Who is your current employer and what do they do?
I currently work in a multi-branch independent practice in Norfolk. The practice also hosts their own out of hours service which I am lucky enough to be a part of!

The practice is part of four other practices including a small animal hospital and a large animal practice.

What is your job title and what does the job entail?
My job title is Registered Veterinary Nurse. In addition to this, I am also a Mental Health Officer within our practice. As part of my day-to-day role, I mainly carry out nurse consultations, and monitoring of anaesthesia. Other tasks include taking blood samples, caring for inpatients and often radiography. I currently am an ISFM cat friendly veterinary professional which means I have undertaken extra training to ensure I can accommodate the needs of the feline patient.

I also participate in the Investors in the Environment scheme for our practice. This involves the recording and measurement of resources to help reduce our impact on the environment.

Being a Mental Health Officer, I am available for confidential chats if anyone requires. As well as this, I am also responsible for organising events such as walks and regular meet ups.

I currently volunteer as an area representative for Vetlife alongside my day job. This involves providing support for individuals struggling financially. I help to ensure appropriate support is directed to those in need which often means dealing with vulnerable individuals. This role can be challenging but I have also found it extremely rewarding.

How did you achieve your current position?
I entered my nursing journey through the degree route and attended university. I spent four years at university combining the theory with placement blocks. I spent my placement blocks with another independent practice in the area and moved to my current practice shortly after I had qualified.

I have always been extremely passionate about mental health after suffering with my own troubles. This made me determined to help others and spread awareness. This is why it was a passion of mine to work alongside Vetlife.

What do you enjoy about your job?
I am lucky enough to enjoy every aspect of nursing! However, one of the main enjoyments for me is feeling like I am making a difference. I enjoy providing the best possible care to the patients and their owners. I aim to treat all animals like they are my own. Additionally, promoting mental health will forever be a strong passion of mine as I find it rewarding to help others.

What are the challenging aspects about your job?
Although the job is extremely rewarding, it can be very demanding and challenging at times. I characterise myself as being very empathetic, and this can sometimes be a flaw. In situations where I do feel this way, I want to create a solution to make everything better for all parties. Unfortunately, I cannot always do this. This is something I am working to overcome

What are your plans for the future?
Keep raising awareness for mental health in the industry. If I can help just one person, that is enough for me!

What other qualifications do you hold?
My degree included animal behaviour – the full title was Veterinary Nursing with Applied Animal Behaviour.

What key piece of advice would you give to anyone wishing to follow a similar career path?
Prioritise your own mental wellbeing – don’t overload yourself and try not to put any pressure on yourself! You don’t have to know everything all at once.

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