MY name is Amy McEwan. I am a final year student at CAFRE studying for the City and Guilds Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing and hope to graduate later in 2020, if coronavirus permits.
I started the course in September 2017 and attend the college one day per week. The rest of the week I am employed full-time in the PDSA Veterinary Clinic in Belfast.
I enjoy the combination of weekly college classes and working full-time as I get to put into practice what I learn in college the very next day in work. I am extremely lucky to be working for the PDSA – the UK’s leading veterinary charity.
The Belfast clinic is one of 48 PDSA Pet Hospitals across the United Kingdom. Every year the PDSA charity carries out over 2.7 million veterinary treatments, some of which I am part of. I love working in PDSA as I know every animal that we treat is helping those pet owners and pets in the greatest need and that gives me great job satisfaction. The work environment within PDSA is really supportive. It’s a great training practice because it is busy with a wide variety of cases.
I have always had an interest in working with animals and, in particular, pets. Whilst still at school and at the weekends I started helping out in a local veterinary clinic in their boarding kennels. I began by walking dogs and cleaning kennels. After leaving school, I initially completed the Level 2 Animal Nursing Assistant course at CAFRE and then progressed to the Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing.
Attending college each week at the Greenmount Campus, Antrim, provides a great opportunity to meet other students who are working in other approved training veterinary practices across Northern Ireland.
The course is challenging and intensive with units covering topics such as anatomy, anaesthesia, radiography, laboratory diag-nostics, emergency nursing, ethics and communications. Assessments include multiple
choice exams, assignments and written exams. The final assessment is a practical clinical examination which is completed in England and which I plan to do later this year.
I really look forward to graduating from CAFRE in 2020 and becoming a Registered Veterinary Nurse (RVN) with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS).