A Day in the Life!!

It's not all cuddles and licks. Our guys and girls here at LWVG do a great job, read on to find out what it's like on an average day!

8am – I arrive at work and already I can hear the beeping of an infusion pump which has detected an air bubble in the line. My shift begins.... I attend the infusion pump and take the dog (Milo) out for the toilet and to stretch his legs. He's had a stable night and seems to be much better. Milo stayed over night to continue fluid therapy and Nicole (one of the nursing team) came back late at night to take him to the toilet, medicate and fuss Milo.

The patients who are undergoing surgery begin to arrive and I, along with the other nurses begin to get the patients admitted. I make sure each client understands the risk and benefits of surgery and that they fully understand the procedure about to take place. I put the admits into their kennels, full of cosy bedding to relax them and provide comfort. The next job is to prepare the animals pre-medications. This helps to relax and take anxiety away from patient's as well and giving them some pain relief prior to the surgery beginning. Intravenous catheters are placed into the animals to give direct access to a vein. This is a great advantage in emergency situations as we are able to inject medications such as adrenalin quickly.

9am – The vets arrive and the appointments and surgery's begin. I'm covered in all types of fur and could probably pass as one of the patients...great! Theses no time to worry about it so I quickly lint roll my uniform and begin with the first of the surgery's. I assist the vet to anaesthetize the patient. I then get the patient stable under the anaesthetic and monitor the heart rate, respiratory rate and depth of anaesthetic. This is all recorded onto the patients records. The surgery takes place and usually begins with neutering. Today there are a few neutering patients and some lump removals.

11am – Time for the lump removal. Our surgeon has seen this patient regularly for the past 6 months and is Renée's (One of the Nurses) dog. Honey is a Staffordshire Bull Terrier and has Mast Cell Tumours. This particular lump has grown fast and needs operation to prevent the spread. Carlos takes a look at the lump and assesses the surgery required. As with all our patients Carlos takes great care in analysing the risks and advantages of the surgery. Carlos knows this is a large procedure and prepares Renée with the relevant information required for the post operative care that will be required. We group together as a team to support both Renée and honey through the procedure. Our Nurse Amy monitored Honey's surgery, meanwhile in the consulting end of the practice I assisted Beth (vet) with the saddest part of our job. Euthanasia....

Beth diagnosed Tilly with liver tumours 3 months ago and her health has unfortunately deteriorated. Beth and Mrs. Wills have decided the kindest option for Tilly is Euthanasia. I comfort Mrs. Wills in the consulting room and I talk her through the options for cremation. Seeing the heartache in an owner is always hard and although people say it gets easier, when you build up a relationship with a client and their pet, it's hard not to feel heartbroken yourself. Beth puts Tilly to rest when Mrs. Wills is ready. We talk about the good times with Tilly and we remember her in her younger days as Mrs. Wills shows me some photographs on her phone of Tilly at the Beach. I leave Mrs. Wills alone with Tilly to say goodbye and as she's about to leave she asks me to look after Tilly. This goes without saying, I treat all patients with the love and care I would give my own.

12pm – Honey is in recovery. She's doing very well and were all feeling proud of her. The other patients are also back in their kennels looking a little sleepy but otherwise recovering nicely. I take Milo out for another toilet break and let him sniff around the grass. He's perky and amongst getting distracted by a pigeon on a car he accidentally wee's on me... Wonderful! I change my uniform, its an occupational hazard and give Milo some food. I clean through the prep room and get on with some other little jobs. Unpacking the medical order, cleaning kennels, re-packing and sterilising kits and assisting the surgeon when required.

1pm – And breath....Its dinner time and all the nurses wait in line to microwave their favourite lunch time special, Chicken and rice with curry sauce. We chat and laugh sharing stories. The team at Rosewood has a special bond as we are all great friends and often go out on adventures together so there's always something to talk about.

2pm – I feed the surgical patients as they are now looking quite alert. They meow as loudly as possible in a plea to be fed first. The silence when the food hits the kennel floor and it wouldn't be lunch time for the patients without at least one cat batting the water bowl and spilling it all down me. My Crocs are flooded. The dogs are all walked for a toilet break and settled back into their kennels which have all been relaid and made comfortable with their lunch ready and waiting inside.

3pm – Now this is a time usually used to catch up on the jobs I didn't get chance to do earlier in the morning, this usually consists of building medication boxes, replacing the used items such as syringes out of the vets rooms. Disinfecting cupboard doors, putting more sterilising on and getting on top of the washing pile that is nearing the height of mount Everest!

4pm – The reception is now once again full of clients with their new puppies and kittens and the odd sick pet who has left a trail of sick throughout the waiting room. I grab the mop and a steamy hot bucket to clean it up hastily. There are a few nurse appointments waiting now and so I go to help out by doing a 2nd vaccine. The dog is a little Pug named Winston, I fuss over him gaining his trust before I sneakily give him his injection, he's very forgiving and licks my hand as I reward him. In the meantime Hannah is helping the Claire the vet to take bloods from a cat who has attitude! The claws are out and Hannah has made sure her sleeves are down on her jacket.

5pm – The kettle is on for a well deserved cup of tea. (The key to keeping every one motivated) While Hannah cleans up from the blood sample that was taken I help her by doing some blood smears that will be required by the lab. The test was a general health screen and for this rest we must create smears, this involves using microscope slides to perfectly smear the blood to be able to use the microscope to look and analyse the blood cells present in the sample. Should our blood machines fail we are able to look at blood smears to tell if there are any abnormal cells present. I package the sample with the slides in and I leave it in the fridge ready for collection on the night time. I grab a sip of tea and then its off to vacuum the prep room, kennels, cattery and wash room. I turn the Oxygen off and flush the system. Next is to mop and after I feel like I have run a marathon. I check the shelves and place any low items or medications onto the order for the next day. I check on the washing, finally its coming down and I can see the end is near...

6pm – The frantic rush... The golden hour where everything needs to be completed in time for the practice to close. The appointments are drawing to a close and the kennels are being re-bedded ready for the next morning when they will once again be full. It's time to wash up the bowls now the inpatients have all gone home and put them away neatly. I check all the bedding is folded neatly and stacked and any relating paperwork to inpatient is awaiting filing at the end of the week. I clean the vets rooms when the consults have finished. All the equipment that has been used is cleaned and replaced for the next morning, the bins are emptied and I hoover and mop the rooms. Then it's the reception. We sell raw food and so I ensure the freezer is still well stocked and order more if not. I lock the doors and put on the answer phone ensuring the message is clear and the out of hours number is recorded. I put the blood samples outside ready for collection and dispose of all rubbish. The reception is hoovered and mopped.

7pm – Finally it is time to go home. At the end of each day when driving home I reflect on the days happenings, how Honey was so brave and how she has woken so well from her surgery, I think of Mrs. Wills and wonder if she is okay, while a thought goes to Tilly and how she fought so well against her Tumours. I think of my colleagues and how they never fail to amaze me with the compassion and care they give to both clients and the patients and I also think about how I have an amazing Job and how lucky I am....Back tomorrow to start again!