Finding fulfilment: vet Laura on her journey to joining Oakfield Vets and the supportive team she’s found there

Vet surgeon Laura Owen gives her insights into the diverse and supportive team culture at Oakfield Vets, the daily joys of working with the animals there, and the opportunities for professional growth within the practice.

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Could you share a bit about your career path and how you came to Oakfield Vets?

I started my career at a small animal clinic in Leicester. They were great, but as a new graduate, I would have benefitted from more support. I decided it was too far from home, so I moved to a clinic in Staffordshire for my second job. Unfortunately, it wasn't a positive experience. I began to reconsider if working in the veterinary industry was right for me. That's when the job at Oakfield came up, which was in a better location and looked like it could be a much more positive experience. It felt like a make-or-break situation for my veterinary career. That’s when I joined IVC Evidensia, and I loved it. The team is fantastic, and everything fell into place for me, and I've been here for four years now!

What motivates you to work in the veterinary industry, and what do you enjoy about your job?

It's a bit cliché, but I genuinely love animals. Whether it's a cute puppy or a cat – although I'm definitely a cat person. What I find fulfilling is that every day is different. The job challenges me intellectually with diagnostic conundrums, requires constant learning, and involves collaborating with specialists. Each day presents unique opportunities, and I thrive on that.

Can you tell me about the practice and what it's like working there?

We have three clinics, and each one has a slightly different dynamic, but all the teams are fantastic. I can go to any clinic, and I know the nurses and fellow vets are part of the team with me. Emma, our clinical director, is always supportive. The common factor across our practices is the strength of the team.

Are there any special areas of interest that team members have at the practice?

Our areas of individual interest are really supported and encouraged. For example, one nurse focuses on the behaviour side of things, including behaviour clinics, another is into dental care, and we have team members interested in surgery and exotics. Personally, I like a bit of everything – echoes, surgery, and even some exotics.

Considering you've been at the practice for a while, what makes this team special, and why have you chosen to stay?

It’s an incredibly welcoming and supportive environment. Everyone makes an effort to welcome and include others. I appreciate the positive atmosphere here and I enjoy working with such good people. It's a significant factor in why I plan to continue to stay!

What benefits have you found as an individual from being at a practice that’s part of the IVC Evidensia network?

In addition to the benefits and rewards etc, for me the main thing is the support structure is reassuring. Knowing there's that support across the network, and if we were to need someone to turn to if needed is a comfort.

Can you share a bit about the local area for someone considering joining the practice, especially in Alveston?

Alveston is a small, market rural village that's growing but not too small. It's on the cusp of various places, offering plenty of walking spots. The clients are generally friendly, making it a pleasant area to work in.

If someone was thinking of applying to join Oakfield in Atherston, what would you want them to know about working there?

The team is ready to welcome someone who wants to join us. There’s a lot of support for developing clinical skills, if you’re someone who clicks with the team, enjoys their work, and is willing to be part of what we do – there could be a great opportunity here for you.

Looking at your career, what are you most proud of so far?

I really enjoy teaching and sharing knowledge, contributing to the growth of newer colleagues. Seeing them succeed in their careers is immensely fulfilling. I get a lot of joy out of supporting my colleagues in their learning, and I hope to pursue that area of my work even more.

Outside of work, do you have any hobbies or interests?

My life revolves around my animals – a dog named Cedric, three cats named Belle, Tiana, Esmeralda, and a snake named Marvolo. I also practice jujitsu.