I’ve been at Mulberry Vets
for nearly two years. I actually first came to the practice as a client with my own animals, as it was my local vets. When I was doing my nurse training I worked at a few other places, but once I qualified I decided to get in touch back and find out if they’d be interested in me joining the team as an RVN, and I was able to get a position here as part of the team.
What was it that motivated you to become a nurse?
I knew that I wanted to either work as a vet surgeon or a vet nurse, but I didn't fully understand at that point what it meant to be a vet nurse. I did some work experience at multiple different vets and realised I preferred what the nurses were doing, so at that point, I decided I wanted to be a vet nurse because nurses have a lot more hands-on with the animals. In my day-to-day, I do get to spend a lot of time with the animals which is what I enjoy.
You came to the practice first as a client and from that experience knew you wanted to work there, so what was it about Mulberry that made you want to stay?
All of the vets and the nurses that I met were really, really friendly and they remembered my animals. The receptionists were always really nice too, and it was a welcoming atmosphere.
The environment in the waiting room was very calm, so my animals weren't made more stressed – I’ve seen other practices which don’t have those measures in place, and which are more chaotic. It was clear that the practice did everything they could to make it easier for the animals to be there.
My animals liked coming in and enjoyed seeing the vets, so knowing the animals approved made me confident I would too!
Can you tell us more about the team?
We all work together very well. We have everyone from student nurses, RVNs, vet surgeons, student vets, and people on work experience. Everyone gets involved with teaching and sharing knowledge.
Within the nursing team, we have a variety of different interests, and you will always find someone with the relevant knowledge if you have a question about something. Myself and another nurse, Katy have achieved the ISFM certificate in feline behaviour so we’re the ‘cat nurses’, then there are a couple of nurses who focus on dog behaviour, and one of the student nurses loves guinea pigs! The vets have different areas that they're interested in as well, so if you ever have questions about anything, there's always someone who knows or has an interest in that area.
What was it that made you want to complete the ISFM certificate in feline behaviour?
I love cats, that is the main thing! I think that they're not always understood very well. A lot of people have common sense regarding dog behaviour, but they don't necessarily have the same common sense towards cats and cats behave in a very different way to dogs.
There is a misconception that cats act with negative emotions such as anger or meanness, but in reality those behaviours show they're scared or that something else going on. My cats have amazing, totally different personalities from each other and you often see that with dogs, but I don't think people understand that it is the same for cats.
I love spending time with cats, helping people understand their cats and what their cats need so they can be closer to them and are able to understand what they’re asking for. For example, pet guardians may come to us because they think their cat is weeing somewhere out of spite, when it’s actually because of a simple environmental factor that has upset the cat, and you can fix it easily which makes everyone happy. Being able to help like that is wonderful.
What do you enjoy doing in the local area?
I like walking into town to the market, as we’re situated in a lovely, small market town. The practice itself is on the edge of the water meadows. So if you look out the windows you can see dogs running around and having a great time. At the moment it's quite flooded in the meadows, so lots of dogs are jumping in and out of the water. It's beautiful. A lot of people go for walks there, or you can walk into town and there's the market to visit several times a week which has so many different things,. We’re not far from Colchester Zoo, and there's quite a lot of different towns nearby with easy access to shopping and things, which is also good.
What do you enjoy most about being a nurse at Mulberry?
We are involved in so many aspects of care. We might be the person who's actually booked a dog in for something and then we see them and follow that journey through until they go home.
We get to know clients and see them regularly as part of our consults - one of the other nurses does puppy parties, so she gets to enjoy all that chaos and fun! But for me it’s that we are involved in everything. We do the lab work, nursing consults, monitoring anaesthetics, and we help with teaching. It’s great because not everywhere has the facilities to let nurses follow what they’re passionate about like this, whereas we get to be very involved.
What are you proud of that you've achieved so far in your work as a nurse at Mulberry?
Finishing my feline behaviour certificate, and I'm currently studying feline nursing as well. I'm proud of that, and helping the practise to become more cat friendly. We’re actually in the process of becoming accredited by the ISFM Cat Friendly Clinic scheme, which I and another nurse have been working on. So that's that is something I'm very pleased about, and I know we’ve made a definite difference to the experience for our feline patients.
What do you like to do after work to unwind?
I go home and I play with my cats! We hang out and watch TV. I do pole dancing as a form of exercise, so when I get home the cats sit on the sofa and watch me.
What would you want something thinking about joining the practice team to know about what it's like to work there?
Every day is different, and the team are amazing. Everyone is so friendly, and it doesn't matter if you're vegan or vegetarian or whatever, there will always be the right milk for you in the fridge. There's always snacks that you can eat too! We welcome everyone, and you can just be yourself because there's a lot of different personalities and it doesn't matter who you are or what you like doing, as long as you are there to be part of our team, caring for the animals.