Life as a Veterinary Nurse in lockdown
Jemma Gaughran and Jenny Shortland
HR, Nursing, Veterinary Medicine, Veterinary Professionals
26th May 2020
Jemma Gaughran and Jenny Shortland from Davies Veterinary Specialists’ Nursing team discuss how lockdown has affected their day-to-day working life.
Life as a Veterinary Nurse in lockdown…
RVN Jemma Gaughran is part of Davies’ flexi team and is also one of our oncology nurses.
My role as a flexi and oncology nurse means I rotate through diagnostics, theatre, wards and oncology. This makes every day different through the variety of different cases and this keeps me on my toes which is great, it also means I get to see all of the amazing team as I rotate through and learn new skills everyday.
Due to COVID-19 it has changed our working days, and I am now finding myself working from home – which is a lot harder and more challenging than I thought (trying to sit down in front of a computer!). To combat this, I am engaging myself into topics which I find challenging at work and also topics which I enjoy. Basing my CPD around these has been really helpful at keeping my mind stimulated. I have been mixing up the CPD through webinars (live and prerecorded), reading case reports and studies, and also reading through journals and past congress notes.
How COVID-19 has changed my role…
Jenny Shortland is a RVN at Davies.
I have worked at Davies for three years in May. My usual role is flexi team/ Dispensary Nurse. This involves rotating through theatre, diagnostics and wards including ICU, with the extra role of dispensing drugs.
COVID-19 has changed my role in a number of ways. The dispensary role is still vital for the urgent/ emergency cases we are still seeing. Also, we have patients who need their long term medication posted out. This means I am dispensing medications and posting them for the vets conducting remote consults. My nursing shifts have become either on call for theatre and diagnostics, or 12-hour shifts for wards. Trying to adhere to all the social distancing guidelines implemented by the government and still provide the best care has been a new challenge to face.
During the days when I am not on call, I am working from home doing CPD. I am using this as an opportunity to research, read up and refresh my mind on all the topics surrounding my role. Some of the specialists at Davies have been putting on webinars for us which have been very interesting and given me new insights into why things are done a certain way in different disciplines at Davies. I have also been doing webinars on topics to improve my knowledge in all areas relating to my role. Given that this is also having an impact on many people’s mental health I have done research into dealing with stress, specifically in the vet nursing role – as it can be an incredibly physically, mentally and emotionally draining job!
It is important through this to take a break occasionally and reflect, as this is a stressful time for everyone, but I also feel it is important that it is viewed as a positive. A chance to boost our knowledge and improve on skills we use day to day as we don’t always get a chance in normal working life to just read, learn and research topics on top of our busy working days.
Throughout this trying time I have never been prouder to work for Davies Veterinary Specialists. Watching my colleagues push through and continue to provide outstanding care for all patients and clients even under all the government guidelines. I am looking forward to the return of normal working life and putting all my new-found knowledge into action as part of a truly fantastic nursing team!
Click here to find out more about our Nursing team.
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