You may not always need to see the vet, there are many things that our nurses can help you with. We can offer nurse appointments for things such as nail clipping and anal gland expression. Our nurses also carry out most post op check ups as well as dental checks, weight clinics or general pet care advice.
Our nurses can also triage your patient to see if they need to see a vet. We can do this if you are not sure whether your pet actually needs a vet appointment - often the receptionist can advise you which option is best. We may also get you to see the nurse if we do think you need to see a vet immediately but there are no vet appointments available. If this is the case, the nurse will assess your pet first and pass on the information to the vet. The nurse can assess how quickly we need to get the vet to see you.
We are a nurse training practice. This means we must meet certain standards regarding nursing care. All of our nurses are either fully qualified and registered, or they are progressing through the levels of training. Students are always monitored and guided through the process by qualified staff, and are only allowed to undertake tasks when we are happy they meet a suitable standard. The training level of our nursing team is indicated on their name badges and on their left sleeve.
Our nurses all fall into one of the following categories:
Registered Veterinary Nurse (RVN)
These nurses are fully qualified and registered with the RCVS. They must maintain their knowledge by completing ongoing training sessions every year (called CPD - Continued Professional Development). They must follow the RCVS Code of Professional Conduct and are fully responsible for the actions that they take.
Student Veterinary Nurse (SVN)
These nurses are registered as a student with the RCVS, and are registered on a veterinary nursing qualification at college. As well as attending college, completing assignments and sitting written and practical exams, they must also complete an extensive log of practical tasks carried out in practice. Each student is assigned a Clinical Coach, who is a qualified member of staff (either an RVN or a vet) who has also completed additional Clinical Coach training. This person is responsible for making sure the student is ready to perform the various tasks throughout their training. Students must follow the RCVS Code of Professional Conduct, but qualified members of staff are ultimately responsible for the actions of the students.
Nursing assisstants are not registered with the RCVS, and may or may not be working towards a qualification. They will usually work for a period of time before starting a qualification to get used to the job, and ensure it is the right career for them. During this time they will general be assigned to reception work and cleaning tasks to help take some of the work load off the RVNs and SVNs. If it is right for them, they will then start a Nursing Assistant qualification which, like for SVNs involves attending college, completing assignments, sitting exams and completing a log of practical tasks. Our nursing assistants usually move onto the SVN course once they have completed the nursing assistant training.