Veterinary Nursing: Job Description
Veterinary Nurses assist Veterinarians in all aspects of patient care, including:
Medical treatment and hospitalisation
A large part of your job is the education of pet owners. So you’ll also need great communication and people skills to impart important pet care information.
To be a successful Vet Nurse you will also need:
A good foundation in Maths and English
Ability to work as part of a team
Ability to follow directions and think for yourself
Excellent observational skills
(as most clinics are computerised)
Confidence handling a variety of animal species.
And, of course, you’ll need to enjoy working with animals!
A day in the life of a Vet Nurse
Veterinary Nurses perform a huge array of tasks in the clinic.
The exact tasks you’ll need to undertake will depend on your experience, qualifications, and the type of clinic you’re working in – whether it’s a small, large or mixed animal practice, a general practice or a specialist centre (such as a 24-hour emergency centre, or working with registered veterinary specialists). Your day could include:
- Animal restraint during procedures and examinations
- Preparing patients for surgery
- Assisting with surgery (by holding instruments, etc.)
- Booking appointments
- Handling phone queries
- Monitoring patients under anaesthetic
- Obtaining pathology samples and performing diagnostic tests
- Administering first aid to animals
- Administering medication to patients under direction
- Caring for hospitalised animals
- Responding to and recognising emergencies
- Obtaining and recording patient vital signs
- Giving advice to clients on a multitude of topics
- Assisting with radiography
- Assisting with pet euthanasia
- Lots and lots of cleaning!
Your typical working week
- Most nurses work Monday to Friday with some overtime as required.
- However, you should expect to work long shifts, with weekend and even after hours work common – again this varies from clinic to clinic. Many clinics are open on the weekends, and it’s not unusual to be rostered regularly on weekends.
- If you work for a 24/7 emergency centre, night shifts are often required.
Compensation for a job well done
- The majority of Veterinary Nurses are employed under the ‘Animal Care and Veterinary Services Award 2010’. A copy of this award can be found at on the FairWork site. It details information about wages and other working conditions you can expect as a veterinary nurse.
- Generally speaking, veterinary nursing pay is scaled to your qualification and experience, so there are immediate benefits to being a qualified nurse through our Nationally Recognised Training courses
- The reward of seeing an animal come back to health!
- Many clinics also offer great staff discounts on veterinary care.