Veterinary Nurse

Summary

Veterinary nurses provide support to veterinarians in the management and care of animals receiving medical and surgical treatment.

Duties & Tasks

Veterinary nurses may perform the following tasks:

  • assist veterinarians during consultations, examinations and treatments
  • coordinate patient admission and discharge
  • care for hospitalised animals, including wound management and bandaging support, feeding and exercising
  • assist with surgery preparations by clipping and shaving fur or hair, swabbing skin, and administering and monitoring anaesthesia
  • provide surgical support by handling instruments, swabbing blood, monitoring oxygen and intravenous fluids, and providing post-operative care
  • perform diagnostic laboratory tests (including urine, faecal and blood tests) and assist veterinarians to produce diagnostic radiographs
  • assist with procedures involving radiography, ultrasound, endoscopy and electrocardiography
  • give medication to animals under the direction of a veterinarian
  • maintain hygiene by cleaning and disinfecting animal cages, floors, benchtops, consulting rooms, waiting rooms and surgeries
  • sterilise instruments, dressings and other equipment
  • maintain stock control of medicines, bandages, cotton wool, syringes and other equipment
  • maintain equipment to be in good working order
  • perform reception duties, including answering the telephone, making appointments, preparing accounts, accepting payments and writing receipts
  • provide animal care information on nutrition, parasite control and behaviour
  • educate owners about responsible pet ownership and maintaining the health and wellbeing of their pets
  • record and maintain clinical and office records of animals attending the surgery (usually on a computer).

Working Conditions

Veterinary nurses work as part of a team in veterinary consulting rooms, surgeries and hospitals. They generally work under strict clinical conditions. They may also be involved in the management of the staff and financial and technical resources of a veterinary practice, animal hospital or similar treatment facility. Working hours may be irregular, including evening and weekend work.

Personal Requirements

  • enjoy working with animals
  • able to handle animals with confidence and patience
  • able to make accurate observations
  • good communication skills
  • good organisational skills
  • able to work as part of a team.

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