Unleashing Your Inner Animal Advocate: Non-Clinical Jobs That Still Make a Paws-itive Impact –Part 1
Being a vet or veterinary nurse is a highly rewarding career that requires several years of study. Contrary to popular belief, working in a veterinary practice is not the only option for qualified professionals. Many veterinary professionals use their skills, knowledge, and experience to create unique career paths that improve the lives of animals (and sometimes even humans) without relying on a stethoscope. Let's look at these other jobs and how people got into them.
Did you know that vets can work in the government? While it involves different tasks than dealing with owners in a normal practice, the main goal remains the same: to protect the public, animals, and the environment. Siôn Rowlands is a veterinarian who currently works for the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). Siôn didn’t do any further study to get this role, but he was able to use his current communication skills to collaborate with farmers, other veterinarians, and government officials to improve animal health and welfare. He uses his problem-solving skills to monitor for disease outbreaks by working out what's wrong and how the government can manage it. Government vets also use their clinical skills to perform exams on sick animals
suspected of having notifiable diseases (these are diseases that are on the government's ‘watch list’). Working with the APHA is an excellent way to use your veterinary skills to impact the lives of multiple animals (and people). Veterinary students, through EMS (extra-mural studies) placements, can gain valuable experience at the APHA to learn of the wide range of important work conducted by APHA staff in delivering Animal Health and Welfare policies; from disease control on a national level, to livestock welfare and everything in between. If you’re interested in reading more about Siôn’s story, then you can check out his book called “Letting the Cat Out of the Bag – The Secret Life of a Vet”.
Veterinary nurses play a vital role in the profession, not only as medical caregivers but also as educators. Courtney Scales (AKA @veterinaryanursethesia) simply set up a platform for expressing her passion – anaesthesia. Having completed her studies in New Zealand, Courtney moved to the UK, where she worked in a busy small animal referral hospital and completed her certificate in anaesthesia. Driven by her passion for her field, she decided to share her knowledge and experience with other veterinary professionals, creating an Instagram page where she provides expert advice and tips on how to better understand anaesthesia. Her platform has boomed to over 13k followers, but Courtney
wanted to share her knowledge on a larger scale. Moving slightly out of clinical practice, she now works as a clinical educator for Burtons Medical Equipment, where she helps other veterinary professionals improve their skills and knowledge in anaesthesia. Courtney's dedication and hard work have enabled her to expand her teaching role to include lectures and workshops all across the UK. Her story is really inspiring and shows how you can make a good career for yourself by following your passion.
These are just two examples of the various roles and jobs available to vets and veterinary nurses. Veterinary professionals come in all shapes and sizes (and even uniforms), whether they are teaching beyond the walls of the clinic or responsible for all farm animals in the UK. Regardless of their job, veterinary professionals are always working towards the common goal of creating a better world for people, animals, and the planet.
Written by: Remi Onabolu
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