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Training to be a nurse
Training as a nurse is challenging:
It can take up to four years to qualify.
It requires commitment and an ability to study whilst working full time.
You have to be prepared to go away to college in the UK for several weeks at a time, up to four times a year.
A trainee nurse’s pay reflects the fact you are still training and not qualified.
Locally, there is intense competition for places, and New Era Veterinary Hospital is the only accredited Training Practice on Jersey.
You must have a minimum of 5 GCSE’s at Grade C or higher – including, Maths, English Language, and a Science subject – or an Animal Nursing Assistant (ANA) qualification, or Veterinary Care Assistant (VCA) qualification.
Despite these hurdles, being a Veterinary Nurse is an immensely rewarding career. Our nursing team truly is the backbone of the practice. As individuals they combine a genuine, heartfelt compassion for the animals under their care, with a high level of technical expertise and clinical ability. As well as nursing in general practice, other career paths can be developed; such as, specialising in one area, going into the pharmaceutical or food industry, getting involved in Practice Management, or charity work, to name but a few.
Training to be a vet
Veterinary medicine offers a career that is challenging, diverse, immensely rewarding and never dull. Every single working day will provide something new and different. As well as general practice, a veterinary degree can lead to careers in research, food and drug industries, military service, specialisation in a particular clinical area, teaching and academia, government work, and even TV! However, it is very difficult and competitive to get a place at University. The degree course is five years (six at Cambridge). Once qualified, hours are often long, unpredictable and usually involve night work and being “on call”. Excellent people skills are as important as academic ability. The work can be immensely stressful and pay is significantly lower than other professions. So, do not go down this path without considerable thought and gain as much work experience as possible to be sure you are choosing the right career.
University Entry Requirements:
Most universities expect a good range of GCSE subjects, including English Language, Sciences and Maths. You should be aiming for A grades.
A Levels: Biology and two others from Chemistry, Physics or Maths. Minimum grades will be two As and a B, but most require three A grades. Some universities might accept a different, third choice A level in a non-science but academic subject.
Work Experience. Evidence of gaining work experience in veterinary practice and handling animals, including equine and livestock, is essential. The more the better and the greater your chance of being given a place at university.
Finally, when considering this career path, don’t forget the financial burden. The length and nature of the course makes it one of the most expensive degrees to undertake. This problem is compounded by the fact that during holidays you will have to spend most of your time gaining work experience, reducing the practical viability of getting a paid job to help finance your studies.
Go to The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons website for more details on training to be a vet.
We are delighted to encourage students who are interested in pursuing a career in veterinary practice. Being a vet or a nurse is an immensely rewarding career, but they are both challenging jobs, requiring exceptional levels of commitment during training and when qualified. It is therefore very important to gain an insight into the nature of the work in order to be sure that you are embarking on the right career path.
We offer two places on the Project Trident scheme; one at Archway and the other at New Era. Information on the scheme is best accessed from your school website.
Since we receive many enquiries about gaining work experience, we ask that you apply in writing, explaining why you are interested in gaining work experience at the Hospital and which career you are hoping to follow.
We always try to accommodate genuinely interested students, but due to demand, sometimes there may be a delay before we can take you on. A member of staff should have contacted you within 2 weeks of a written application.
Please address your letter to Kerry Bassett V.N, Head Nurse, New Era Veterinary Hospital, Victoria Road, St Saviour, Jersey, JE2 7QG, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please bear in mind the following points:
The nature of the work means that you must be at least 15 years old (exceptions will occasionally be made for Project Trident students).
There are only a few areas where you can perform practical tasks. Consequently, much of your time will be spent standing and watching. You will be allowed and encouraged to go into the operating theatre, to see operations being performed close-up (you will need to change into theatre “scrubs” which will be provided). Please don’t be inhibited in asking questions; vets and nurses love talking about their job and about the animals and problems they are treating. Remember this is a fantastic opportunity to find out as much as you can about the career to which you are thinking about devoting a significant part of your life.
An area where help is always appreciated is with cleaning kennels and looking after the basic needs of the inpatients. This is a critical part of animal care that will bring you into close contact with the patients.
Please pay attention to the Health and Safety briefing. There are many potential hazards in a Veterinary Practice, ranging from radiation from x-rays to being bitten by a patient.