"As a team, we are always there for each other and there’s a real focus on ensuring our wellbeing"

- Rhiannon Keen, head receptionist at White House Vets

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Can you tell us about yourself and how you came to work at White House Vets?

I came to White House Vets amid lockdown in 2020! It was a fairly unusual time to start. I had not long finished my level 3 animal management qualification and was so keen to get stuck into role working directly with animals. When this vacancy came up, I knew it would be popular, so I eagerly applied and ended up being fortunate enough to get the job. 

What motivates you to work in the veterinary industry? 

Kindness towards and caring for animals is a big part of my life, and these values are really important to me. I know that going to the vets is a daunting experience for some pets and owners, but if we can make it a better experience for them, that’s a win. 

Can you tell us more about the practice and the team, and what it’s like to work there? 

We are a small animal first-opinion practice in beautiful Malvern. On a typical day, we might have one vet consulting and one vet operating, but every day is different, so we keep our minds open to what the day might bring! 
 
As a small team, we all work closely together, and get on really well. Whenever we have anyone visit as students or on work experience, we get feedback that we’re a lovely and friendly bunch, and that we have the nicest clients!  

What are your favourite things about working at the practice? 

Seeing all the animals every day is the best thing! There’s always a happy, cuddly cat or dog here, which brings us joy. The team are great, everyone is supportive and we enjoy having a laugh.  
 
Our clients are great as well, we have a great rapport. They love being greeted by the friendly face of someone they know. I used to work in a pharmacy dealing with human medicine, which made me a bit apprehensive about returning to a customer-facing role, but speaking to the clients is one of the highlights of my day now. 

What do you feel the practice has to offer that someone thinking of joining might not know about? 

As a team, we support each other and there’s a real focus on ensuring our wellbeing. We get great support from our leadership team who are eager for us to develop our skills and for us to find enjoyment and fulfilment in our roles.  

Malvern is such a beautiful, scenic area, full of friendly people and happy pets! 

What do you enjoy about the local area? 

The Hills! It may be cliché, but it is just the best to have the hills on your doorstep. Having a hills walk is such a mental health boost, and a great doggy walk. 
 
The town itself is sprinkled with quirky, independent shops, cafes and bars.  

What hobbies and interests do you have?

A lot of my time is consumed by my house renovation! And training and walking my rescue staffy. I also love wild swimming, yoga and being in nature. 

What are you proudest of in your veterinary career so far?  

If you love animals, it’s hard to see them unwell and the losses can be hard. I feel proud in my own resilience, and the support I get from my team. I also take pride in caring for people’s pets, and knowing I’m helping to ensure the animals get the best care. Every experience is a way to learn how to comfort the next pet or owner.  
 
My role has developed over time as well and I’m proud to have continued my learning journey at the practice.

Tell us about your pets! 

My partner and I have a rescue staffy called Nacho! We got him from a rescue when he years old. It’s taking a lot of dedication with socialising him and training him. He is either so excitable he might just pop or very nervous. He’s a work in progress, but we love him! 
 
After we suddenly and traumatically lost our perfect, healthy rescue staffy Bandit, near Christmas 2021, it felt impossible to entertain having another dog any time soon. It was a very painful time and we still miss him so desperately. We met Nacho 13 months later and he has certainly flipped our world upside down! We are grateful for his chaos and love that he has brought to our lives! 
 
We also have a 2(ish) year old cat called Hermes, he came in to the practice after being found in a box in the woods. He wasn’t microchipped and no one claimed him, so he came home with me. He and has made it his life’s mission to be in the kitchen and eat our food, as often as he can. Hermes and Nacho are very sweet together, they will give each other a sniff and a lick and are sometimes spotted sharing a bed. Not quite cuddling, but I’m sure they will get there!