My first 6 months as a fully-fledged RVN have been great, I was very fortunate to have been given a full-time job offer from my work placement. The clinic that I work in is small, with only 5 members of staff, but I have found that means that we all work together closely as a team. It is extremely important to work in a clinic where your values match those of your colleagues, and somewhere you feel like you can have a voice.
I have already learnt so much from my colleagues who have been great at helping me along through these first months as I have tried to find my feet, something I think I am still doing. It’s important to remember that you will not know everything once you graduate, and that is okay. It is a profession which is continuously changing and evolving and so you need to continue to learn and grow with it, continued study is essential to that. I try to attend talks and webinars about areas that interest me as well as those areas where I feel I may be lacking skills, in order to gain more confidence.
Veterinary Nursing is a very demanding but rewarding profession where the days can vary massively, you need to be able to wear many different hats and at time have more than two arms! One day you might be with the Vet in an orthopaedic surgery for hours on end and the next you could be at a desk swamped with paperwork.
If there’s one bit of advice I can give to a new graduate, don’t be too hard on yourself. I have loved it so far, but I have also had moments where I felt like I should have known more or have known how to deal with a particular situation. The important thing is that these moments are used as something to learn from.
Jema graduated from St. John’s Central College, Cork in November 2019 and currently works in a small animal veterinary clinic in Tipperary. Since graduation she has completed the Fear Free Veterinary Professional qualification, something she and her team believe wholeheartedly in, and has begun the top up Bachelor of Science with honours degree at Edinburgh Napier University as a distance learner. Area’s of particular interest are all things feline and a growing love/hate relationship with anaesthesia. When Jema is not working or studying, she can usually be found outside walking her dog, Phoebe, or gardening. She hates being cooped up in doors and says getting out for fresh air is a big part of her work life balance and help’s her maintain well-being.
To keep up to date with Jema you can follow her on Instagram @vetnursejema where she provides a behind the scenes look at her role along with highlighting the work of veterinary nurses.