"Coming into a practice that was so supportive of its nurses and being part of this team really helped me come out of my shell"

- RVN Emily Frost

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Could you tell us about yourself and how you become a nurse?

I have only ever really wanted to be a vet nurse. From around the age of five, I knew that I wanted to do this job, so all the choices I’ve made with my education were focused on getting me where I am today. I've always had a keen interest in animals but also felt like it was a role that was suited to myself and my attributes, and I committed to making that happen. I actually didn't get into university straight away. I did everything I could and got in touch with the course directly and ended up getting accepted for an interview, so I managed to get in that way.

I started at Highcliff around April 2018 after I’d finished my final exams. I was still technically a student when I started, and it did feel daunting at first because it's a considerably bigger practice than where I’d done my training. 

The way the practice utilises the nurses was just something I'd never seen as much before, and although I was nervous it was exciting to see that too. In the end, I absolutely loved that opportunity just to jump in and I got stuck in. I think that start made me the nurse I am today. 

Before I was a nervous person, I wouldn't really talk to many people, and I was quite anxious. I didn't have a lot of self-belief but coming into a practice that was so supportive of its nurses and being part of this team really helped me come out of my shell. 

I couldn’t see myself working anywhere else because of the team here. I’ve gone from strength to strength and now I'll talk to anyone! I'm confident in myself and in my skills. I’ve become a better nurse because of that support, and I’ve become a more outgoing and outspoken person as well. 

The team has evolved a lot since I've worked here, and we’ve really become one cohesive unit. I have so much support from my team, and if there was ever a day where I felt anxious or anything, there would always be someone to support me. It’s a very caring team and has really helped me develop my skills. I feel lucky that I’m part of a team that nurtures your development in that way. 

Can you tell us more about your day-to-day at Highcliff?

We have lots of different roles that we move between on the nursing team, so there’s a great variety. Every day will be different. You can be doing anything from supporting procedures in theatre, monitoring anaesthetics, to doing lab work. We really pride ourselves on our patient care, including our inpatient care. 
I have a passion for rabbit care; rabbits are my thing! I absolutely love them, so working on making us as rabbit friendly as possible and getting everyone on the team onboard has been a priority for me. 
Everyone gets the opportunity to utilise all our skills, there's nothing within the nursing remit that we don't do! We’re very open to trying new things too and getting the best out of the team. 

What does it mean to become a rabbit friendly practice?

We’ve applied this year to be accredited by the Rabbit Welfare Association Fund as a rabbit-friendly practice. It’s like the International Society of Feline Medicine’s Cat-Friendly Clinic programme, but for rabbits. We have just applied for the silver accreditation with the RWAF and are waiting back get our confirmation which is exciting! 

We have such a wide range of knowledge across the team, we are seeing more rabbits coming in, and not just for the typical neutering procedures, it’s a real variety of different procedures. 

For me, it's something I really wanted to push because I think rabbits are becoming more popular as pets, and people are becoming more aware of their needs and how they actually require more than just a little hutch in the garden. I’m passionate about education for owners, as well as being the best we can be in-house to make us adept at dealing with these cases. 

What, for you, makes the team so special?

The team itself has developed a lot over the years that I’ve been working here. I think when we all had to work so closely during lockdowns that shaped us, although I think it naturally would have progressed in that direction anyway - but we are a tight, friendly team. We aren’t just colleagues; we really care about each other. 

Although the veterinary industry can be very high-pressure, I don't ever dread coming to work here, I'm always excited to catch up on what everyone was doing at the weekend and to be in that positive environment. It feels special and I think is a rare and valuable thing. For me that’s why I've stayed for so long, I feel very supported here, not just by my immediate team members, but also by those in leadership roles too.

We have a lot of clients that we've known for years, who we’re on a first-name basis with, as it were. It's a very friendly area. Our clients often pop in some biscuits or snacks to say thank you for our work!

What’s the local area like?

It’s a nice peaceful area. There are a couple of pubs that we sometimes go to for meals, especially in summer. We like to get together when we can as a team outside of work, even if it's just a drink in a pub garden. I live in Ipswich which is a large town, but there are some lovely walks that I take the dog on, and it is a peaceful place to be. It’s very picturesque.

Opportunities at Highcliff Vets

We are a great modern practice based in a pretty Suffolk market town. Join the IVC Evidensia Graduate Academy 2023 and find the very best start to your Veterinary career. 

Find out more & apply today


We are excited to offer the opportunity to join our fantastic, talented, and committed team of vets, nurses, and support staff at our Brantham practice in the beautiful Constable Country, with flexible working that offers real flex 

Find out more & apply today

Highcliff Vets are looking for a motivated and enthusiastic veterinary surgeon to join our team on a permanent basis.  Ideally you will be a small animal vet who is confident with routine medical and surgical cases and is looking to progress in their career.

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Get in touch

If you are interested in finding out more about our exciting job opportunities, our talent team will be happy to talk in confidence about the different options available to you.

Contact Talent Partner Taylor Findlay: taylor.findlay@ivcevidensia.com