How to Ace Your Vet Nursing Placement

How To Ace Your Vet Nursing Placement

If you’ve landed a placement position at a clinic near you, then congratulations!

This is your first step into the industry, and you’re well on your way to becoming a qualified and experienced veterinary nurse. So how do you get the most out of your vet nursing placement experience and ensure you ace it?

👩‍🏫Tip 1: Treat your vet nursing placement like a really long interview

The great thing about placement is that when clinics put time, energy and their resources into training you, they usually want to reap the benefits. This means that if you’re a great placement student, they’re likely to want to keep you on afterwards! So, on your placement days, act as if you are being interviewed for a job over a really long period of time – be professional, courteous and ask lots of questions.

Get to know the team and the company you’ll be working for and the work you’ll be doing. This experience will help both parties decide if you are a good fit for each other after placement concludes.

👩‍🏫Tip 2: Be flexible and adaptable

During your vet nursing placement, it is important to be flexible and adaptable where you can. Need to stay back an hour because the team is really struggling? Sure! Need to help out with an ultrasound or on reception? Of course!

Not only is this going to make you appear like a team player and put you in a favourable position for ongoing employment, it will also expose you to new areas of the clinic by helping out wherever you may be needed. At the same time, you would hope that your clinic would also be flexible for you – you need to leave an hour early next week? Sure!

👩‍🏫Tip 3: Set goals (small and large) and regularly review them

It is really easy when you start placement to waste your time with the clinic just coming to “work” and helping out, but at the end of your placement time, have achieved very little in the way of nursing skills. Therefore, I recommend at the beginning of your placement, to sit down (either by yourself or with your supervisor) to set some realistic short and long term goals for your placement.

Depending on your experience level, these may be as small as walking a dog appropriately, giving tablets or animal restraint, or as large as CPR, catheter placement or running pathology.

Reviewing these regularly will allow you to assess your progress, keep you on track and set new goals as needed.

👩‍🏫Tip 4: Get to know those around you

Getting to know your “colleagues” is a great idea. Not only will this make your placement time more enjoyable and comfortable, it will give you some insight into the career path you are on.

The more you become friends with those around you, the more comfortable you will be to ask questions, jump in or learn. Use your time to ask those experienced nurses what they enjoy about being a nurse, what they don’t, their tips for surviving the industry, the “must-knows” of knowledge and their journeys. This will tell you a lot about what lies ahead for you, and hopefully give you some tips for making it through.

👩‍🏫Tip 5: Ask for feedback

Similar to goal setting, asking for feedback from nurses around you or your supervisor ensures you will remain on track to achieve your goals by the end of your course.

This may be feedback on how you performed a particular task (e.g., pulling bloods) or feedback overall on how you are progressing – both are invaluable. Ideally, your supervisors should be willing to provide you with feedback voluntarily, however, don’t be afraid to ask for time to discuss your progress!

Till next time

👨‍🎓👩‍🎓Happy Studying

Bek (HR Manager The Vet Practice)



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