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Jenny Gandy - vet nurse

What do you enjoy most about your role?

My dream growing up, playing with the 'Animal Hospital' ambulance or playing vet with my cat Barney, was to work for the RSPCA. That is all I've ever wanted to do. I had a brief stint in private practice but it didn't suit me. The RSPCA and its values are what I live and breathe on a daily basis.

Working for the RSPCA is challenging, varied and very rewarding. Demand can be testing but everyone is compassionate and committed to the animals. No two days are the same. Caring for the animals who need you the most, treating them, nursing them better so they can go on to be rehomed or helping them along the way while they are under our care for neglect reasons. The RSPCA is flexible and family friendly, and has helped me restart my vet nursing career after returning from maternity leave.

What do you find challenging?

It's a highly emotionally charged job and I see animals that are in poor body condition and hear terrible stories regarding their backgrounds. But it just makes you more passionate and driven to help that animal, relieve any suffering and to make them feel safe and loved.

What does an average day look like?

An average day for me starts off with a ward round in the morning to see what inpatients we have in, if any medication is due to be given and to check staff and assign them to areas for the day. We have a ward round at 8am with all staff including the Hospital Assistants, Vet Nurses and Vets. I usually help in theatre, where we operate all day on cats, dogs, ferrets and rabbits. They are usually admitted for neutering, dentals, X-rays or investigations such as bloods and ultrasound. The vets are really good at letting the vet nurses get involved so there are always things for the nurses to do such as intubating patients, placing ivs, prepping for surgeries, wound management, fluid therapy and producing feeding plans. Sometimes I help out in the wards looking after the dogs, cats, or isolation wards, also cleaning, feeding, medicating, updating medical records, and liaising with the vets regarding the inpatients. Sometimes I'll go off site to boarding establishments to carry out health checks and second vaccinations.


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