Sarah's found the best of both worlds in motherhood and working as an out-of-hours vet nurse. Here she tells how returning to the veterinary profession after 10 years has allowed her to spend more time with her growing family
When I qualified as a vet nurse more than 20 years ago, night work in the profession consisted of working all day and being on call all night.
This was no one’s idea of fun, but it was always the emergency aspect of the job that I loved most.
I found myself volunteering for evening surgeries and would look forward to the big cases that always seemed to arrive just as everyone was preparing to go home for the night.
Then, my husband and I discovered we were having our son and everything changed. It just wasn’t feasible for us to pay a full-time childminder, so I left veterinary nursing and started looking for more flexible work. I wanted a role that would fit around my husband’s 9-5 job while still allowing us to remain primary carers to our little boy.
I fell into human medicine and for many years looked after people instead of animals. I discovered working nights was the way forward for a young family and while I hated the work I was doing, at least it meant I could still be at home to look after my little boy during the day.
Then after 10 years of nights and the arrival of baby number two, I discovered Vets Now. At last, an opportunity to get back to doing what I enjoyed most and still be a full-time mum to my family.
I’ve been at Vets Now for almost eight years now. In that time I’ve had the opportunity to fulfill my potential as both an RVN and as a mum. Working nights and weekends has been great for me and my family.
For one thing, I’m always around for the children finishing school. On top of that, I can help out on school trips and go to functions the kids don’t want me to miss.
When I returned to vet nursing after 10 years away from the profession, I was concerned my skills would have suffered. But Vets Now gave me the support, encouragement and confidence to progress and within three years I was sitting my exams for the CertVN in emergency and critical care. That same month I was promoted to senior nurse in my clinic and two years later I was made clinic manager.
In 2015, I was lucky enough to go to IVECCS in Washington DC. Vets Now encouraged my attendance and my generous CPD allowance certainly helped!
Working at Vets Now has enabled me to enjoy the best of both worlds. The flexibility of working nights has allowed me to spend quality time with my family without compromising on my career goals and aspirations.
I still feel very lucky to have found this path and I wouldn’t change it for anything.