About to start a family but keen to continue developing her career, Rachel Langridge found her ideal employer in Vets Now. Here she tells how moving to the business three years ago has enabled her to enhance her clinical skills while also developing as a manager.
I’m something of a rare breed when it comes to vets.
The reason I say this is I was in my first job for six years rather than the all too common six months. I joined a genuinely mixed practice in January 2006 as I believed this was the best way to keep using all the skills I'd learned at university and apply them across a range of scenarios.
I was well supported and loved the James Heriot lifestyle of driving between farms and seeing the countryside as my office. I also enjoyed both routine and out-of-hours small animal cases.
However, as veterinary medicine evolved, I found farm work became much more about management and prevention rather than diagnostics and treatment. It was also evident that the small animal caseload was beginning to overwhelm the facilities we had in our rural practice.
I found myself wanting to offer more to clients and worrying I was not doing the best by my patients. As I intended to start a family, I decided to make the move into purely small animal work, and I looked at various positions that did not involve out-of-hours.
It was at this stage a friend who worked for Vets Now suggested I consider joining her. At first, I pretty much laughed off the idea of doing full-time nights.
However, a seed had been planted and the more I thought about it, the more I came round to the prospect. It was evident when I visited the Vets Now clinic for my interview that there was a real team ethic — everyone's focus was on providing the best clinical care for the patient — and that I'd be able to develop my career in the way I'd always hoped to.
After working there for a year, the position of principal veterinary surgeon became available. While the management side of things was going to be entirely new to me, it was a challenge I felt I needed to take on.
Since starting in the role, I have enriched my clinical abilities beyond what I thought possible, and the new managerial skills I've picked up are giving me an insight into an entirely different aspect of the business. I believe I'm a much more rounded vet to the one that started here three years ago and Vets Now continues to encourage my development.
Rachel Langridge is our principal vet at Vets Now Bradford.