Veterinary nurses at Bath College have proved that hard work pays off by scoring a 100 per cent pass rate in their final practical exam.
Seven students have become fully qualified veterinary nurses after passing an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE).
Having completed two years of full-time work and studying, they will be able to register with the Royal College of Veterinary Nursing.
Student Holly Small started on the career path to becoming a veterinary nurse after securing a work placement with Rosemary Lodge Veterinary Hospital.
Miss Small, from High Littleton, started with the Bath-based practice when she was 16-years-old and enrolled to study a diploma in animal care at Bath College’s Somer Valley Campus.
Afterwards, she was offered a job as a student veterinary nurse at Rosemary Lodge and began the two-year veterinary nursing diploma.
The 22-year-old said: “Passing the practical test you get a bit of a confidence boost. It wasn’t as scary as we thought it would be.
“College was a really good way for me to learn because I knew I wanted to go into animal care. I could have attended sixth form, but I wanted to go down a more practical route.
“I know some people think working for free is hard work, but you get a lot out of it. I didn’t think starting a work placement at 16 would get me to the full-time job I have now.”
Louise Clarkson, course co-ordinator for veterinary nursing, has been tracking her students’ careers.
She said: “They all qualified first time and we are really pleased with their level of dedication, they were a really hard-working group of students.
“The level 3 diploma is a very tough course and at the very end of it, when they have passed numerous written tests and assignments, they then have to take the practical exam.
“The practical exam consists of 12 practical stations where they have to show certain clinical skills, for example, setting up and positioning an animal for an x-ray, calculating drug doses and dispensing medication. They have to pass eight out of 12 stations.
“During the course student veterinary nurses have to work full-time in a veterinary training practice, therefore they have to put in a lot of effort to get through. This result is really positive for the Bath College Veterinary Nursing Department and our training practices.”
Miss Small, who will continue working at Rosemary Lodge, will be able to register with the Royal College of Veterinary Nursing in a month’s time. In the future, she will have the option to specialise in a certain subject, or top up her diploma to degree level.
She said: “It’s not an easy option working full-time and going to college, but if you want to get into vet nursing it’s definitely something I would recommend.
“Definitely my favourite animals are dogs. Not a lot of people can say they work with their favourite animal every day.”