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Careers at Abbey Vets

THINKING OF JOINING OUR VETERINARY TEAM?

For anyone interested in working in our practice, we don’t mind whether you are a new graduate, have been qualified for a few years or are an experienced veterinary surgeon. We have a staff structure which can accommodate you and take you forward in your professional career as well as providing you with unrivalled job satisfaction.

OUR ETHOS

We are firm believers that having a better quality of life will result in a happier working environment, so time to relax and do things other than veterinary medicine is a priority. Although we cover all out-of-hours ourselves on an equally shared rota, without the use of an emergency clinic, we also enjoy seven weeks’ holiday per year (35 working days) and an additional two days off in the week following every on-duty weekend. This means that if you’ve worked a weekend, in the following week you are off from Wednesday evening to the following Monday morning! This equates to over ten weeks’ holiday per year. This time can be used for personal activities, travel etc, but may also be used to locum in other practices at a reasonable distance from us if the veterinary surgeon wants to experience life in other working environments or simply make more money. It should be noted that there is 24 hour on-site nursing support for the duty vet.

We recognise the professional obligation of veterinary surgeons to continually enhance their skills, and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is therefore supported both financially and by allowing periods of absence for CPD. All veterinary surgeons get five days’ paid CPD per year plus a generous CPD allowance. In addition, we also fund in-house CPD which is closely allied to the needs of the practice. For example, any newly employed veterinary surgeon will receive one to one training, in working time, to develop and improve their imaging capabilities and enable them to take full advantage of the practice’s diagnostic facilities for ultrasound and eventually MRI.

We will undertake to give you a wide range of surgical and medical competencies with extensive support and training.

Until both we and, very importantly, you feel that you are competent in a surgical procedure, you will be accompanied in theatre by an experienced surgeon who will take you through the procedure and guide and advise you, gradually becoming more ‘hands-off’ as you gain confidence.

When you are consulting, you will be able to discuss with an experienced colleague any case you are about to see. A provisional approach and plan can be proposed, and we find that this preparation gives a new face credibility in the consulting room and goes a long way to gaining the confidence of the client. The sooner clients are asking to see you again rather than anyone else, the happier we shall be. It means that they like you and trust you.

For your first couple of months of night or weekend duties you will be accompanied by a senior veterinary surgeon who will advise and mentor you and who will step in if it is thought necessary. Even when you are eventually on your own, a senior vet will always be available on the end of a telephone to be consulted and to give advice and support on any cases which concern you.

What we do ask of you is that you are prepared to try new things, to move out of your comfort zone, to really want to be as good as and even better than everyone else at procedures you may never even have seen before. Remember, you will have massive support all around you, but you still have to take your personal steps into the unknown.

Finally, you will not have to fulfil sales targets. You won’t have the embarrassment of trying to sell products or services to people who don’t want them and can’t afford them. We also have a generous starting salary for recent graduates and we provide excellent accommodation away from the main surgery if required.

After two years, you will be competent in all the standard elective surgeries as well as bowel and bladder surgery, GDV, caesareans, aural resection and complex wound repair involving tissue mobilisation. You will be competent to interpret all standard laboratory findings and will be doing high-quality medical workups. You will be able to accurately interpret radiographs of all parts of the body and carry out basic ultrasound. You will have had a taste of other more complex surgical and imaging techniques which you can develop further here if you choose to do so.

demonstrated a commitment to the practice by working for us for more than two years.

The current nursing rota involves on-call working one weekend in twelve and one Saturday (9-4.30) in ten. Nurses receive the same holiday and days off to compensate for weekends worked as vets – 35 working days plus 2 days per full weekend worked plus 1 day per Saturday worked, adding up to approximately ten weeks holiday per year including most bank holidays. This ensures that everyone has time to enjoy life as well as their profession.

When you come to work for us, or if you have joined us as a new grad and have hit your year two targets, the big question is ‘quo vadis?’ – Where do I go from here?

If you have come from another practice, we would sit down with you and work out firstly where your general skill set may need strengthening. For example, you may have come from a practice where all the dermatology, ultrasound or cardiology cases were passed on to a colleague who had a special interest in the field. That’s quite common and no reflection on you, but you’ll need a certain level of competence in these skills to be a good GP. We would then make sure that through mentoring and CPD we provided what you need.

Some people are happy to remain as excellent GPs all their lives and feel no need to specialise, and as the GP is the backbone of any practice, there will always be a place for the generalist. However, we have found that the modern graduate almost always wants more, and so we have geared the practice to provide what they want.

If you are interested in imaging, we would start by increasing your ultrasound case-load and introduce you to endoscopy and our three-dimensional imaging protocols. If you are interested in orthopaedics, we already do complex joint and spinal surgery and would be happy for you to get involved. Whatever studies you think would improve your workplace quality of life, whether it’s dermatology, neurology, cardiology, ophthalmology, oncology, or something else, if it will benefit the practice and our clients, we would be very happy to put the practice facilities at your disposal and to fund your CPD.

If you wish to study for a certificate, the practice will give you all the support it can. For people who graduated two years ago or more, we pay the whole cost of studying for a certificate once you have passed your probationary period in the practice, providing you are willing to commit to remaining working with us for the period of study. We also give additional CPD time to all certificate candidates so studying for a certificate does not have to eat into your holiday periods.

It doesn’t often happen that experienced colleagues change jobs, but now and again life turns out differently to how you planned it and you have to move on.

As with less experienced colleagues in 2) above, we would look very carefully at what you could offer us and what we could offer you. For example, someone who could walk straight into complex surgery without supervision would be a great asset to us, but what would you want from us? Hopefully, less stress than you may have had before!

Interested? Excellent. To find out more, may we suggest that you return to the Home Page and then go to, firstly, About Us, then Vet Services, and finally Our Veterinary Staff. Still interested? Even better. Please send us your CV and contact details. One of our vets will contact you and you will be able to chat about the job and ask any questions you may have. If we are both happy, we look forward to meeting you at interview.

THINKING OR JOINING OUR NURSING TEAM?

For anyone thinking of joining our nursing team, we have a nursing structure which could accommodate you whether you are a brand new student anxious to learn veterinary nursing basics ‘on the job’ before going to college, a university student in need of a placement or an experienced Registered Veterinary Nurse with professional ambitions which we could help you to fulfil.

We always have around twelve registered and student veterinary nurses working in the practice and we value veterinary nursing skills very highly. All our nurses perform all lab investigations (blood sampling, spectrophotometry, preparing blood smears, urinalysis including dry preparations), all radiography, electrocardiography and a variety of nurse consultations (e.g. puppy health checks, dietary and behavioural advice). Where possible, we encourage our veterinary nurses to perform Schedule 3 surgical procedures. This makes full use of nurse training and allows veterinary surgeons to concentrate on interpreting data rather than having to personally perform all the routine investigative procedures themselves.

Our Head Nurse, Caylea Spikings RVN, holds a diploma in Small Animal Nursing. We would be very happy to mentor anyone who wished to go down that route through the Diploma qualification in the future. All veterinary nurses get 2 days’ paid CPD per year which is generously funded. In addition, we also train veterinary nurses who are interested in advancing their knowledge of the use of MRI and CT once they have demonstrated a commitment to the practice by working for us for more than two years.

The current nursing rota involves on-call working one weekend in twelve and one Saturday (9-4.30) in ten. Nurses receive the same holiday and days off to compensate for weekends worked as vets – 35 working days plus 2 days per full weekend worked plus 1 day per Saturday worked, adding up to approximately ten weeks holiday per year including most bank holidays. This ensures that everyone has time to enjoy life as well as their profession.

The practice has more than 20 years’ experience training student veterinary nurses, our own as well as university students on work placements to complete their Nursing Progress records. We have two experienced clinical coaches along with other RVNs and vets who are very happy to help train you. Our nursing pass rate is very close to 100% including in the practical examinations which are the most scary part of any student’s route to qualifying as a Registered Veterinary Nurse.

Our students live in, occupying bed sits above the main surgery because this gives them the patient care and emergency experience which is essential to enable them to turn into excellent veterinary nurses.

To apply you will need to have at least five higher grade GCSEs including in English Language, Maths and at least one science subject. It is also useful if you have done some work experience at a vets so that you understand the role before applying for a student nurse placement.

If you have a genuine interest in veterinary nursing (or veterinary medicine) as a career we will usually try to offer time at our main Grimsby branch to enable you to work out if this is the right job for you. If you would like to apply for work experience, you need to be fourteen years old or more. To apply, you need to send us a c.v. telling us who you are, what your career ambition is and what school qualifications you are aiming to achieve. It is a good idea to include dates when you would be free to do work experience. Please send applications to admin@abbeyvetcentregrimsby.co.uk and we will see whether we can help.

OUR CURRENT OPPORTUNITIES

Veterinary Surgeon

Whether you are recently qualified or have more clinical experience, our practice offers an interesting career with considerable professional satisfaction and appropriate levels of support to expand your knowledge and skills. Please read the information above then contact us to take your application further.

Apply Now

Registered Veterinary Nurse

Whether you are recently qualified or have more clinical experience, our practice offers an interesting career with considerable professional satisfaction and appropriate levels of support to expand your knowledge and skills. Please read the information above then contact us to take your application further.

Apply Now

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