If you’re considering your career options and veterinary nursing comes to mind, it’s probably because you love animals! And that’s a good thing, because loving animals is certainly the number one qualification when it comes to pursuing a career as a vet nurse.
So what do vet nurses actually do? How do you become one, and how do you make sure you’re the best vet nurse you can be?
The role of a veterinary nurse
Vet nurses have a wide range of responsibilities and duties, with their primary role being collaborative support for veterinarians. This means being there during patient consultations, and assisting with veterinary procedures under direction from the vet. Other key roles include caring for patients who are being kept on-site, from cleaning cages and feeding, through to post-operative care, general nursing and so much more. There is also often an administrative side to vet nursing, as it’s often the vet nurses who coordinate patient admission and discharge, as well as ordering equipment, supplies, consumables and responsibilities around practice processes.
As a vet nurse, it’s not just important to love animals — you also need to be confident handling them, and have a strong stomach when it comes to things such as taking blood and cleaning wounds.
What qualifications are required?
In Australia, the main qualification to become a vet nurse is a Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing, which is offered by many TAFEs around the country and in some cases via online learning. There are no entry requirements for this course and it’s the standard industry qualification for working in veterinary clinics.
In most scenarios, vet nurses gain an entry-level position at a vet clinic in conjunction with with their study. You can expect a lot of cleaning and administration to begin with, but as you progress through the Certificate IV and gain greater knowledge, the tasks you’re able to undertake will broaden.
Veterinary nursing can actually lead to a wide range of specialised career paths, from management and team leadership roles, through to more practical roles such as assisting with surgery, performing pathology tests, completing basic dental procedures and more.
Never stop learning!
If the practical side of veterinary nursing is what appeals to you most, then following the completion of your Certificate IV you may choose to undergo further study — as a vet nurse there are endless opportunities to continue learning!
VetPrac offers a range of practical workshops and courses for vet nurses who wish to expand their knowledge base and skillset. These courses range from practical dental solutions to understanding anaesthesia and pain management, and more. If you love the practical side of working with animals, there is no better way to further your veterinary nursing career.
To find out more about VetPrac’s range of courses for vet nurses and vet techs, click here.