What personal attributes do you need to be a veterinary nurse?

Written by: vet times jobs
Published on: 8 May 2019

Veterinary nurses

Image ©iStock.com/urbancow

A career in veterinary nursing can be incredibly rewarding, especially for those who love both animals and people.

But having the academic qualification is not all you need – you’ll also need to have the personal attributes that go with being a veterinary nurse to succeed.

Are you calm?

One key attribute vet nurses need is to be calm. Anything can happen in a surgery and the vet will need to know you can remain calm in any given situation.

Can you exercise resilience?

It goes without saying you need to be an animal lover, but do you also have the ability to separate your emotions from the task at hand?

Seeing animals euthanised, or suffer from an illness or accident, can be extremely difficult to experience, especially for passionate animal lovers.

Are you capable of being resilient and separating your own feelings to get on with the job? Veterinary nurses need to exercise a fine balance between being caring and rational.

Are you confident?

You may think being a veterinary nurse means you will be instructed at every turn by the vet, but you will actually need to have the confidence to make your own decisions at many points of every working day.

You’ll need to be both confident and assertive to become a veterinary nurse, someone who can take responsibility for his or her decisions and actions.

Nurses are responsible for taking blood tests, administering medicine, and checking vital statistics and, in some cases, diagnostics. Areas you may need to act assertively also include speaking to pet owners.

Are you hard-working?

Veterinary nurses work incredibly hard. There’s not much time in the day to sit down and, in the case of surgery, you may end up working over your designated hours.

Veterinary nurses need to be prepared for hard work, which includes plenty of physical demands.

Becoming a veterinary nurse is a wonderful career choice for those who love caring for animals, but, whether you go for the apprenticeship route or gain a degree in veterinary nursing, you’ll need to possess the aforementioned personal skills to be a success.