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    COVID Diaries: Supporting the local community

    16 April 2020

    In light of the current situation, we’re continuously inspired by our students who contribute a great deal of time and effort to help those in need while working to complete their degrees. Imogene Munns, a second year BSc (Hons) Veterinary Nursing student, is one such student, who has volunteered her time to give other key workers the chance to recuperate before coming back to work.

    Imogene spoke about the work she has been undertaking, saying: “I’m working at Chess Veterinary Clinic in Hertfordshire. There, I am working odd days during the week and over the weekends. This supports the vulnerable staff who are unable to work and also give other staff a chance to rest.

    “As part of my role, I look after inpatients, putting my practical skills to use. Alongside this, I have been able to put my communication skills into practice by answering a range of phone calls from taking food orders to handling emergencies over the phone.

    “Client communication is key and, although these are stressful and upsetting times, the positive side of this is it has actually helped me improve my communication skills and allowed me to gain experience in a unique situation.”

    Imogene’s help has been gratefully received by the clinic where her variety of skills developed at Harper have been incredibly useful in maintaining day to day activities. When not working, Imogene has also been supporting vulnerable neighbours with shopping and picking bunches of flowers to brighten their day.

    Working at the clinic has also been a good opportunity for Imogene to discover new ways of working, especially as a number of her extra curricular courses have been cancelled in the coming months.

    Although her original plans have now changed, Imogene is not deterred from seeking out ways to learn more. She explained: “As the first recipient of the Harper Adams Club Animal and Veterinary Science Scholarship, the funding has given me the opportunity to further my education and give me a head start in the career I wish to pursue: working as a Veterinary Nurse in a Large Animal and Equine practice.

    “I intended to use my scholarship money to fund a course in artificial insemination in cows and my SQP in equine medicine which has sadly been postponed until further notice. Despite this setback, I will be rebooking these courses and undertaking them during my placement year. I am looking forward to keeping myself busy over my placement year giving myself the opportunity to push myself to do something more unique as a student veterinary nurse.”

    So far, Imogene’s Harper experience has been a very positive one, even if the current circumstances make it different to the typical pathway. Talking about the university, she commented: “Harper is like a home from home for me. Although my home is three hours away, I have always lived in a rural area and I knew I wanted to go to a university that was rural and had a tight knit community feel.

    “My degree course has the perfect mix of practical and theoretical lectures and the placement opportunities really appealed to me. An added bonus is that the lecturers have spent time working as vets and nurses so they know what it’s like in practice and can give you first hand experience to learn from which can really put things into perspective.”

    Imogene offered her advice for others looking to enter into the veterinary nursing field, saying: “Personally I feel work experience is the key to deciding whether veterinary nursing is for you. However, try and gain a range of experiences; from your standard vet practice to milking or working with exotic animals.

    “Showing a clear interest in an area that you are passionate about will also help. For example, I have lambed every year since I was young and helped milk at my local farm and I shared some experiences of these in my application.”

    Passion is a key element to helping our students thrive in their studies. It comes across talking to them about their practicals, writing their Honors Research Projects, and giving back to the wider community. If you are passionate about animals, veterinary nursing or agriculture more widely, check out our undergraduate courses page for more information. To talk to our students about their Harper experience, click the link below.

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