Student experiences

Elliot Bridges on placement

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5 March 2014

Veterinary Nursing is a rewarding career that offers great variety, challenges and personal satisfaction. It is also, undeniably, dominated by female nurses. Just two per cent of nurses are male, reports the National Careers Service. That is something that intrigues Elliott, and which he has been exploring further in his final year research project.

“I am investigating why so few men decide to pursue a career in veterinary nursing and looking at the stereotypes that surround male veterinary nurses,” says the 22-year-old, from Worcestershire. There are more than 4,000 practices in the UK and demand for nurses is set to rise further over the next decade, so it is an attractive career for anyone interested in animals and their welfare.

“I think I have gained a lot of skills that will make me a very effective nurse, such as the ability to critically analyse problems and have the confidence to stand my ground,” adds Elliott. “The content of the Veterinary Nursing and Practice Management degree is interesting and stimulating. Also the facilities on offer to students doing animal related studies are great and are still expanding. At the time of applying Harper Adams was the only institution that offered practice management as part of the veterinary nursing degree. After coming to see the university for the first time, on an open day, I knew it was the right place for me.

“The nursing team here are fantastic. They spend a lot of time with any individual who is struggling for any reason. They are very experienced and know what they are talking about. All of the nursing team are very approachable and friendly.”

Elliott spent his work placement at Village Vets, a tier 3 veterinary hospital in north Wales. “My role as a student veterinary nurse involved monitoring and maintenance of anaesthetics, diagnostic imaging, laboratory diagnostics, consults with clients, the care and husbandry of in patients and much more.

"I really enjoyed working with the team – it was an invaluable experience.”

In his spare time Elliott works on campus as a student ambassador, plays squash and is a member of the university’s football team. 

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