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How to become a Vet Nurse

Vet Nurse
avg. starting salary

Want to help all creatures great, small, and/or otherwise? You should become a Vet Nurse… Vet Nurses help care for sick or injured animals who are receiving treatment at a veterinary practice. In addition to carrying out practical tasks such as x-rays, blood tests, and vaccinations, a Vet Nurse’s role also involves sympathising and communicating with owners, which allows them to determine the problem, assist a Vet in giving treatment, and educating customers on what they can do to aid their pet’s recovery. Whether they’re working at a private vet, an animal hospital, a zoo, or an animal welfare charity – a Vet Nurse is always invested in the wellbeing and healthy recovery of pets in their care. Other duties for a Vet Nurse may include:
  • Feeding, grooming, and exercising patients
  • Preparing for and cleaning up after surgeries
  • Collecting and sending off biological samples
  • Assisting vets in the administration of treatments, operations, and medication
  • Carrying out general admin duties
  • Training and supervising animal care assistants

Although an interest in and love for animals is essential to being a good Vet Nurse, you’ll also need the ability to stay strong and keep your emotions at bay – no matter what happens. Bursting into tears or going into denial every time an animal passes away probably won’t go down too well in this field. Your strength and compassion should also shine through when interacting with customers, as a sympathetic approach is essential to ensuring they feel comforted at potentially difficult times. Vet Nurses will also need to be:
  • Knowledgeable about animal biology
  • Helpful and considerate
  • Responsible
  • Positive
  • Dedicated
  • Excellent at communicating
  • Willing to get things done (even if tasks are unpleasant)


Junior Vet Nurse

Up to £18,000

Vet Nurse

Up to £22,000

Head Vet Nurse

Up to £26,000

"Working as a Vet Nurse is so rewarding. You obviously have to love animals to do this job, no matter how much they try and bite or scratch you, or how much unpleasant mess you have to clean up. And from a hamster with a cold, to a cat with a broken leg, every day brings a new challenge, and I’m constantly learning. But, even though there are tough parts of the job, having the power to help an animal and give its owner lifesaving advice makes it all worthwhile – especially when you build bonds with families and really get to know their pets. You just have to know when to hold back to tears if the worst should happen…"

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