Congratulations to our winning BGA KBIS Blogger Lucy Fletcher, a trainee vet nurse!
Lucy will be sharing a blog with us monthly to let us know about what she gets up to at work, below is a taster of what life is like in an Equine Hospital.
The day starts at the clinic at 8am and there’s never a typical day because working at a hospital means that we have to be ready to take on emergencies as well as the clinic diary, however, this is how it generally goes!! I meet Anna who works in the office and reception for a quick catch up as to what horses are inpatients and collect a print out of the daily diary. I grab a coffee (which Anna the angel has usually made for me!) then go to the stables. Kirsty our other nurse is usually feeding the horses when I get to her so we discuss the day ahead while dishing out the food! Any medications are prepared and meds/ checks carried out for patients. Vets are on hand to discuss and aid with meds as Kirsty and I are both trainee nurses.
We muck everybody out, turn out Humbug our resident falabella and Smartie our retired pony, hay and water everyone else followed by the most scrupulous yard sweeping you will ever know!! We love to sweep!! Which is just as well as the Hospital must be kept as clean as possible at all times.
(Oh a quick coffee break if time, we do love our coffee!) the rest of the day is taken up with assisting vets either out on visits or in the clinic, followed by cleaning, putting rehab horses in the cold spa or on the treadmill, more cleaning, grooming then if time, lunch! We stagger our breaks so there is always a nurse on hand when needed. After lunch, there may be more visits to attend or clinic appointments or more cleaning!!! Followed by skipping out, feeding, water and hay. We bring the boys back in from turnout and do a final sweep!
The day can be very different if we have surgery in. One minute we can be running to Schedule and the next there’s a colic surgery on its way which means the nurse on call stays up all night to do hourly checks following surgery. I tend not to plan any activities out of work on the days I am working as you just never know what the day is going to challenge you with. If I’m on call through the night it’ll be a quick call to warn the other half not to expect me home and on with the job!
So I generally work Monday-Wednesday, two on calls a week (on call includes evening stables at 9pm and attending any emergency call out with the vet if required) then one weekend in three.
The hours are long and irregular, the pay’s not great! But the rewards are amazing and I love the fact that each day is different. We are a family run practice so we all get on well at work and socially. There are so many stories and experiences to tell I could go on forever but this just gives you a little taster of life behind the scenes at an equine hospital.
Lucy is a member of the British Grooms Association, the professional body for people who work with horses, they offer a wide range of benefits to their members and you can find out more about the association here.