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Brian Howard

Guidance Counsellor

Department of Education and Skills

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  Brian Howard

This career involves working with people in a caring capacity. If you have no interest in helping people personally or educationally then this may be the wrong profession for you.

Empathy, patience and respect are important qualities for this job, in addition to be able to relate well to the person you are dealing with. As there is also a large amount of information to be handled in the job, good organisational, IT and time management skills are also quite important.

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Occupation Details

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Veterinary Nurse

Job Zone

Education
Most occupations in this zone require job specific training (vocational training) related to the occupation (NFQ Levels 5 and 6 or higher), related on-the-job experience, or a relevant professional award.

Related Experience
Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, electricians typically complete four years of training in order to perform the job.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognised apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations usually involve using communication and organisational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include restaurant managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, hairdressers, and web developers.

€15k > 31 
Veterinary Nurse
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€15 - 31 
Related Information:
Data Source(s):
Payscale.com

Last Updated: March, 2017

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
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At a Glance... header image

Assists a Veterinary Surgeon with the treatment of sick and injured animals.


The Work header image

Veterinary nurses assist veterinary surgeons by undertaking duties such as developing X-rays and dressing wounds. Before an operation, the nurse prepares the operating theatre, sterilises instruments and surgically prepares the animal. During an operation, the nurse may assist the surgeon and monitor anaesthesia. Post-operative care is also the nurse's responsibility. 


Duties include:  
 

  • preparing for and assisting with procedures
  • assisting with restraint, handling and treatment of animals
  • dressing wounds
  • advising clients about husbandry
  • administering medicine
  • kennel and stable management
  • dispensing and stock control
  • radiographic assistance
  • general reception work
  • care and maintenance of instruments, equipment and premises
  • laboratory tests on samples

Few veterinary practices employ full-time receptionists, so the nurse may make appointments, answer the telephone, and update and file records of treatment and progress. This aspect of the work brings the nurse into contact with anxious clients who may need reassurance.

 


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation

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Hold or restrain animals during veterinary procedures.

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Clean and maintain kennels, animal holding areas, examination or operating rooms, or animal loading or unloading facilities to control the spread of disease.

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Fill medication prescriptions.

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Assist veterinarians in examining animals to determine the nature of illnesses or injuries.

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Monitor animals recovering from surgery and notify veterinarians of any unusual changes or symptoms.

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Clean, maintain, and sterilize instruments or equipment.

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Examine animals to detect behavioral changes or clinical symptoms that could indicate illness or injury.

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Educate or advise clients on animal health care, nutrition, or behavior problems.

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Administer medication, immunizations, or blood plasma to animals as prescribed by veterinarians.

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Collect laboratory specimens, such as blood, urine, or feces for testing.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.

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Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings:  Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

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Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events:  Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

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Assisting and Caring for Others:  Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.

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Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work:  Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

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Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge:  Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

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Handling and Moving Objects:  Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

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Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates:  Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

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Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships:  Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

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Making Decisions and Solving Problems:  Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

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Documenting/Recording Information:  Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.


Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.

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Customer and Personal Service:  Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

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Biology:  Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.

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English Language:  Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

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Mathematics:  Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

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Sales and Marketing:  Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.


Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.

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Active Listening:   Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

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Monitoring:   Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

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Social Perceptiveness:   Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

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Reading Comprehension:   Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

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Critical Thinking:   Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

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Active Learning:   Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

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Service Orientation:   Actively looking for ways to help people.

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Speaking:   Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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Writing:   Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

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Coordination:   Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

As a veterinary nurse you must have a real concern for the welfare of animals. You must not be squeamish as you may have to work in the presence of blood and excrement. You also need good communication skills and the ability to be sympathetic and understanding toward clients.  
 
You must have an objective attitude to animal welfare - sometimes you will assist the vet to euthanasia (put to sleep) an animal to prevent suffering.


Entry Routesheader image

A degree in Veterinary nursing from a recognised college is required for registration with the Veterinary Council of Ireland (VCI). Only Registered Veterinary Nurses are permitted to call themselves Veterinary Nurses, and may use ‘RVN’ after their name. 

In 2014, the total number of registered Veterinary Nurses was 667, 92% of whom are female (642). 128 Veterinary Nurses joined the register in 2014 - 91 of these were new graduates:

  • 33 from UCD - see DN310 4-Year level 8 course available
  • 18 from Dundalk IT - see DK784 - 3-year level 7 course available
  • 17 from Athlone IT - see AL731 - 3-year level 7 course available
  • 14 from St. John's Central College of Futher Education & Training -  Level 5 & Level 6 advanced FE courses available
  • 9  from Letterkenny IT - see LY847 - 3-year level 7 course available

All of the above are recognised training programmes.

Veterinary Care Assistant training programmes are also available at Level 5. Students who successfully complete these course can potentially gain entry to Veterinary Nursing programmes through the Higher Education links Scheme.

Last Updated: January, 2016


Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site

Go..Animal Technician - from:  N.C.S. [UK]
Go..Veterinary Clinical Research Associate - from:  icould [UK] Video
Go..Veterinary Nurse - from:  icould [UK] Video
Go..Veterinary Nurse - from:  icould [UK] Video
Go..Veterinary Nurse - from:  N.C.S. [UK]
Go..Veterinary Nurse - from:  British Veterinary Nursing Association YouTube [Video]

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image

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Organisation: Irish Veterinary Nursing Association
  Address: 13 The Courtyard, Kilcarbury Park, Nangor Rd., Dublin 22
  Tel:
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

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Organisation: British Veterinary Nursing Association (BVNA)
  Address: 82 Greenway Business Centre, Harlow Business Centre,Harlow,Essex CM19 5QE
  Tel: + 44 (0) 1279 408644
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

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Organisation: Veterinary Council of Ireland
  Address: 53 Landsdowne Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4
  Tel: (01) 668 4402
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

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Organisation: Veterinary Ireland
  Address: 13 The Courtyard, Kilcarbery Park, Nangor Road, Dublin 12
  Tel: 01 457 7976
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

 

Job Search


Career Articles

Career Profile: Veterinary Nurse
Career Profile: Veterinary Nurse
From the Classics to Veterinary Nursing
So you want to be a Vet

Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...


...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Animals & Veterinary Science

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