Posts Tagged ‘veterinary nurse’

A Day In The Life Of… Samara, RVN at Barking

Veterinary Nursing Awareness Month is a time to celebrate the dedication and skill of our veterinary nurses. We are proud to have Samara at our Barking branch, who joined us in 2010 and qualified as an RVN (Registered Veterinary Nurse) in 2018. Sam is the feline advocate at the branch and has completed the ISFMCert in feline nursing. We caught up with Sam for a quick glimpse into A Day In The Life Of…

What is your morning routine?

On arrival, I care for our resident practice cat Tilly, clean and change her litter tray, and set her up ready for the day in reception where she generally sleeps on the desk and ignores us all! I then check the procedures list, prepare the kennels and paperwork such as consent forms and GA sheets and ensure the consulting room is fully equipped for consults. I then check through emails and PetsApps (our telemedicine platform) and reply in order of urgency and mark for the attention of the relevant team member. Once the practice is ready for the day, we open up and welcome clients in. During this time I will run admissions for the day’s routine procedures which involves a sit-down discussion and going through the consent forms, procedure, and any extras.

What is your afternoon routine?

My afternoons are either in theatre whereby I assist the vet with surgical procedures, placing intravenous catheters and prepping the patient for the procedure, monitoring anesthetics/sedation, or performing minor procedures such as dental descales and polishing and radiography. 

Or, they are filled with nurse consultations! These are generally post-operative checks, second vaccinations, blood pressure monitoring, subcutaneous fluid administrations, client education, ProActive Pets examinations (our preventative healthcare plan), weight clinics, and blood sampling. After all this comes evening consultations and discharges.

What are your responsibilities as an RVN?

As the Barking practice’s main RVN, my responsibilities vary but typically include overseeing the everyday running of the practice, ordering medications/consumables/equipment, training and mentoring junior staff members, running nurse clinics, giving dietary and nutrition to clients, monitoring anaesthesia/sedation, blood sampling, conducting minor procedures such as teeth cleaning, placing IV catheters and preparing patients for procedures. As an RVN, I am also responsible for overseeing the hygiene and sterility of the practice, the maintenance of clinical equipment and most importantly, the well-being of our patients. I have a certificate in feline nursing which allows me to assist new kitten owners give their kitten the best start in life. I also help by advising clients in cat behaviour/care and providing information on feline behaviourists where necessary.

What do you enjoy most about your role as an RVN?

Client interaction and consulting. I am currently undertaking a certificate in nurse consults, tying this with my certificate in feline nursing. This is the part of my job I thrive on and love to help and guide clients along the way to help maintain harmony at home and hopefully create a long-lasting happy relationship with their pet.

I have been at the Barking practice for almost 12 years and love every animal that comes through the door as if they are my own. I love watching them grow and develop and keeping the bond that only animals can provide.

We are very proud to employ so many great RVNs like Samara and, as it’s Vet Nurse Awareness Month you may see #VNAM and #OurProfessionMyResilience across social media, so, if you do, please click on them to see what vet nurses are up to. You see, we value our vet nurses for the care they bring to you, your pets, and the veterinary team. If you are interested in joining the Goddard Veterinary Group, please check out our opportunities online or learn more about our very own Nursing College!

Veterinary nurses – why they are invaluable!

Here at Goddard Veterinary Group, we are lucky enough to provide veterinary care to a large number of pets across our practices and veterinary hospitals. We have teams of amazing veterinary professionals working every hour of the day, every day of the year to cover all your pet’s needs – from flea prevention to emergency care.

You might think this means we are reliant on vets for all our patient care – if it’s an emergency surely the vet is the key person to employ? While the vet is the face you may see most often, and are obviously very important, the real power behind the scalpel is the Registered Veterinary Nurse (RVN).

We are very proud to employ so many great RVNs and, as it’s Vet Nurse Awareness Month in May, we wanted to share all the great things about these cornerstones of the veterinary team. You may see #VNAM and #OurProfessionMyResilience and if you do, please click on them to see what vet nurses are up to. You see, we really value our vet nurses for the care they bring to you, your pets, and the veterinary team.

What’s in a name?

Before we go on to all the roles the vet nurse undertakes we just want to clarify what we mean when we say ‘vet nurse’ or ‘RVN’ we mean someone who is registered with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) as a veterinary nurse. Just as all our vets are on the MRCVS register all our vet nurses are on the RVN register.

This is very important as the registration for vet nurses is relatively recent – it only became a compulsory register in 2015 – replacing the previous List and Register that had run alongside each other since 2007.

The RCVS has also protected the title ‘Veterinary Nurse’ meaning that those in a veterinary practice cannot refer to anyone as a ‘Veterinary Nurse’ or ‘RVN’ if they are not on the register.

We feel this is important as it provides the same level of protection as seeing a vet when seeing a vet nurse and as they do so much for your pets we know that peace of mind will be important to you. When we say vet nurse, we mean VET NURSE!

Different roles

As we mentioned earlier, you may find vet nurses appearing in a variety of roles across our vet practices. We like to make sure our vet nurses can follow their passion and expand their skills so you may find them undertaking roles in:


  • “scrubbed in” to support the vet
  • Assisting with anaesthesia

Medical care

This list can be very long but vet nurses help with…

  • Administering medication
  • Feeding patients who can’t eat for themselves
  • Monitoring a patients progress after treatment

Puppy parties

  • Socialising new members of your family
  • Sharing helpful information on correct feeding
  • Advising on the importance of flea and worm treatments for young pets

Feline friendly

We’re proud to have our nurses push forward with making practices feline friendly

  • An accredited scheme, vet nurses make a real difference with helping your cat have a stress free vet visit

Nurse consults

A consultation is not just for seeing a vet. A space and time to speak to a vet nurse can help with:

  • Weight management
  • Behavioural help
  • Post-operative care

A vet nurse is not just for clinical work

Outside clinical work, we like to keep our vet nurses busy and you might find them training our student vet nurses, helping with case administration, and managing teams.

We hope you will agree that we are right to be proud of our vet nurses and we know that they bring an added value to the care of your pets. They bring the “added value” to our vet teams and to your pet care that is often hard to quantify.

This May, if you’re in one of our practices you’ll most likely meet one of our vet nurses and it would make their day if you asked about their valued role in your pet’s care.

Don’t forget to tag us on Facebook or Instagram when visiting!

How can a vet nurse help my pet lose weight?

Is your pet a little podgy? Perhaps you’re well aware but frustrated that your efforts to slim them down are having little effect. Perhaps you don’t even know where to begin. Fear not, help is at hand! You might be surprised at the assistance our team can offer you, and not least, the invaluable support you can find in our veterinary nurses. There is surprisingly little known by the general public about the extent of a veterinary nurse’s training and capabilities.  Vet nurses have a great deal of (sometimes all too hidden) expertise, from monitoring anaesthesia and taking X-rays to laboratory work and advising pet owners on a whole host of pet care topics. Our nurses are passionate and knowledgeable individuals who love nothing more than to build a working relationship with you, to keep your pet healthy. For all the knowledge and support you need to make your pet’s health-kick a success, look no further.

Vet nurses undergo a substantial amount of theoretical schooling to gain their qualification and are therefore able to discuss the impact that obesity can have on your pet. From the associated risks of diabetes, to the exacerbation of joint disease, they will do so in an honest and fact-based manner but with empathy and from a non-critical viewpoint. By seeking advice, you’ve taken the first of many steps along the road to improving your pet’s quality of life. As such, our vet nurses are eager to take an interest and help you.

History taking

Importantly, our nurses will listen to you. They want to hear all about how your pet got to be overweight. They will consider any concurrent health conditions (referring you to our veterinary surgeons as necessary) as well as food and treat intake and their usual amount of exercise. They will listen without judgement and aim to ask such questions that will best arm them with all the information required to help you and your pet.

Safe and sustainable

It is no good crash dieting a pet and worse, it can be really very dangerous to do so. Slowly but surely is the best approach to ensure safe weight loss that stays off. Nurses know this, and they also know important, fundamental dietary requirements of a range of species. They know what can and can’t be cut out of a diet and in what proportions. They even have specific calculations to help them determine the required calorie intake for an individual as well as those that calculate a safe rate of weight loss, to ensure it is not achieved too quickly.

Intake versus output

No fad-diets will be recommended here, just a balance of good nutrients and exercise. Our nurses are equipped to understand what individual factors might be hindering progress. From the old, arthritic dog, for whom exercise intolerance and obesity can be a vicious cycle, to the indoor-only cat who looks to their owner as their main source of entertainment – you’ll be amazed at the tricks up our nurses’ sleeves. And guess what, dieting doesn’t have to mean that treats are off the menu altogether! They can advise you on these too. Our nurses will talk to you about the merits of purpose-designed commercially available foods that are designed to make your pet feel full whilst keeping calorie intake low, or help you achieve your pet’s ideal weight on whichever diet you feel most comfortable using.

Access to further expertise

Our nurses have a range of resources to refer to; from their fellow vet nurses and our vets, to veterinary nutritionists who can advise of the finer points of certain foods available to put together a workable solution for your pet.  Nurses are forever keeping current with the latest nutritional developments and nuggets of advice from the wider industry too. They have a professional requirement to complete a minimum number of learning hours every year in order to stay registered with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. This helps them keep their knowledge and skills at the forefront of veterinary science.

Moral support

Perhaps one of the biggest reasons to involve a vet nurse in your pet’s weight loss programme is for the unwavering support you will receive. When your dog gives you those puppy-dog eyes, we all know how hard it can be not to feed them scraps from the table! Our nurses are like-minded, pet-loving people who can empathise with you whilst maintaining the much needed momentum that you need. They will want to meet with you and your pet regularly, weighing your pet, assessing body condition and generally providing the guidance and encourage required to succeed.

Don’t struggle alone. Whether you know there’s an issue with your pet’s weight, or even if you’re just unsure, contact our team for some friendly advice.


How can veterinary nurses help with preventative health?

Veterinary nurses play a large role in helping and advising pet owners with the care and well-being of their animals. We are proud of our veterinary nursing team at Goddard Veterinary Group, and the passion they have for the health of your pets. Part of that role includes advising on preventative healthcare – keeping your pets in the best health before problems arise.


There are so many diets on the market for pets it is really difficult to know where to begin! Our nurses can advise you on the best diets for your pet’s specific breed, age and the recommended feeding amount.

If your pet is overweight and should ideally be fed a smaller amount or given a calorie reduced diet, our nurses will be happy to advise and weigh them. They can further advise on maintaining their weight, when they reach their target.

Preventing obesity in pets can help lengthen their lives and dramatically reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and joint pain, among other conditions.

Fleas and worms

Almost every pet will end up with these critters at some point in their lives. Preventing them is much better than having your pet playing host to them. If you suspect your pet has fleas for example, our nurses can take a look at their coats and search for tell-tale signs.

Worms, of course, are a lot more difficult. However, there are symptoms that can point to a worm problem. Goddard’s veterinary nurses can explain the life-cycle of these parasites, and the best ways to avoid having both your pet and your home infested with them.

When it comes to fleas and worms it really is worth preventing them – the cost of treating a skin condition caused by fleas for example, far outweighs the price of flea treatment!


Although it is our vets that vaccinate your animals, our nurses can give you advice and guidance on the types of diseases that pets can be vaccinated against. No one wants to have a pet with a potentially life-threatening disease, and vaccination can prevent that from happening.


It is our senior pets that we find can have a problem with their toenails, simply because they won’t tend to wear them down as easily as younger pets. Senior pets are normally less active, often choosing softer ground to walk on, whereas a puppy that tears about on all types of ground will have a pedicure naturally! This is why preventing nails from overgrowing and making your pet uncomfortable is important. Our nurses can check your pet’s toenails and trim them if necessary.

It’s not just dogs either, cats too can have this problem especially if they have gone off using the scratch post. Our nurses will also make sure the dew claws are a comfortable length, in extreme cases these can curl around and dig into the pad, even leading to infection.


As of April 2016 all dogs over age of eight weeks in the UK, are required by law to have a microchip.  These tiny devices, about the size of a grain of rice, can help you and your pet to be reunited if they happen to get lost. A microchip is also a requirement for a pet passport.

No responsible owner would want to lose their pet and our nurses can help advise about microchipping, preventing this from happening. At present there is no law about cats being microchipped, but we strongly advise this is well – in fact almost any animal species could be microchipped!

One thing you may hear our nurses and vets reiterate, is keeping your contact details up to date for the microchip, especially if you move home!


Our nurses can give all sorts of advice about preventative health when it comes to your pet’s teeth. From brushing techniques to dental products, they can help advise on keeping your pet’s teeth pearly white. Dental health is very important as poor teeth can affect other parts of the body, including major organs, through infection and toxins in the bloodstream.

Pets even at the age of 4-5 years can start to suffer with dental disease, so it’s very important to get the advice as early as possible on helping to keep their teeth sparkling!

With advice from our team of nurses (and vets) on preventative health, your pets can really benefit. Be sure to ask us if any health aspect of your pet worries you — we’ll be happy to help.

Don’t forget Goddard Veterinary Group’s healthcare plan, ProActive Pets. The scheme provides discounts on your pet’s preventative healthcare, allowing you to spread the cost throughout the year.