A Day in the Life of A Vet Nurse

When I consulted my friends list what I should write about for my first entry in the LJ Idol they recommended that I write about my job, so if I am voted out in the first round, I am blaming you.

I am currently spending my working life as a veterinary nurse (or vet tech as they are called in the US). I work at a small animal practice that employs two vets and two nurses. For most of my shift, it is just me and the vet. It can be highly stressful and frustrating, but for some reason, I love it. I think I like the unpredictability of it all. I never know what is going to happen when I head into work. Anything can come through the door and they usually choose the most inappropriate time to do so.

Being a vet nurse is not just playing with cute puppies and kittens, that is only 1% of my job. Most of my job is boring and uninteresting cleaning. Cleaning of shit-filled cages, cleaning of bloody surgerical instruments – if it is gross and needs to be cleaned, I clean it. But I also get to do interesting things like assisting in surgeries from routine desexes to pulling strange and weird objects out of dogs’ intestines. So far my odd objects recovered include a pin cushion with 9 pins, a g-string, part of a rubber ball and a pair of stockings. I give injections and am learning to do blood draws.

Then comes the part of the job I really love… playing with cute kittens and puppies. My clinic takes in dumped and surrendered kittens, does the vet work and then adopts them out. This involves rehabilitating former feral kittens into human-loving, family ready kitties. It means that sometimes, on rare occasions, my assigned job is to go and cuddle kittens, to carry them around with me as I go about my daily tasks and introduce them to our clients for much needed human interaction.

I have also had the rare privilege of spending a day walking around with a baby possum in my cleavage. Let me tell you that it isn’t anywhere near as cuddly and fun as it sounds, but people’s reaction to a possum poking its head out of your shirt is rather amusing.

So there it is, my job. I am a vet nurse, kennel-hand, cleaner, receptionist, dog groomer, animal behaviourist and laboratory assistant. It isn’t a bad way to spend your working life.


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