Celebrating our RVNs during Veterinary Nursing Awareness Month | Animal Magic

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Every year during May the veterinary profession proudly celebrates Veterinary Nursing Awareness Month.

It takes a very special individual to devote their life to nursing sick animals. They have to study hard and long to achieve their qualification, earning the initials RVN, for Registered Veterinary Nurse, after their names.

On any day one of our RVNs might be guiding a nervous pet owner through the process of admission for a procedure. Next they might be performing a clinical assessment to check if that pet has any unexpected medical issues or problems that might affect the safety of their procedure. They would also use this opportunity to judge the temperament of the patient, and guide the vet about the most suitable premedications and painkillers to give them the least upsetting experience possible.

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They would then very gently take a blood test, and use complex laboratory equipment to analyse it. If all’s well, they place an intravenous cannula so that the pet needn’t feel any discomfort when it’s time to fall asleep.


Soon it’s time for a little gentle premedication, and when the pet is feeling relaxed she will accompany it into theatre. It’s the nurse’s role to monitor the anaesthetic and keep the patient safe throughout the procedure. Some procedures are performed by another nurse, such as suturing, abscess lancing and ultrasonic dental scaling and polishing, as well as radiography. The RVNs are also responsible for managing intravenous fluid therapy.

We try to keep the same nurse watching over the patient as they wake up, and to perform the discharge, so that the pet owner can see a familiar face in the evening.

Meanwhile there are medications to keep stocked, and to dispense, ensuring that every pet owner fully understands how to best help their pet at home. They conduct their own appointments, managing rebandaging, suture removals, and wound care.

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And at any time they can drop what they are doing to respond to an emergency, when needed. And they can do this for just about any species whether scaled, feathered or furred.

If you would like to read more about #WhatVNsDo visit #VNAM2024.