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47 London Road
Telephone Tiptree Vets 01206 544918
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The Life of a Night Nurse 

As an out of hours (night nurse) I work along side the Veterinary Surgeons providing emergency and critical care medicine to sick and injured pets, through the night. We are open 365 nights of the year.

The caseload is very varied, from a dog with pancreatitis to a cat with pelvic fractures following an RTA. A rabbit with gut stasis to a snake with a prolapsed bowel. A cat with a blocked bladder to a caesarean with 10 pups to resuscitate. Its all in a night’s work for me!

I work hard to keep our patients comfortable, cosy and reassured and spend a lot of time giving good old fashioned ‘tender loving care’.

As well as assisting the vets with emergency treatments, I take patients’ blood and run blood tests, carry out X Rays, run urine tests, set up and monitor intravenous drips and give oral and intravenous medicines, carry out assisted feeding and many more procedures besides.

I understand how stressful it can be to have your beloved pet taken ill or injured in the night and will do everything I can to reassure and comfort those in distress; trying to make things as easy as possible for the family.

The life of a night nurse

I work 12 hour shifts 8pm to 8am 7 nights on and 7 nights off, weekdays, weekends Christmas and bank holidays, animals don’t just get sick 9 – 5!

For me being a nurse is all about giving care, the best care. When I’m on duty, I like to feel I make a difference to the patients I look after and the relatives I meet. So, the primary focus for both is reassurance, to relieve their stress and anxiety and do everything I can to ensure my patients are as physically and emotionally as comfortable as possible. To be pain free, and sleeping on the comfiest, cosiest bed I can make for them. This might be a kennel padded out for soft blankets; for and elderly patient or one with soft tissue or skeletal damage. Or it could be a cardboard box stuffed with sweet smelling hay for a rabbit or guinea pig patient.

I talk to all my patients just as though they are human, I believe it helps them to get known me and trust me as quickly as possible. I want them to feel at ease and reassured by my presence, this alone can reduce pain levels and stress.

There is less hustle and bustle at night, its less noisy, and this often a good time to encourage those who need it, to eat if they are off their food. I always enjoy the challenge of getting an inappetent patient eating again, its always a step nearer to them going home. 

Nights are also a good time for a little grooming and making the patients feel and look better. Grooming is very import for cats and rabbits especially and for all my patients is helpful in stimulating digestive movement, increasing food interest and stimulating the lymphatic and circulatory systems, which all helps aid recovery as well as giving the animal pleasure and comfort.  

Of course, surgery and emergencies get the adrenalin going, but it is often the more subtle, simple things that reward me, as a nurse the most.

Sue Hyett

Assisi Veterinary Group

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London Road Vets01206 544918
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