Registered Veterinary Nurse caring for dog in wards

Ward Nurses


We have a dedicated team of ward nurses at Fitzpatrick Referrals who are responsible for providing round-the-clock care to each and every patient who is referred to us.

Throughout the day and night our nurses provide each and every patient with every aspect of nursing care required to support them during their recovery period. This requires the highest standard of communication and begins with patient rounds each morning whereby the night nursing team hand over all the clinical details of each patient they have been caring for overnight and we review the patient care plan for each patient with the senior clinicians and duty vets who are responsible for the patient. Patient care rounds are performed frequently during the day when additional shift nurses join the team to ensure continuity of care.

I love being a ward nurse because I spend my entire working day caring for the patients that are referred to us, be it from injury or following surgery and it is so rewarding seeing them improve enough to go back home with their families.

Veterinary nurse sitting in kennel with a small dog
Registered Veterinary Nurse Nia comforting Cavapoo patient Mabel prior to her TPLO surgery for cruciate ligament disease at Fitzpatrick Referrals.

Role of the ward nurse

  • Administer medications as prescribed by the vet and ensure clinical records are updated and reflect dosing time etc.
  • Monitor what and how much patients eat and their hydration status. “Often we need to hand feed them. Chicken or hotdogs are the favourites when normal dog or cat food just won’t do.”
  • Check bandages and wound dressings for comfort and ensure they are dry.
  • Monitor the patients for any post-operative problems which vary, depending on the surgery that was undertaken.
  • Liaise with each patient’s senior clinician and intern responsible for the case to ensure frequent progress reports and any concerns are expressed in a timely manner.
  • Liaise with our chartered physiotherapists to ensure a tailored physiotherapy plan is prescribed to ensure all appropriate means of comfort are implemented and help to optimise the patient’s mobility function.
  • Provide psychological and emotional support including mental stimulation such as grooming, playing with a toy and taking them outside for a walk. Often all they need is someone sitting and talking to them.

Night nurses

Our dedicated night nurses are often described as the night fairies of Fitzpatrick Referrals, with their main priority being to look after all the patients in the wards whilst their families sleep, doing their utmost to provide the best overnight care as if they were their own.

Night nurse duties include giving patients pain relief, medication, treatments, TLC and anything else that they may need overnight to keep them as comfortable as possible.

Some of the things our night nurse team will do to ensure patients are settled and feel at home is use dim lighting, play mellow music and try to accomplish a quiet and chilled atmosphere overnight. It’s natural to worry about your animal friend being in the vets, especially overnight not knowing how they are doing, but our team of night nurses can give you peace of mind that your patient is being well looked after, and their care is supported by our night vet and night veterinary care assistants.

Our night nurses work 7 nights on and 7 nights off, so for the patients who are staying with us for a longer period, our nurses soon become a familiar face, building friendships and trust with patients.


Join the team

We are always looking to strengthen our team with skilled, dedicated, passionate professionals.