteer roles, I would say triage and problem-solving skills are key. When you are dealing with wild animals, you have to think differently. The aim is to return the animal to the wild, in a state that will not compromise its natural survival in the wild.

What is the best thing to happen to the Veterinary industry during your time?

The sense of community between nurses. During the pandemic, I was able to connect with numerous veterinary nurses via social media platforms. Seeing what they were getting up to and being inspired by them was (and still is) amazing!

Visit our Nursing College page to learn more about what we can offer aspiring students!