Veterinary nurses provide support to veterinarians in the management and care of animals receiving medical and/or surgical treatment. They may also be involved in the management of the staff, and financial and technical resources of a veterinary practice, animal hospital or similar treatment facility.
Duties & Tasks
Veterinary nurses may perform the following tasks:
- assist veterinarians during consultations, examinations and treatments
- coordinate patient admission and discharge
- care for hospitalised animals, including wound management and bandaging support, feeding and exercising
- assist with surgery preparations by clipping and shaving fur or hair, swabbing skin, and administering and monitoring anaesthesia
- provide surgical support by handling instruments, swabbing blood, monitoring oxygen and intravenous fluids and providing post-operative care
- perform diagnostic laboratory tests (including urine, faecal and blood tests) and assist veterinarians to produce diagnostic radiographs
- assist with procedures involving radiography, ultrasound, endoscopy and electrocardiography
- give medication to animals under the direction of a veterinarian
- maintain hygiene by cleaning and disinfecting animal cages, floors, benchtops, consulting rooms, waiting rooms and surgeries
- sterilise instruments, dressings and other equipment
- maintain stock control of medicines, bandages, cotton wool, syringes and other equipment
- maintain equipment to be in good working order
- perform reception duties, including answering the telephone, making appointments, preparing accounts, accepting payments and writing receipts
- provide animal care information on nutrition, parasite control and behaviour
- educate owners about responsible pet ownership and maintaining the health and wellbeing of their pets
- record and maintain clinical and office records of animals attending the surgery (usually on a computer).
Veterinary nurses work as part of a team in veterinary consulting rooms, surgeries and hospitals. They generally work under strict clinical conditions. Working hours may be irregular, including evening and weekend work.
- enjoy working with animals
- able to handle animals with confidence and patience
- able to make accurate observations
- good communication skills
- good organisational skills
- able to work as part of a team.