Registered Emergency Veterinary Nurse Sara currently practices in Melbourne. She also provides veterinary education online and in-person via her website https://eve-veted.com/
What purchase of $100 or less has most positively impacted in your life? (Feel free to give specific brands/models).
This sounds super boring but the mini vet guide (https://minivetguide.com/) and my BSAVA ECC book have been so helpful and are used pretty much on every shift!
What is the funniest thing that has happened (to you or witnessed) in your job?
In my first clinic, nurses used to wear ‘press stud’ tunic tops.
During a consultation I picked a cat up and it managed to get its paws between the press studs and it kicked my top open in-front of its male owner!! I wanted the ground to swallow me up!!
Favourite guilty pleasure after a stressful day at work?
Its got to be a glass of red, chocolate and trash TV
How has a failure (or apparent failure) set you up for later success? Do you have a "favourite failure" of yours?
Oh there are two many to remember. After each one I’ve read/researched if necessary and I’ve learnt from the experience. Mistakes are natural and part of the learning process. I openly talk about my mistakes to my students to normalise them and explain how I grew from them.
If you have a billboard for all other medical professionals out there with any message, what would it say? (It can be someone else’s quote: Are there any quotes you think of often or live your life by?)
Aim to do your best every day and be proud of your work. Imposter syndrome is very real and the majority of people suffer from it. Be kind and compassionate to yourself and others.
What is an unusual habit or (conventionally considered to be) absurd thing that you do/love?
I introduce myself to my patients like nurses do with humans patients! I say ‘Good morning Fluffy, I am Sara and I will be your nurse for today!!’
In the last 5 years, what new belief, behaviour or habit that has most improved your life (may or may not be related to your discipline/practice).
A belief that I am now ‘senior’ and it is my responsibility to help others where I can and take ownership where I can and not shy away from that responsibility.
What advice would you give to a smart, driven student? What advice should they ignore?
Expose themselves to as much clinical practice as possible and understand that different clinics do things different ways and most of the time they all work! Don’t pigeonhole yourself, be open, curious, kind and humble.
What bad recommendations you hear in your area of expertise that you would want to correct the most?
Analgesia- I hear ‘the patient is painful BUT we cannot give more analgesia for another 1-2 hours!’ This bugs me, pain is so detrimental to our patients and I find many analgesic protocols so uninventive and ineffective. There is so much information out there about multimodal analgesia and I feel as an industry we need to improve in this area.
In the last 5 years, what have you become better at saying "no" to? What new realizations helped?
I've gotten better at setting healthy boundaries, such as saying no to extra shifts and staying back later. Taking small breaks can also make a big difference to your day, whether that be a short walk outside or enjoying a hot drink.
When you feel overwhelmed or lost focus temporarily, what do you do? (What questions do you ask yourself to get back on track?)
Do I need a break? Do I have the time and resources to carry out all my jobs? If not, who do I need to ask for help? What jobs are urgent and what can wait?
What is your best or your favourite achievement in your career so far?
My ECC certificate (CertVNECC) has been my favourite and my nomination for ‘Vet Nurse of the Year’.
Sara is a UK registered veterinary nurse with a strong passion for emergency medicine, teaching, and sharing the knowledge gained over her 13 years of clinical practice and continuing education.
Sara started her career in first opinion practice in North East England. Since qualifying Sara has worked in a variety of sectors within the industry, including referral Centres, emergency and critical care hospitals, and leadership and educator roles.