Ask the Kent vet
PUBLISHED: 16:54 02 April 2016 | UPDATED: 16:54 02 April 2016
Andrew Wills, veterinary surgeon and owner at Toachim House Veterinary Surgery in Faversham, on how to distinguish different job roles at your local vets
Q: The staff at my local vets are all dressed differently, how can I tell who is qualified?”
Quite often Vets and Veterinary Nurses are dressed differently. Veterinary surgeons usually wear a name badge to help us identify them. There used to be a Veterinary Nurse standard uniform of a stripy green dress for trainees and a bottle-green dress for qualified. Thankfully, uniforms have now progressed into comfortable, more practical workwear. It is the choice of the individual practice how they like their staff to dress.
It is very important, however, that we can identify qualified staff. Veterinary Nurses have to go through a lot of training and sit exams to become qualified. When they are qualified and registered with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), they have to continually learn and attend courses to ensure they are aware of changes and are knowledgeable about new medicines and diseases. This ongoing study is constantly monitored by the RCVS to ensure high standards.
The Veterinary Nurse’s oath is: “I promise and solemnly declare that I will pursue the work of my profession with integrity and accept my responsibilities to the public, my clients, the profession and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and that, above all, my constant endeavour will be to ensure the health and welfare of animals committed to my care.”
Qualified Veterinary Nurses receive a badge with Saint Francis, patron Saint of animals, on the front. This badge is unique to each nurse and has their qualification number on the back. It should be worn on their uniform. If you see this badge displayed, you can be sure the person is qualified. If you are looking at a website or a staff board and you see ‘RVN’ you know the individual is qualified and registered with the RCVS.
The job title Veterinary Nurse can be used by individuals who have not studied or taken the exams and they are able to work in practice the same as qualified veterinary nurses.
In our practice we only employ Qualified RVN’s as we feel strongly that these dedicated, highly trained individuals make such a difference to the care given and they always ensure high standards are maintained. If it is important to you who takes care of your pet, don’t be afraid to ask.