Veterinary nurse

Veterinary nurses support vets by caring for sick and injured animals.

Potential salary
£18,000 to £26,000
Working hours
35 to 40 a week
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • customer service skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • active listening skills
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

In this role you could be:

  • speaking to animal owners to find out the problem
  • taking blood and urine samples from animals
  • taking x-rays
  • preparing animals for treatment and assisting vets during treatment
  • giving injections, medication and removing stitches
  • talking to pet owners about how to care for their animals
  • taking care of in-patient animals
  • supervising and helping to train other assistants
  • updating records

You may need to wear a uniform and protective clothing.

You could work at a veterinary practice or at an animal welfare centre.

Your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding.

With experience, you could take on more responsibility, like practice management, supervising and training new staff, or working in veterinary supplies.

You could also train to specialise in working for a zoological/wildlife park, charity, pharmaceutical company or breeding/boarding kennels.

With further study you could work towards becoming a lecturer or researcher.

You can find out more about becoming a veterinary nurse from the British Veterinary Nursing Association.

Data from National Careers Service.
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