PDSA Senior Veterinary Surgeon
This is John, PDSA Senior Veterinary Surgeon.
To become a senior vet with PDSA you need to have a wealth of experience as a veterinary surgeon. As clinical team leader, you need to be good with people as well as pets!
"No two days are ever really the same, but every day I consult with clients and operate on sick and injured pet patients. I also have administrative responsibilities and look after the less experienced members of staff, helping them to develop their skills.
"Surgery can be both enjoyable and challenging. Many vets have areas of special interest - mine is in orthopaedic work. There is something about working with broken bones that I find rewarding, even though the surgery can be very complicated."
This is Sabine, PDSA Veterinary Surgeon.
Sabine worked for a private practice, before working for PDSA.
"I wanted to treat the pets of those who couldn't afford private treatment in the best way that I could, and PDSA offered me this opportunity. I have worked for PDSA for eight years and find working for a charity very fulfilling, challenging and rewarding. We offer a very important service to the sick and injured pets of vulnerable pet owners."
This is Jennine, PDSA Veterinary Nurse.
There are several ways to become a veterinary nurse but all involve clinically-based training of at least two years, working within an approved veterinary nurse training practice.
"My job is very varied and ranges from assisting the vets in all aspects of surgery, to doing laboratory work such as examining blood or urine samples. Work begins by helping to admit the inpatients for the day, or assisting the vet in the consulting room. As a qualified veterinary nurse, I prepare the animals for surgery.
Under the vet's direction, I can also perform some minor operations.
"My afternoons are usually taken up discharging the inpatients, and carrying out my own nurse clinics, again under the vet's direction. Being a veterinary nurse takes a lot of hard work and commitment but offers enormous job satisfaction. The best part is seeing animals getting better and knowing that we've played an important part in their recovery."
This is Steph, PDSA Head Nurse.
A PDSA head nurse must have managerial skills as well as clinical expertise so they can oversee and help the veterinary nurses within the PetAid hospital. PDSA financed Steph's veterinary nurse training. She did her on-the-job training at Huddersfield PDSA PetAid medical unit before applying for the post of Head Nurse here some five years later.
"The majority of my working day is divided between practical nursing and administration. I organise the veterinary nurse team, which involves allocating duties, regular team meetings, staff appraisals and training. A key part of the head nurse's role is to provide support to the nurses and veterinary surgeons and ensure the smooth running of the PetAid hospital."
This is Sharon, PDSA Nursing Auxiliary.
There are no specific academic qualifications required to be a nursing auxiliary, but a love of animals and a desire to work with and care for them is essential.
"I begin by checking on the inpatients in the kennels and cattery. Under the direction of the veterinary team, I feed the animals, clean out the cages, and generally help the veterinary nurses care for them. Each case is different, which makes my career very varied and different from that of my friends. I also sterilise the surgical instruments ready for the operations, and help the nurses as directed by the head nurse. I also do the laundry and general cleaning duties in the theatre preparation area.
"I applied for the job of nursing auxiliary at PDSA because of my love of animals. I wanted a practical job and one in which I could make a difference - and this ticks all the boxes. It's certainly not your typical nine-to-five job!"
This is Becky, PDSA Student Veterinary Nurse.
As part of their two-year training towards becoming a fully qualified veterinary nurse, student veterinary nurses carry out vocational training at an approved veterinary nurse training practice as part of their veterinary nurse course.
"I am a second-year student veterinary nurse. This means I have completed my NVQ Level 2 in veterinary nursing and am now working on NVQ Level 3. I have gained a lot of practical skills by working at PDSA because the work is so varied, interesting and challenging.
"I work closely with the qualified veterinary nurses and, under their supervision, I carry out and assist with a wide range of duties. Typically these include helping in the dispensary, assisting at the nurse's clinic, looking after inpatients and of course cleaning."
This is Val, PDSA PetAid hospital Receptionist.
Receptionists are the first point of contact for clients and their pets, whether it is over the telephone or face to face. There are no specific academic qualifications required, but receptionists must be efficient and friendly and enjoy communicating with people.
"My average day includes answering the telephone and booking clients in for appointments, registering new clients and some administration. Sometimes pet owners are upset when they arrive, especially if their pet is very ill, so another important part of my job is to provide reassurance that their pet will always receive the best care and attention at a PDSA PetAid hospital."
This is James, PDSA PetAid hospital Manager.
Post-holders must have good management skills and experience, and previous experience of managing a team is essential, although it doesn't have to be within the veterinary profession.
"I provide managerial and administrative support to the Senior Vet and Head Nurse, and I am line manager for our cleaners, receptionists and animal care auxiliaries. I have responsibility for three PDSA sites in West Yorkshire - two PetAid hospitals and one PetAid medical unit, where I oversee the health and safety directives. My normal week would consist of two days at each PetAid hospital and one day at the PetAid medical unit. Each day is varied and can range from organising the repair of a leaky gutter to interviewing a potential new employee."