Registered Veterinary Nurse monitoring a canine patient
Q & A

Q & A with Prep RVN Amber

Published 08.05.24

Each May, the veterinary community comes together to celebrate Veterinary Nursing Awareness Month and shine a spotlight on the integral role that nurses play in veterinary.

Registered Veterinary Nurse (RVN) Amber has participated in our Q&A, sharing her reasons for wanting to work in referral nursing and what her day-to-day role involves.

Job title: Prep RVN (rotational with the general team and Noel’s team)

Role: Part-time (30 hours over 3 days)

Joined Fitzpatrick Referrals: 2019

What attracted you to a career in referrals and to apply to Fitzpatrick Referrals specifically?

Amber: What attracted me to Fitzpatrick Referrals specifically was the dedicated neurology and orthopaedic departments, where we are not multidisciplinary and just specialise in the two, meaning both offer more advanced services in each department which multidisciplinary practices may not be able to offer. Also, our strive to offer all medical and surgical options, giving us the chance to help our animal friends to live longer and more comfortable lives.

Did you have any worries about working in referrals? Is it what you expected?

Amber: my main worry was if I would ever get to know the team properly! You have this idea of what working in a referral means: there are loads of staff members (which there are), but assuming you wouldn’t ever get to know people as individuals and get a chance to know people on a personal level. I also worried that there wouldn’t be the kind of friendly relationships that you can form in a smaller practice. This is not the case at all! I have worked with amazing people and made friends for life at Fitz; you get the chance to work with multiple people every day and spend a lot of time together, allowing healthy work friendships to form and making the day’s work even more enjoyable.

Tell us about your current role and what it involves

Amber: I work as a prep nurse on the general team and I work with Noel on a rotational basis. A general day in my role is preparing patients for surgery, taking their pre-GA bloods, placing their IV catheters, working alongside a vet to induce anaesthesia and manage their anaesthesia during surgery in the safest way possible. I am then responsible for seeing the patient through their post-surgery imaging and recovering the patient from anaesthesia.

It is then my job to ensure their hospital forms are filled out with a postoperative plan, ensure their medications are planned for the next day, and hand the patient over to the ward team to follow up on their care. If I’m not doing a GA, I might be on a sedation case, which could be a six-week postoperative review or a patient having a bandage change, for example.

What learning opportunities have you experienced and how has your role developed since joining?

Amber: Since working at Fitzpatrick Referrals, there have been a large handful of experiences I have been involved with which I wouldn’t have done before, such as assisting with surgeries that we only perform here at Fitzpatricks, for example, our limb salvage surgeries and custom hip, knee and elbow replacements. I have postoperatively nursed patients after craniotomies, been involved with the administration of chemotherapy and gained more advanced nursing skills such as using ventilators during anaesthesia and assisting with spinal stabilisation surgeries.

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