Behind the scenes: head nurse Emma's passion for the very best care

Dedicated head nurse Emma shares her path to joining Bridge Vets, Portlethen, and the driving force behind her passion for veterinary care. She offers insights into the dynamic environment and diverse cases the team handle. Caring is part of her work and home life, with a beloved rescue dog that requires continuous nursing care.

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Can you tell us about yourself and how you came to work at the practice?

After completing my HND in Animal Care in 2013, I then undertook a level 3 Diploma in Small Animal Veterinary Nursing with SRUC Aberdeen in 2016. I volunteered with Bridge Vets initially, then went on to come here for my placement, and upon completing my training in 2018, I was thrilled to accept a full-time role here, and I’m now head nurse.

What drives you in your work?

What motivates me is the opportunity to improve animal welfare that’s a core part of my work, and the excitement of encountering a diverse range of cases.

Can you share more about the practice and what it’s like to work there?

We’re a dynamic and friendly team with a lot of different areas of interest including dermatology, dentistry, exotics and internal medicine. We operate seamlessly across all the practice branches, fostering a supportive and collaborative environment.

What kinds of cases do you see at the practice?

We predominantly handle small animal cases, with some exotic cases too. We conduct surgeries, including both elective and emergency procedures, five days a week.

What do you like most about working at the practice?

The variety of cases keeps me engaged, and I enjoy the opportunity to explore further my areas of interest. Recently, I completed my NCert in Dentistry, and I'm looking to complete another certificate next year. There’s great support for further learning and development here.

We are lucky enough to see a real variety of cases. There’s a real emphasis here on a healthy work/life balance, with no out-of-hours commitments. There are also lots of opportunities to pursue certifications, supported by our strong network of local referral facilities.

What advice would you give to aspiring veterinarians or vet nurses?

Get as much work experience as you can, find out what areas interest you the most and see where opportunities lie within these areas.

What is a common misconception people have about working in the veterinary world?

That it’s all about cuddling puppies and kittens! We work hard, but the work is very rewarding. You know you’re making a difference, every day.

What do you like about the local area?

We’re based in Portlethen which is just outside Aberdeen, so we benefit from great beaches, forests, and parks, perfect for nice walks and outdoor adventures. There’s also a variety of live entertainment venues and excellent options for food and drink.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I like walking the dogs, swimming, and enjoying the theatre and live music.

What are you proudest of in your working life so far?

Achieving my NCert in dentistry and becoming head nurse within just five years of qualification which feels like a big milestone!

Tell us about your pets!

Bandit is a nine-year-old Lurcher, rescued in 2016 from SSPCA. He’s the most handsome boy and he knows it! He loves to chase his sisters when he isn’t snoozing under his duvet all day. Zoe is a six-year-old Lurcher, rescued in 2018. She’s a bit of a goofball, food-obsessed and will only run if she has to (or hears a food wrapper). She loves sunbathing and walks if the weather is nice – but she isn’t a fan of the rain.  

Finally, there’s Lexi who is a four-year-old Lurcher, rescued in 2020. She was a failed foster after she was abandoned with a broken leg…she was only meant to stay for a few weeks but decided I was her forever home! She loves to run and dig up big stones on the beach. She’s currently on a rehab program for a spinal injury so I’m her nurse 24/7 but she is worth every minute.