Student blog - Tizzy Palmes, FdSc Equine Veterinary Nursing

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Veterinary Nursing

Hi, I’m Tizzy and I’m studying Equine Veterinary Nursing. I’m going into the second year of my Foundation Degree and plan to complete the Level 6 Top-up so I have the full BSc (Hons) degree.

I’m learning about what I’m passionate about
I can safely say I’ve loved every second of my course so far. Hartpury is a great place to study, with lots of support and interesting ways to learn. Being around other people that are interested in the same things as me has been such a nice change. I feel so motivated to finally be learning about what I’m most passionate about – equine veterinary nursing.

I chose Hartpury because it’s a great mix of rural and city life. Plus, I can have my horse with me while I study, which has helped me maintain some sanity and given me a place to relax.

Putting the theory into practice on campus is amazing
The lectures are packed with lots of information and examples, and the lecturers are always willing to answer questions and explain anything you’re unsure of – whether that’s through a tutorial, via email or in a lecture. I found the Anatomy and Physiology module particularly interesting. It helps with everything else you learn on the course and lays the foundation for understanding in your future modules, such as in Pharmacy, Patient Care and Diagnostics.

I really enjoy being able to gain practical skills alongside the theory. We use the Veterinary Nursing Centre for our practical sessions, as well as the equine centre and yard, the reptile room and the Walled Animal Garden, where we get to work with different animals. Although I’ll become an equine veterinary nurse, it’s interesting to learn how to handle and care for domestic and exotic species.

My dream of being a vet nurse is coming true
My year-long work placement at Three Counties Equine Hospital has taught me so much about what it’s like to be a veterinary nurse. It’s given me the opportunity to get involved in everything from surgery and diagnostic imaging, to ambulatory and investigation. This has helped me decide which areas I’m most interested in and, ultimately, has resulted in a job offer – which I’m thrilled about!

I also feel that my placement has made me love the profession so much more. I’m finally starting to feel that, not only is my dream possible, but it’s actually starting to come true. You forget that you’re on placement and just get stuck into nursing. While the thought of placement is daunting – the prospect of meeting new people, communicating with clients and really testing your skills – the lecturers made sure we were prepared with everything we needed to know (and what we needed to wear!) ready for day one.

If I can give you one piece of advice, it’s to always have a notepad to hand, because without it your first two months in practice will pass in a complete blur.

Why I love veterinary nursing
An average day working in equine practice is packed with exciting cases and new things to learn. I particularly enjoy cases where I’m able to follow the patient throughout their whole journey – from lameness examination, bone scan and surgery, to seeing them make a full recovery a few months later. It’s so satisfying to see the difference your care can make.

I discovered my love of nursing when I was young and knew that I wanted to focus on animals. I’ve been very lucky to have had the opportunity to work with lots of amazing people and develop knowledge in equine, farm and small animal fields.

A parting word
Good luck and enjoy it, because as I have sadly come to learn, it’s all over way too quickly. But I can guarantee it’s worth every second!

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