A quick chat with vet nurse Laura Marlow
Laura, 27, from Cheshire, graduated in 2011 with a BSc (Hons) Veterinary Nursing and Practice Management. She now works at Ashcroft Veterinary Practice.
Can you tell us a little about your job as a veterinary nurse?
I am part of the veterinary nursing team at Ashcroft. The company has five vets, five nurses and four receptionists and is small animal based. The job involves all nursing roles – surgical, medical and inpatient. I also play an active role in nursing clinics, out of hours emergency nursing and laboratory duties.
How did you find out about the job?
I was head hunted from my old practice by a vet that works at my new practice. I had to have two interviews; one by the head nurse and one by the practice manager/owner.
What skills/experience was your employer looking for?
All the relevant nursing skills mentioned above, as well as the ability to work confidently as an individual and as part of a team. I needed to have passed NVQ level 2 + 3 in veterinary nursing, and to be a fully registered and qualified nurse.
What advice do you have for a student interested in following a similar career path?
If you’re interested in a similar career path you should definitely go for it! There are lots of jobs out there for veterinary nursing and practice managers, and the veterinary business is constantly changing so more and more jobs are becoming available, such as complementary therapies – animal physiotherapy.
Some prospective students ask whether there is a future in the rural sector, and wonder if their career will be limited? What careers, in your experience, are available to land-based graduates?
There is definitely a future in the rural sector! The career sector is open to a huge number of jobs including veterinary nursing, farm/estate managers, charted surveyors, food and business managers, crop and agriculture roles, forestry work, etc. The list goes on!
Why did you choose to study at Harper Adams?
The campus life seemed very appealing and the course offered exactly what I wanted. The practical aspects of the course were great as they allowed you to practice ‘hands on skills’ that are vital for our job.
Where did you work on placement?
Beech House Veterinary Clinic as a Student Veterinary Nurse. I performed all nursing aspects – medical, surgical and inpatient nursing, nurse clinics, laboratory and reception duties and practice management roles. Placement allows you to really see the nature of your job you intend to pursue after you graduate and also make valuable contacts for future references.
Did it help your long-term prospects?
I learnt a lot of valuable skills necessary to become the nurse I am today. It enabled me to see just how a nurse can influence a practice, and helped me see that a veterinary practice can be owned and run by a vet nurse!
How did you find the teaching at Harper Adams?
Excellent and very supportive.
And the facilities?
Excellent - especially now the Faccenda student centre has been built!
What were the highlights of your time at uni?
Meeting some fabulous friends I’ll have for life and enjoying every minute of both the social and academic activities you have there! Being part of a BIG university social network, working hard and playing harder!